Georgia Mountain Laurel July 20

Page 68

Hurt Stolz, P.C. - James Warren Hurt, Jr.

New Office in Clayton

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have talked with many folks in the fourteen years that I have been with the Laurel and in all settings, but I don’t remember a more beautiful setting than the patio of Stonewall Creek Vineyards overlooking the lush grapes growing under the shadow of Glassy Mountain. Jimmy and Emily Hurt are “regulars” at Stonewall Creek and have been since coming to the mountains to rent a cabin for the weekend a decade ago. As the story goes, they fell in love with the mountains and like so many others wanted to live here someday. Jimmy’s first trip to Rabun County happened when he was an 8-year-old boy coming to Camp Dixie for boys. There’s more to that story coming in this article. James Warren (Jimmy) Hurt Jr. was raised in a family of attorneys and he was determined that was not the direction he would go. Born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Cordelle, Jimmy aspired to be a doctor. After he graduated from high school, he attended the University of Georgia earning a degree in Microbiology. The year was 1989 and the poultry industry was facing an E-Coli crisis. Goldkist Poultry was looking to hire a Microbiologist and Jimmy got the job. That job evolved into a management position and then made a lateral move to logistics. Putting practices in place to improve quality, ensure product safety and that it met the USDA guidelines were his primary responsibilities. He was placed in a plant in Boaz, Alabama. When he left Goldkist, he moved back to Athens, Georgia and went to work with Seaboard Farms. This company provided half of the chicken that went to Chick-fil-A at the time. Jimmy hired in as quality control putting practices in place to ensure the chicken from Seaboard Farms met all USDA requirements. In fact, his cell phone number was on every box of chicken that left their plant. He only got one call during his years there. What he gained from this employment was insight into corporate practices, food safety and inspection processes. When Seaboard Farms was bought out by ConAgra Foods, Jimmy was responsible for introducing their inspectors to the processing procedures he had put in place to ensure quality. The inspector argued there were too many people involved in the process and it was too lengthy. Jimmy explained why every step was necessary to meet USDA requirements and ensure safety and quality. The inspector stopped him and said, “You don’t seem to understand that my company has bought your company” and Jimmy replied with, “You don’t understand that if quality is compromised,

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I quit.” Did I mention that there were 20 attorneys in his family beginning with his great grandfather Warren Mixon? At that point having seen wrongs that needed made right, Jimmy Hurt went to law school and became the 21st attorney in his family. He was not the typical law student, he was older with real world experience, a wife and two children. He knew that his interests lie in Consumer Law as a Plaintiff’s attorney. He also practices personal injury law, but found his niche in financial injury. His typical client might be facing debt collection, or an elderly person who has been scammed, or someone who has been taken by a company offering national debt adjustment. After graduating from Georgia State College of Law in Atlanta he moved his family back to Athens and began looking for a job. Gene Mac Winburn, a prominent Georgia trial lawyer, was looking for a young aggressive trial lawyer and a colleague had given Mr. Winburn Jimmy Hurt’s name. Jimmy didn’t wait for Gene Mac to call him, he picked up the phone and called saying, “I am the lawyer you are looking for.” He was hired on the spot and hit the ground running, earning a reputation as professional with a personable yet assertive litigation style. Working in this prominent firm gave Jimmy experience that was more valuable than even he realized. When Gene Mac Winburn passed away, Jimmy and partner the Hon. Irvin Stolz started their own firm Hurt Stolz, P.C. in Athens, Georgia. Former Judge Stolz had a solid reputation having served on the Georgia Court of Appeals as well as President of the State Bar of Georgia. Known for getting results, Hurt Stolz clients agree that knowledge and experience allow them to put their trust in these professionals to help them navigate the legal system. Now with an office in Rabun County, mountain residents can expect the same. Practice areas include: Consumer Protection, Debt Collection Defense, Protection and Recovery from Debt Collection Harassment, Credit Reporting Errors, Fraudulent Debt Adjustment, Fraudulent Debt Settlement, Premises Liability, and Personal Injury. Emily met Jimmy when she was working as Executive Director of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. The couple met at a conference that Jimmy attended with his father who is also an attorney Mr. James Warren Hurt, Sr. The two began seeing each other and planning a future which led to the trip to the mountains. As they say… the rest is history.