Donald F. Samuel

Top rated criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, Georgia

Garland, Samuel & Loeb, PC
Donald F. Samuel
Garland, Samuel & Loeb, PC

Practice Areas: Criminal defense, White collar crimes; view more

Licensed in Georgia since: 1980

Education: University of Georgia School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2023

Garland, Samuel & Loeb, PC

3151 Maple Drive, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305 Visit website


Renowned criminal defense attorney Donald F. Samuel is a partner with the Garland, Samuel & Loeb, P.C., law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. A recognized leader in criminal law, Mr. Samuel has published numerous works related to his practice, including the Georgia Criminal Law Case Finder and the Eleventh Circuit Criminal Handbook.

A top-rated attorney with over 40+ years of legal experience, he serves clients throughout the Atlanta metro region who face serious federal and state criminal charges, and he has successfully tried cases in federal and appellate courts across the country. No stranger to high-profile cases, he has served as lead or co-counsel in several criminal trials involving notable public figures, including famous professional athletes, prominent physicians and entertainment professionals.

A 1975 graduate of Oberlin College, Mr. Samuel obtained his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1980, where he served as editor for the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. The State Bar of Georgia admitted him to practice in 1980, and he is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Highly active in his legal community, Mr. Samuel is a member of several professional legal organizations, and he is the past-president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Samuel also serves as adjunct legal professor at Georgia State University, and he frequently conducts lectures throughout the country on a variety of legal topics related to criminal defense and effective appellate practices.

In 2014, he received the Rees Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to his profession.

Practice areas

Criminal defense, Criminal defense: white collar

Focus areas

Arrest & arraignment, Assault & battery, Criminal fraud, Criminal law, Drug & alcohol violations, Felony, Murder, Sex offenses, Tax evasion, Theft, Criminal domestic violence, White collar crime, Criminal law - federal

  • 50% Criminal defense
  • 50% Criminal defense: white collar

First Admitted: 1980, Georgia

Professional Webpage:

  • Best Lawyers in America, 1993-Present
  • Rees Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2014
  • Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Editor, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America
Educational Background:
  • Oberlin College, 1975
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • The 1994 Georgia Criminal Procedure Discovery Bill, Georgia Bar Journal, January, 1995
  • Abolishing the Forfeiture Laws, Georgia Bar Journal, Spring, 1995  
  • Speaker, Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference, 1999
  • Speaker, Continuing Legal Education Seminars in Georgia
  • Speaker, American Bar Association Annual Meeting
  • Speaker, National Conference of Federal Public Defenders
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgia State University, School of Law
  • Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Alabama (December 2008): "Overview of United States Supreme Court Term, 2008-2009"
  • Eleventh Circuit Appellate Practice Institute (October 2008): "Rehearings and Rehearings En Banc in the Eleventh Circuit"
  • Advanced Criminal Law Seminar, State Bar Of Florida (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015): "Recent Developments in the Eleventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court"
  • Featured Speaker at the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at the September, 2009
  • Conference of Arizona Public Defenders, Keynote Speaker, August, 2012
  • Mississippi Public Defenders (October 2012)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, New Orleans conference on Defending Sexual Assault Cases (2012)
  • Northern District of Georgia Federal Public Defenders and CJA counsel annual St. Crispin's Day seminar (2010 - 2014)  
  • Geogria Criminal Law Case Finder, Lexis Law Publishing
  • Eleventh Circuit Criminal Handbook, Lexis Law Publishing
  • Federal Criminal Law Digest, James Publishing Company, 1999
  • Georgia RICO, Georgia Bar Journal, Winter, 1984
  • The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986: Will Attorneys Be Taken to the Cleaners?, Georgia Bar Journal, Spring, 1988
  • US v. Sullivan (United States District Court)
  • State v. Dorsey 
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL), Past-President
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, 2000 - Present  
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1982
  • Supreme Court of Georgia, 1980  
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Member, 1999 - Present
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 1980
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1994
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Member
  • Georgia, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

“among the best of the best.”

“Don is simply the most knowledgeable lawyer in criminal law in Georgia. He is also personable and self-effacing. The combination of the two make him an incredibly successful advocate on behalf of defendants in criminal cases. Don is the first lawyer I would call if I were charged with a serious crime.”

Office location for Donald F. Samuel

3151 Maple Drive, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Phone: 404-975-0459

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