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Stephen E. Garner

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Social Security Disability Attorney in Bremen, GA

Murphy & Garner, LLC
202 Carrollton St, Suite 108
Bremen, GA 30110
Phone: 678-563-1584
Fax: 770-537-4177
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2022
Licensed in Georgia Since: 1983
Practice Areas: Social Security Disability, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Workers' Compensation: Claimant
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Attorney Profile

A member of Murphy & Garner, LLC, Stephen E. Garner handles cases of workers’ compensation, motor vehicle accidents and Social Security Disability. Representing clients in the Atlanta metropolitan area, he has over three decades of experience and has been lead counsel in over 1000 hearings and trials throughout his career. As a trial lawyer, he has represented claimants and plaintiffs in cases of personal injury, workers' compensation, wrongful death, subrogation, insurance and Social Security disability.

An active member of the legal community, he is a member of the Christian Legal Society, the State Bar of Georgia, the American Association for Justice, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Workers’ Compensation Claimants’ Lawyer Section of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of the tort insurance section, the ADR section and the Workers’ Compensation section.  He has been a past member of  the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation Advisory Council, legislative subcommittee.

Mr. Garner is admitted to practice in the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the State of Georgia. In addition to working with the firm, he also offers mediation services with the company Peace Like a River Mediation Services.

In 1979, he earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history from West Georgia College, earning a spot on the Dean’s List. At Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, Mr. Garner obtained a Juris Doctor in 1983.  He also completed the Basic Training Courses in mediation training at Resolution Resources in 1999.  He is registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution in General Civil Mediation and is a member of the Georgia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, a chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. 

Practice Areas
  • 30%Social Security Disability
  • 30%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 20%Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 20%Workers' Compensation: Claimant
Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Laws, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Mediation


6 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2022

White Papers

  • 101 Country Lawyer Lessons (2015) - In the summer of 2013, I began collecting pieces of wisdom I had picked up over the 30 years I had been practicing law and writing them down as “Country Lawyer Lessons.”  Many of these came from advice I was sharing with my two summer interns. I began sharing these on social media and they were very popular. I compiled this list of lessons, some of which are more specific to the practice of law, but most of them have a much broader application as general life lessons.I decided to publish it on Linked In on 7/25/15. This October, I will be presenting some of these concepts at the Georgia Workers' Compensation Law Institute in a discussion of professionalism. This may not be the typical "white paper" but it is my view of what I think the practice of law should look like.

About Stephen E. Garner

First Admitted: 1983, Georgia

Professional Webpage:

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified General Mediator, State of Georgia

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives 2008-present
  • The Georgia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, A Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2009-present
  • Chairman, Legislative Subcommittee, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, 1992-Present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1983
  • Chairman State Bar of Georgia, Workers' Compensation Law Section 1996-1997
  • Founder, Peace Like A River Mediation Services
  • State Bar of Georgia, Member, 1983 - present
  • Executive Committee, Member Workers’ Compensation Claimants’ Lawyers Section of Georgia Trial Lawyers , 1988-2002
  • Member, Tort & Insurance Section, Georgia State Bar
  • Member, American Association for Justice 1982-present
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 1983
  • Member, Governor’s Workers’ Compensation Review Commission, 2001
  • Member, ADR, Georgia State Bar
  • Member, Legislative Subcommittee, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, 1992-2013. Member, Rules and Mediation Subcommittee, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, 2020 - present.
  • Workers' Compensation, Tort Insurance, ADR, Member
  • Member, Workers’ Compensation Claimants’ Lawyers Section of Georgia Trial Lawyers 1988-present
  • Member, Governor’s Workers’ Compensation Review Commission 2001-2002
  • Member, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 1983-present
  • Supreme Court of Georgia, 1983
  • Member, Governor’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Commission, 2002
  • Georgia Court of Appeals, 1983 
  • Chairman, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Workers Compensation Section, 1989
  • Georgia, 1983
  • Member, American Trial Lawyers Association, 1982-present
  • Chairman, Workers’ Compensation Claimants’ Lawyers Section of Georgia Trial Lawyers, 1989


