2019 Top Rated Lawyers in Georgia and the Nation,Martindale-Hubbell, Inc.
President-elect, National Employment Lawyers Association, GA Affiliate
PASSION FOR THE LAW, COMPASSION FOR THE EMPLOYEE ~
A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE AND RESULTS™ ...
We represent individuals in employment matters across the State of Georgia. We provide free telephone consultations, with an experienced attorney, not support staff. The legal experience can appear frightening and overwhelming, but it need not be, once you are armed with caring, experienced, determined legal representation. Read about the Firm's history, then read the testimonials current through 2019 at the end of this page.
You are not alone. Discrimination in employment is illegal, whether it takes the form of sexual harassment, or any discrimination or harassment based upon a person's race, age, gender, disability or religion. Employers, particularly in an at-will state like Georgia, often bank on employees not knowing their federal rights or finding an attorney who has the concentrated expertise to handle this specialized area of the law. It's all we do. Ms. Saggese Mills has dedicated her livelihood to protecting yours.
The Firm has handled all areas of employment law, including federal and state age, sex, race, religion, and disability discrimination claims, sexual harassment, employment contracts, noncompete and other restrictive covenant agreements, severance agreements, commission disputes, labor union grievances and appeals, wage and hour and overtime disputes, OSHA claims, Family & Medical Leave Act issues, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower actions, State administrative appeals, drafting of employment handbooks and policy, internal dispute resolution, and workplace violence protection.
THE FIRM'S HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE
Saggese Mills Law Firm was established in Atlanta, Georgia, to provide legal representation of individual employees and of employers in employment litigation matters. Prior to that, its principal, Attorney Teresa Saggese Mills, was a Litigation Partner in a major Atlanta law firm. By her demonstrated trial effectiveness and commitment to law practice, she was elected partner after one year of association with the firm, bypassing its normal five-year partnership track requirement.
Ms. Mills then established her own law firm in Atlanta, Saggese Mills Law Firm, which subsequently relocated to Macon, Georgia, Ms. Mills' hometown and a more centralized location for the Firm's statewide clients. In addition to a statewide practice, Ms. Mills enjoys a national and international client base, and she is qualified to appear in any United States trial court by pro hac admission.
Graduating in the top of her class at Mercer Law School, Ms. Mills was selected as an editor of the Law Review, was elected as Director of the Moot Court Board, was inducted into the Order of Barristers Honorary Society, and was chosen to compete on the National Moot Court team. Ms. Mills also received Best Oralist Finalist Award in appellate advocacy and served as a research teaching assistant to first year law students.
In 2016, Ms. Mills was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Affiliate (NELA-GA). She was also named Chair of its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee, and presided at the Georgia State Bar's annual Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia Seminar on Litigating the Plaintiff's Employment Law Case, in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 23, 2016. In 2017, she was elected to the office of Secretary of NELA-GA for a two-year term, was named Chair of its CLE Committee and again presided at the annual Seminar, with a slate of six federal judges agreeing to appear on the panels, and a record turnout of attorneys in attendance.
She continued to serve as Secretary of NELA-GA for 2018, as Chair of its CLE Committee, and presided at the annual Seminar to the same full house turnout of enthusiastic attendees. In 2019, she was voted President-Elect of NELA-GA for a two-year term and will again be chairing and presiding at the Seminar.
Since 1997, Ms. Mills has been awarded the AV-Preeminent Rating, the highest national rating in legal ability and professional ethics, by Martindale-Hubbell, Inc., the national peer review rating society. From 2012 through the present, she has been selected as one of Georgia’s Top Rated Lawyers® by Martindale-Hubbell, with the listing published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. She has also been honored as a Life Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation. Membership in the Foundation is limited to the top four percent of the members of the State Bar of Georgia. According to the Bar, "invitation to membership in the Fellows Program is an honor that recognizes those lawyers whose public and private careers demonstrate outstanding legal abilities and a devotion to their communities."
Although she currently devotes the employment law portion of her practice to the representation of employees exclusively, Ms. Mills has obtained significant recoveries and has successfully handled thousands of employment cases for both employees and employers, before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, in arbitration and mediation, and by informal negotiations.
