Stonewall Bar Association member Randy Fry was recently added to the Super Lawyers list.

According to the Super Lawyers website, “Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.”

The Super Lawyers press release template explaining its selection process reads in part: “Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.”

Fry says he has been nominated in past years, but it was only this year that he was recognized as one of the top rated Atlanta lawyers and included in the list.

According to Fry’s Super Lawyer page: “Mr. Fry has achieved significant success fighting for the rights and entitlements of those adversely affected by car, truck and motorcycle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, dog bites, nursing home abuse, job-related accidents, slip-and-fall accidents and other preventable tragedies.”

Randy Fry was one of the original members of the Stonewall Bar Association and has maintained ties to the organization since its founding in 1995.

Speaking of his early experiences with the Stonewall Bar Association, Fry recounted some of the first meetings: “The organization actually started at a small restaurant on Ponce de Leon called Mary Mac’s, and in that restaurant in 1995 … friends of mine were kind of leading the charge and I was a first year law student.”

“I was sitting at one of the tables with about 20 other people, just staring, watching in awe of all this happening, talking about starting an organization. Over the next five, ten years it just exploded.”

At the time when the Stonewall Bar Association was organized, all queer people were explicitly criminalized in Georgia and throughout much of the country.

In much of the United States, being LGBTQ was illegal until the 2003 Supreme Court decision Lawrence V. Texas struck down the remaining “anti-sodomy” laws of 13 states as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Georgia, however, had struck down the state’s “anti-sodomy” law five years earlier, in 1998, in its ruling to the case Powell V. State. Ironically, the law was not struck down due to its violation of the rights of LGBTQ people, but because the state supreme court ruled it violated the right to privacy of unmarried heterosexual couples.

Asked about the early work of the Stonewall Bar Association, Randy Fry spoke about its work protecting people in a variety of cases involving discrimination. In one case, lawyers from the association intervened on the behalf of a woman with HIV who was being evicted from her home. They managed to undo the eviction.

Today, Randy Fry has his own law firm specializing in personal injury law, which has grown substantially despite eschewing traditional advertising and relying primarily on word of mouth referrals.

Fry says that what distinguishes his law firm from other personal injury firms is his firm’s willingness to go to trial rather than accept subpar settlement offers.

Trial can be a very emotionally intense, stressful experience, and even lawyers can find it unpleasant, not to mention difficult. Some law firms find it easier to avoid trial, but Fry insists that the willingness to take a case to trial is important.

“There are three categories of cases. For example, a person is in a car wreck, and we try to negotiate a settlement, and about 80 percent of the cases are settled in that claim stage, meaning before a lawsuit is filed. The other 20 percent of the cases are actually filed in a court of law. That means a lawsuit has occurred. Out of that 20 percent where a lawsuit has occurred, only about 5 percent end up being tried in a court of law,” Fry said.

While most cases never go to trial regardless of law firm, the willingness of a firm to go to trial has an impact upon the outcome of a settlement, according to Fry. “It’s no secret that when the insurance company is against a firm that does try cases, they’re going to have a [greater] in responsiveness and settlement numbers knowing they’ll have to go try the case instead of knowing they’re up against a firm that simply settles no matter what the offer is.”

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