  • Recognition for having obtained a settlement having a value of $1,000,000 or more. , Million Dollar Advocate, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Each year The American Registry catalogs the accolades of attorneys around the country. These ratings and awards are given by trusted professional organizations, peers, judiciary, media and clients.  2020 is the inaugural year for the award America’s Most Honored Lawyers recognizing the Best of the Best., America's Most Honored Lawyers - Top 1%, The American Registry, 2020
  • The Avvo Rating is their effort to evaluate a lawyer's background, based on the information they know about the lawyer. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model that considers the information shown in a lawyer's profile, including a lawyer's years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition - all factors that, in their opinion, are relevant to assessing a lawyer's qualifications., Superb Rating 10.0,, 2015
  • Membership into the Premier 100 Criminal and Civil American Academy of Trial Attorneys is only available to the Premier 100 criminal defense and plaintiff’s civil attorneys in each state. In areas of the country with a higher concentration of attorneys or lower concentration the number of available Premier 100 Trial Attorney listings is severely limited. Less than 1% of attorneys are selected to receive this designation. Prospective members are carefully screened before being invited to join. The criteria for membership may include, but is not limited to, the following: An individual attorney’s commitment to ethics and professionalism Notable verdicts, achievements or settlements Board Certified Specialization as designated by the State Bar or other leading organization Nominations from the Board of Directors, industry leading trial attorneys, and existing Premier 100 Trial Attorney membership and executive positions held within state trial attorney organizations or other leading organizations Any Current ratings or ranking profiles as identified by reputable and credible online or local evaluations, Premier 100 Civil, American Academy of Trial Attorneys, 2015
  • America's Most Honored is a recognition program created by American Registry. For the first time in more than ten years in the recognition monitoring and plaque manufacturing business, American Registry has created our own award paying tribute to the Most Honored Professionals in America. The honorees we have selected comprise high achieving professionals including CEO's, doctors, lawyers, local business owners, Internet superstars and more. America’s Most Honored Professionals reside in every industry.American Registry is expert in business recognition evaluation. To ensure the highest quality and legitimacy, we waited ten years to establish this, our first official award. It is unique among any other award. Like all professionals included in American Registry’s comprehensive database, these honorees have received significant mentions in the press, honors by recognized trade groups, and/or acclaimed recognitions by peers or clients. What makes these Most Honored Professionals stand out from the rest is their repeated and continuous acknowledgement of authenticated, publicized business recognitions.A Most Honored Professional is part of the top ten, top five, or even top one percent of the most recognized professionals in America. An achievement such as this is considered by American Registry to be one of the most dignified of any individual recognition.Qualification is determined on a five year basis. An honoree must have been continuously recognized for professional excellence throughout the last 5 years. Each acknowledgment is carefully considered by a group of researchers who specialize in award evaluation., America's Most Honored Professionals - Top 1%, American Registry, 2016
  • "The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.", Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, 2014
  • Highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards by peers., AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys is an impartial third-party attorney rating organization.  The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys compiles an exclusive list of the “10 Best” Attorneys for each State. Some States depending on size and population density may be broken up into City or Region to be more applicable to potential new clients who utilize this site when looking for an Attorney.The “10 Best” is a prestigious honor for the Attorney as each Attorney must: Be formally nominated by the Institute, client, and/or fellow Attorney; Have attained the highest degree of professional achievement in his or her field of law; and Having done so with an impeccable Client Satisfaction rating. Many Attorneys can achieve high degrees of success but this is often times at the expense or satisfaction of the most important person in the case- the client. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys looks for Attorneys that have achieved unparalleled success but most importantly have done so for the benefit of their client. Very few Attorneys can do so and AIOPIA recognizes this significant achievement., 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction - GA, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2015
  • The Transition Into Law Practice Program is intended to provide professional guidance and counsel to assist Beginning Lawyers who are newly admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in acquiring the practical skills, judgment and professional values necessary to practice law in a highly competent manner. To carry out this goal, the Program will afford every Beginning Lawyer with meaningful access to a Mentor (an experienced lawyer equipped to teach the practical skills, seasoned judgment, and sensitivity to ethical land professionalism values that represent the best traditions and highest aspirations of the legal profession). The Program is essentially an educational program that combines a Mentoring component with a Continuing Legal Education(CLE) component. The qualifications of prospective Mentors are screened by the Program Director. The names of prospective Mentors satisfying minimum qualifications are forwarded to the Supreme Court of Georgia for consideration., Mentor, State Bar of Georgia Transition Into Law Practice Program, Supreme Court of Georgia, 2016
  • Highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, Top Rated Lawyer - Georgia, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015
  • "The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals is an association whose membership consists of ADR professionals distinguished by their hands-on experience in the field of civil and commercial conflict resolution, and by their commitment to the practice of alternative dispute resolution. Membership is by invitation only and limited to attorney mediators and arbitrators who have proven experience in the field. All Academy members have been thoroughly reviewed and found to meet stringent practice criteria. Members are amongst the most in-demand neutrals in their respective states, as selected by both peers and local litigation firms. With over 900 members covering every state in the nation, NADN is America's largest professional association of top-tier neutrals.", Member of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Their Client Review Ratings use a simple one-page survey with four main questions to allow clients to assess their lawyers. The Client Distinction Award is given to lawyers who receive a 4.5 average rating, or higher, (out of 5.0) in the following areas:• Quality of Service• Overall Value• Responsiveness• Communication Ability Less than 1% of the 900,000+ attorneys listed on have been awarded this Martindale-Hubbell honor of distinction. , Client Distinction Award, Martindale-Hubbell®, 2016
  • The Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25 is an invitation-only professional organization composed of and limited to the Top 25 attorneys from each state or region who serve individuals and families who need attorneys to represent them in the American legal system regarding Motor Vehicle claims. Members of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25 exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence and performance in their area of specialty. This exclusive organization provides superior networking opportunities, continuing legal education and the highest quality advocacy training for its members. This association is focused on highlighting and elevating the accomplished Motor Vehicle attorney to provide the best way for the public to find Motor Vehicle attorneys for their legal needs & other attorneys to find a source for case referrals. The Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25 is one of the nation’s premier invitation-only resources for attorneys and victims looking for assistance regarding Motor Vehicle claims.  Specialty Associations by The National Trial Lawyers are invitation-only organizations composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly- applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended only to a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7., Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers – Top 25 (GA), National Trial Lawyers, 2017