The Firm is privileged to have represented employees in all walks of life, including attorneys, nurses, physicians, airline mechanics, administrative assistants, sales associates, assembly line workers, construction contractors, CEOs, CFOs, broadcasters, firefighters, police officers, EMT/paramedics, airline pilots, commissioned sales representatives, engineers, entertainers, and professors, to name a few. She has represented literally hundreds of employees through her representation of one of the largest labor unions in the nation. Ms. Mills has consistently received case referrals from clients and bar colleagues, including the referrals of opposing counsel's family members, and the seeking of representation by corporate counsel who had formerly opposed her in employment matters.
In addition to monetary recovery for her employee clients, countless jobs have been saved when threatened illegal termination was forestalled by Ms. Mills' involvement. Employees have had their jobs reinstated as well, and as is often the case when the trauma of illegal job loss is averted, homes have been saved from foreclosure, bankruptcy avoided, medical and retirement benefits reinstated, and professional reputations, families and marriages restored as a result of Ms. Mills' efforts.
Because of the blended practice of having represented both employees and employers in various matters, the Firm is also uniquely poised to offer fair and balanced mediation services as well as litigation. Ms. Mills has also served as independent investigator in corporate employment harassment claims, including investigations of claims brought against a law firm in Atlanta and a county law enforcement agency in metro Atlanta, both of which resolved discreetly and successfully upon her investigation and involvement.
Saggese Mills Law Firm also has expertise as a broadbased civil practice in personal injury, commercial litigation, mergers/acquisitions/leveraged buyouts, branding and trademark law, estate and probate matters, environmental law, internet law, wireless communications law, data security and privacy, social media liability and other trending legal issues. Corporate clients have included law firms, financial institutions, healthcare systems, commercial real estate entities, security systems, educational facilities, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, German automotive manufacturers, and the full spectrum of private and public sector entities from Fortune 100 to nonprofits.
Ms. Mills has been published in three legal periodicals, two in Georgia and one in California, on commercial and employment law topics, one of which was cited as "Worth Reading" by the National Law Journal. Ms. Mills has also served on the Georgia Supreme Court Justice's Commission on Professionalism, and as a Group Leader at law school orientation programs for incoming law students at Georgia's law schools.
She has been appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia, has served as a Sustaining Member of the Federal Bar Association of America, a member of the Order of Barristers Honorary Society, a member of the President's Club of Mercer alumni society, a Contributing Member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, a member of the Lawyer's Club of Atlanta, and a member of the Macon and Atlanta Bar Associations.
Ms. Mills has spoken at State Bar and other legal seminars on various employment law and federal trial topics. She has appeared on local television network news affiliates in Atlanta and Macon on various occasions, as an expert on employment law issues, as well as in print media. She has also published a Firm newsletter designed to keep clients informed on quickly-evolving changes in employment law.
THE PERSONAL SIDE
"For what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Ms. Mills's civic achievements have included serving on the Board of Directors of the Athens-Clarke County Humane Society, service as an Atlanta Boy Scout Commissioner, Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of her Atlanta homeowners' association, participant in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, Literacy Action, Habitat for Humanity, the Macon Heritage Foundation, Atlanta Historical Society, Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound™, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
She has been a contributor to the Broadcasters Foundation of America, in honor of her late father, Bob Saggese, who was recently inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, and to the American Businesswomen's Association, in honor of her late mother, Woodie Saggese, who served the City of Macon, City Hall Bureau of Inspections and Fees, so well and faithfully for 18 years that she was issued a Proclamation by the Mayor and City Council upon her retirement.
TESTIMONIALS (some initials changed or omitted to protect confidentiality agreements and/or privacy where applicable):
"If you had not been so strong and warned me all along the way of what to watch out for, I would have certainly lost my job. Thank you so much for all you have done, from saving my job in 2017 through our mediation in 2019. I will refer you to anyone who needs a federal lawyer."
-- A. L., retail sales, Central Georgia
"Just wanted to say FANTASTIC job -- thanks."
-- Ofcr. ___. ___., law enforcement, Central Georgia
"I wanted to express my appreciation for your negotiation on my behalf. I couldn't have done it without you. If I ever need assistance again, be assured that I will contact you. Now I see why [ ] recommended you as 'the lawyer that the lawyers go to.'"
-- ____. ____, Esq., attorney, Atlanta
"Thank you so much for all that you did for me in 2018, especially with such short notice. I am forever grateful for all of your hard work, dedication and expertise! Thank you for believing in me and fighting for me. You were wonderful to work with, and I have already recommended you to someone else!"
