About Kenna Simmons

Kenna Simmons Articles written 23

Kenna Simmons is an award-winning writer and editor whose work has appeared in Atlanta magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and on WebMD.com, Cancer.org and the Mother Nature Network. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she lives in Atlanta and writes regularly about economic development and business for Georgia Trend magazine. 

Articles written by Kenna Simmons

Access for All

Mario Williams’ philosophy on justice at home was shaped abroad

Right place, right time. That’s how Mario Williams explains much of his career as a civil rights attorney. But there’s more to it. Right person, maybe? It’s true that a chance encounter one Sunday morning led Williams—a Morehouse grad working on superfund issues as an intern with the EPA—into joining the Peace Corps. “I saw a woman struggling to carry some ice bags into her office and offered to help her,” he says. “She was the regional director of the Peace Corps. I had never …

On the Road

Why travel makes Alfred Chang a better lawyer

Some people do crosswords puzzles to exercise their brains. Alfred Chang travels—as often as he can. When the family law practitioner isn’t at home in Cumming, he’s on the road to China, Vietnam, Spain, Morocco … name a spot. Wherever Hope and Crosby went, he’s either been or has it on his list. Born in Hong Kong, Chang has practiced in North Georgia since 1999 and likes to joke about being an “Appalachian Asian lawyer.” His travel habit started about 10 years ago when a friend …

Family Time

Leslie O’Neal on the moral imperative of pro bono work

One of Leslie O’Neal’s most rewarding pro bono cases involved a young mother who lost custody of her son due to her battle with drug addiction.  “The father really took advantage of the situation,” says O’Neal, a family law attorney and co-founder of O’Dell O’Neal Hungerford & Blanchard in Marietta. “He refused to let her see the child, even when she offered to have a supervisor with her. He led the child to believe that his stepmom was actually his biological mother.” …

One in a Hundred

A life lived outdoors has prompted Savannah’s Glen Darbyshire to help protect Georgia’s coast

Glen Darbyshire’s favorite mile of the Georgia Coast is the one that, until recently, he could see from the windows of his Savannah home: a ribbon of undeveloped shoreline between the south end of Wassaw Island and the north end of Ossabaw Island, where the Vernon River empties into the Atlantic. The salt marshes, dunes and mud flats are part of a diverse ecosystem that runs along Georgia’s 15 barrier islands, strung like jewels in a saltwater necklace on the state’s 100-plus miles of …

How to Prepare for Business Bankruptcy

Georgia attorneys give their advice

Anticipating a company’s restructuring or bankruptcy can mean the difference between survival and collapse. “Bankruptcy is expensive and, to some extent, you cede control of the company,” says Todd Meyers, chair of Kilpatrick Townsend’s bankruptcy and financial restructuring team in Atlanta. “Even in Chapter 11, while the management stays in control of the company, you need to disclose things to the court that a private company would not otherwise need to make public.” Shayna …

His Father and Atticus Finch

Joseph Beck’s book is more than just family history

In 1938, in a small town in southern Alabama, a white lawyer defies town mores by defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. Here’s the twist: The lawyer’s name isn’t Atticus Finch and this isn’t fiction.  The lawyer was Foster Beck, and 78 years later, his son, IP attorney Joseph Beck, has written about the real-life story of State of Alabama v. Charles White, Alias, in his memoir, My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama.  When Beck …

Courtroom Confidential

How Steve Sidman serves his celebrity-chef clients

Steve Sidman’s big break in the high-end restaurant world came when he represented chef Grant Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas, the team behind Alinea, a world-famous Chicago restaurant, in a cookbook deal in 2007. But his journey to being the top chefs’ top lawyer started much earlier. Sidman wanted to be a musician. He played in bands all the way through college—including, he says, “a really, really, really mediocre cover band” with Kokonas at Colgate—then worked at a …

O, Solomiany!

Marvin Solomiany is a family law attorney with a fascinating family history

“I don’t want you guys carrying an umbrella for a living.” Marvin Solomiany heard that often when he was growing up. His father was a salesman who once sold umbrellas to gas stations in Puerto Rico to earn a living, and he wanted his four boys to carry briefcases, not merchandise. He got his wish: two are immigration attorneys, one is a corporate law attorney. And then there’s Marvin, who, for the last 10 years, has been managing partner at the family law firm Kessler & Solomiany. …

Change Agent

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy was mentored by some of the biggest names in Georgia law; she’s paying it forward with the Sutherland Scholars

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy talks about changing the world because that’s the charge given to students at Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college for women in Atlanta. “In my family, all women go to Spelman,” she says, citing her mother and grandmother, both of whom worked at Spelman in various capacities, too. “My niece is there now—she’s fourth generation. My daughter, every night we sing the Spelman song: ‘It’s my choice and I choose to change the world.’” …

The Muckraker

Linley Jones represents the ultimate “little guy”—someone who wants to sue a lawyer

Sitting behind a big desk in her Buckhead office, Linley Jones looks small. Then she starts to talk. Then she fills the room. She’s not given to big gestures. She thinks carefully before answering questions. And even though many answers are punctuated by laughter, there’s an intensity to what she says. Rush Smith, a malpractice defense attorney at Hall Booth Smith who has lined up against Jones, describes her as “relentless” and “not easily put off.” Jones wanted to be a …

Find top lawyers with confidence

The Super Lawyers patented selection process is peer influenced and research driven, selecting the top 5% of attorneys to the Super Lawyers lists each year. We know lawyers and make it easy to connect with them.

Find a lawyer near you