Educational Background

  • University of West Georgia, West Georgia College, B.A., History, Dean's List, 1979
  • Pepperdine University School of Law - Summer Professional Skills Program at Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution: Preventing Bad Settlement Decisions and Impasse, 2013
  • Institute for Christian Conciliation, Conciliator Training Program, Basic Training Course: Resolution Resources, 1999 

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • A Mediation presentation to the ALJs at their annual seminar examining Social Security offsets and their impact on settlement.  Explored ways to "find the extra money" to make Workers Compensation settlements a win-win for both parties., Presenter, Mediation Magic: How to Snatch Settlement from the Jaws of a Looming Impasse, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, Workers Compensation ALJs, 2012
  • Each of us will leave a legacy in the legal community. This paper addresses how to make our mark, while making It hard to erase and impossible to forget (in a very positive and professional way). 101 Country lawyer lessons learned during my legal career are shared as reference points for leaving a legacy consistent with the Lawyer's Creed and Aspirational Ideals., Presenter, What Will Be Your Legal Legacy? 101 Country Lawyer Lessons, Workers’ Compensation Law Institute, Georgia ICLE, 2015
  • Discussion of various liens affecting workers' compensation claims., Presenter, Lien On Me: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over, Workers’ Compensation Law Institute, Georgia ICLE, 2012
  • Discussion of best practices as an advocate in Workers Compensation mediations., Co-Author and Presenter, Mediations: Successful Techniques And Techniques Effective Advocates Should Avoid, Workers’ Compensation Law Institute, Georgia ICLE, 2011
  • Shared the best practices from the employer/insurer/adjusters’ standpoint. The framework of the presentation was based on the P.A.U.S.E. principle. P.A.U.S.E. is an acronym found in Ken Sandy’s book The Peacemaker (3rd Ed. Baker Books) which was adapted to the Workers’ Compensation setting. Prepare and be Patient Affirm relationships, Apologize, Appreciate, and Appropriate Advocacy Understand interests Search for creative Solutions Evaluate the participants and Evaluate all the options., Presenter, Making Mediations Work for You: Adjusting the Adjuster’s Perspective, Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP, Insurance Adjusters, 2012
  • An outline of best practices for preparing plaintiffs for the mediation process and presenting the case in a compelling manner., Presenter of topic, Preparing The Plaintiff For The Mediation Process, Georgia ICLE , General Practice & Trial Section Of State Bar, 2001
  • Certified Peace Sowers Instructor 