-- S.A., Educator, Central Georgia
"Selfless, consummate professional. A beacon of hope who delivers results. Highly recommend."
-- S.T., M.D., Surgeon, New York
"Sweet, reassuring, smart, tough, stands up to the meanies. Beautiful inside and out. All the things you want in a lawyer!"
-- L.S., LPN, Macon
"Thank you for being a caring and considerate lawyer during this resolution. Have a blessed day."
"This attorney's positive attitude, intelligence, wit and confidence in the eye of my legal storm saved me. Literally. Saved my job. Saved my home as well. How can you put in words what that means. You made 2018 go from the worst year to the best year ever, Teresa. Never forget you."
-- S.A., engineer, Atlanta
"Ms. Mills was a Champion for me when my employer failed to comply with my ADA medical needs and violated my FMLA rights. Ms. Mills got involved and obtained a complete victory. She's a total Warrior Attorney. She treats each case like it's her own personal family she's fighting for. She's very caring, professional, knowledgeable, and competent! The BEST of the BEST!!! I have and will continue to recommend her to anyone I know who have legal needs. Thanks Sincerely Ms. Mills!"
-- A. L., construction contractor, Macon
"I was recommended by another attorney. He told me she was experienced, practical and very fair. I found all those were true and she handled my lawsuit very timely and professional. I am and was very pleased on how she kept me informed on what was going on at all times with my case. I highly recommend her."
-- Martha D., retail sales associate, Macon
"Teresa, you were a great help to me ... I have recently taken a job as President and CEO of [ ], a British mergers and acquisitions company . . . I will need your advice and services."
-- Brian C., CFO, real estate development, Atlanta/international
"Just wanted to tell you THANKS one more time! I am very grateful for all your hard work and the time you took to prepare. It is appreciated more than you know. Finally, a win for the good guys! I am sure we will be speaking soon. Have a good night and I hope you sleep well, I know I finally will."
-- C.J., EMT-Paramedic, Central Georgia
"Call Teresa Saggese Mills. She specializes in these cases and she gets good results."
-- ___.___., Esq., Attorney referral recommendation, posted on Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Listserve, Statewide
"Thank you for participating in our television show. You did a beautiful and expert job -- you're a television natural. It is important to us to help the public understand that the legal system is accessible, and benefits the entire community. We believe the civic value and impact of the show will be significant -- and you are a part of that success. Thank you again for bringing your knowledge and professionalism to the panel."
-- ___.___., Esq., Attorney for local network affiliate, Macon
"Thanks for everything. You are proof that God has sent us an angel."
-- Sam H., aviation mechanic, Atlanta
"Teresa, Thank you very much for the check. I have sent the release to Germany for the requested signatures. On behalf of the [ ] family, let me restate their appreciation of your conscientious effort and the many long wearying hours which you spent on their behalf."
-- ___.___., Esq., referring attorney, Dallas, TX
"I realize how much study and knowledge you poured into the [case] and re-established my confidence and self-esteem which, I now realize, took a hard blow as a result of being forced to retire. Appreciating your efforts and feeling much better about myself."
-- Joel S., manager, Fortune 500 company, Atlanta
"Your efforts made all the difference. You have saved my livelihood and how does one adequately express appreciation for that? I am most thankful."
-- ___.___, M.D., physician, Atlanta
"I want to thank you for all you have done for me. It was such a comfort to have someone like you in time of my sorrow . . . I wish you every success in life and may God Bless You."
-- A.P., widow/homemaker, Atlanta
"You are the only attorney I have ever dealt with whose esteem in my eyes has continued to grow throughout our relationship . . . Competence is wonderful and necessary but you bring warmth and genuine concern for your clients to the table, as well, and the value of those is immeasurable."
-- J.S., sales manager, Atlanta
"You get all my praise and kudos. I think that you have done an excellent job and I really do mean this from the bottom of my heart. There is no way I can ever repay you for the work that you have done. You are an awesome lawyer."
-- M. L., laborer, Macon & Atlanta
"I could never, of course, have crossed (this) bridge without your guidance and professional expertise, but more than that, I could never have met the challenge had I not been so impressed by the kind of woman you are, your character and sincerity, integrity and real guts have so impressed me over the last year. You have so much respect for yourself, which to me is so very admirable. On top of that, I think you knew all along that one side-effect of my pursuing the cause was that of finding self-respect therein. Well, you were right again ... God bless you always."
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