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Chairman of Board of Trustees and President of Corporation for Midway Macedonia Baptist Church, 2017
  • Member, Christian Legal Society
  • Mock Trial Attorney Coach Bremen High School 2006-2017
  • Community Tennis Coach Bremen High School 2004-2010
  • Life Group Leader, Midway Church in Villa Rica
  • Contributor, Leadership Legacy Project
  • Chairman, Board of Directors Seoul USA ministry to North Korean refugees 2008-2014 Mission Trips to South Korea 2009, 2012
  • Member, Finance Committee Midway Church 2014-present
  • Board of Directors, Global Youth Baseball Federation 2008-2016. Legal advisor to ministry currently. Mission Trip to Israel 2008 Mission Trip to Cuba 2010 teaching Biblical conflict resolution to 40 house church pastors
  • Life Group Leader Midway Church 2010-present
  • Former member of Kids' Chance of Georgia, Inc. Board of Directors.  "The mission of Kids’ Chance of Georgia, Inc. is to provide educational scholarships to the children of Georgia workers who have been seriously, catastrophically or fatally injured in work-related accidents." Helped estabilish the annual tennis tournament fundraiser in 1997 and have been designing the tee shirts for this event since that time.
  • Founder, Leadership Legacy Project


  • Handled auto accident case for worker while on his job.  Settled auto accident case for total of $130,000 in 2018, and settled WC case in 2019 for $80,000 with a waiver of any right of subrogation., 2019
  • Auto accident case settled for minor for $237,500 against driver and another vehicle., 2018
  • Settlement of workers compensation case involving truck driver injured in 1988 sustaining a TBI. During course of case we assisted in having his wife compensated for providing in-home attendant care. After 25 years of representation, we negotiated a settlement with a CMS approved MSA, and substantial sums to continue compensating his wife through a structured settlement with a present day value of $933,000.00.  Over the life-time of the case the insurer paid several million dollars in benefits, even though the maximum income for this date of accident was only $175.00 a week. We also assisted in getting this Claimant on Social Security disability, which was not negatively impacted by the settlement., 2013
  • Settled auto accident case for $750,000.00 after mediation., 2019
  • Structured settlement of personal injury case for present value in excess of $1,250,000.00 involving tractor trailer accident where plaintiff sustained bilateral above-the-knee amputations. Case involved potential issue of exclusive remedy doctrine as plaintiff was a passenger in the tractor trailer and had been brought along to help with the load., 1997
  • Truck driver injured in MVA on his job.  Handled personal injury, workers compensation and Social Security disability cases. Successful in Social Security disability claim. Settled his John Doe UM claim for $65,000,00. Settled his workers compensation claim for $240,000.00 (no subrogation of his BI case because it was UM) and lifetime medical care.  There were significant issues of causation relating to disability because of pre-existing diabetes which worsened after the accident., 2012
  • Settled auto accident case for $700,000.00 inclusive of a MSA.  Client sustained neck injuries requiring 2 surgeries. There were significant issues relating to pre-existing conditions and we also negotiated a very favorable compromise on the health insurer's lien. Later, qualified client for Social Security disability as well., 2012


  • Murphy & Garner, LLC, is a Georgia law firm devoted solely to helping those who have been hurt and need experienced legal assistance to recover. Our commitment to service finds its roots in our love of our community and our faith., Helping Victims Become Victors, 2019
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Office Location for Stephen E. Garner

202 Carrollton St
Suite 108
Bremen, GA 30110

Phone: 678-563-1584

Fax: 770-537-4177

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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