The Legal Landscape+
Our Skilled Practitioners
We are a full service business and real estate firm with a diverse and sophisticated practice developed both in large and smaller firms. Our clients include closely held and publicly traded companies, retailers, healthcare providers, manufacturers, developers, builders and contractors, commercial landlords and tenants, employers and employees, entrepreneurs, individuals, investors, and licensed professionals (including other lawyers).
We make it our business to help you grow and protect your business. We provide experienced counsel to help you make important decisions. We make sure that you understand the cost, ramifications, and potential reward of a given course of action, including engaging in litigation. We work hard to help you manage your unique risks and challenges. We form longtime relationships with our clients who tell us that we are integral to their success.
We also regularly serve as local counsel in Georgia’s federal courts and help clients and other lawyers review cases and file and manage appeals.
Mary Giacoma’s areas of expertise include real estate and business law. In this capacity, she frequently represents clients in the acquisition of commercial land and private properties, development documentation, due diligence, property management, financing, landlord/tenant disputes, and tax-free exchanges. In addition, Mary handles the review, negotiation and drafting of office, industrial, retail and shopping center leases, expansions, relocations, and renewals for landlord and tenant clients. Drafting, negotiating, and closing commercial and real estate loans for borrowers and commercial banks are also in her areas of expertise.
Mary also represents clients on business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, business formations and entity structure, drafting and negotiation of corporate ownership agreements, financing and general corporate matters. Mary has worked extensively on asset sales, joint venture agreements, restrictive covenants, and the protection of proprietary information Mary’s clients include publicly-traded and closely-held entities, real estate developers, restaurants and franchisees, medical and dental professionals, construction companies, lenders, and distributers.
Mary obtained her undergraduate degree in business and finance and her law degree from St. Louis University.
Mary is admitted in Georgia, Illinois and Missouri.
Shea E. Roberts practices primarily in the areas of land use, zoning, real estate, and domestic relations.
Shea assists residential and commercial developers, builders and individuals in zoning, permitting and variance proceedings before local counties and municipalities in metro Atlanta. She takes pride in her ability to resolve conflict and find creative solutions that allow builders and neighborhoods to work together to improve property values and promote responsible development in Atlanta.
Shea also has extensive experience in domestic relations. In all practice areas, Shea guides her clients to resolve their cases effectively and efficiently when possible.
Shea has had her own private practice since 2002. She joined forces with her husband, Brian E. Daughdrill, in 2006, and is now one of the founding members of GRD Law.
When away from work, Shea spends time with her family and friends in Atlanta.
Shea obtained her undergraduate degree in journalism and public relations from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She obtained her law degree from the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.
Shea is admitted in Georgia.
Mr. Daughdrill comes to the practice of law with an extensive background in real estate and
more than fifteen years experience as a real estate broker and developer. He concentrates this practice are on the issues faced by that industry and utilizes his own experiences in the business to help individuals and business owners alike handle the numerous aspects of real property and construction law.
His real estate practice concentrates in three main areas: (1) Zoning and Permitting, including pursuing and defending against rezonings, variances and permitting requests; (2) Property Rights, including boundary disputes, trespass matters, nuisance, eminent domain, quiet title actions and dispossessories; and (3) Transactional work, including contract
negotiation and review and commercial leases. His construction law practice includes contract
negotiation and disputes, lien law practices and construction defect cases for both builders,
subcontractors and homeowners.
Similarly, Mr. Daughdrill brings a wealth of personal experience to his clients in the family law arena. He is personally familiar with the issues facing parents divorcing with children, relocation issues, and child support and visitation modifications and can help fathers and mothers navigate both the legal and practical aspects in negotiating a divorce. His top priority is assisting his client with the challenges they face as they transition from married to divorced.
In each practice area Mr. Daughdrill strives to balance the cost of protecting and advancing the
rights of his clients within their economic model, seeking cost-effective creative solutions to
achieve his client’s goals. He maintains long-term client relationships to gain intimate familiarity with his client’s needs and strategies so that he can tailor his approach to specific matters to the individual client.
Brian’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University in journalism and public relations. His juris doctor hails from Mercer University School of Law.
Brian is a member of the Start Bar of Georgia, the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.
Member of the Firm
James F. “Jim” Brown, Jr. is a member of the State Bar of Georgia with over thirty years’ transactional experience in real estate, business and corporate, and estate and probate law. His clients include purchasers, sellers, tenants, and borrowers of hotel, office, parking, religious, restaurant, retail, and mixed-use commercial properties; developers and owners of single- and multi-family residential properties; banks and mortgage lenders; national title underwriters; manufacturing, sales, and distribution companies; county, municipal, educational, and other governmental authorities; and other law firms, in-house and out-of-state counsel, and solo practice attorneys. Jim’s expertise includes due diligence, title underwriting, document drafting, compliance, escrow, and closings; managing complex properties, transactions and negotiations; and coordinating among clients, other parties, their counsel, and service providers to achieve common goals.
An Atlanta native, Jim earned his AB from Davidson College in North Carolina. He earned his JD from Emory University School of Law, where he was a founding editor of the Emory Journal of International Dispute Resolution and led the Emory International Law Society. He also holds a Master of International and Comparative Law cum laude from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and a Master of Taxation from the Georgia State University School of Accountancy.
Jim is admitted in Georgia.
Ms. Coates brings over a decade of experience representing clients in a broad range of litigation and transactional matters including construction, leasing, domestic relations, bankruptcy, criminal proceedings, general business, and real estate. Ms. Coates provides clients with vigorous and creative advocacy to advance their matters to resolution. Her current practice focuses on the representation of both commercial and residential property owners, communities, developers, builders, and construction contractors in resolving disputes involving property rights, governmental action, contractual relationships, and commercial leases.
A Tennessee native, Laura obtained her undergraduate degree in theatre and speech from the University of Tennessee before relocating to Atlanta and graduating in the top 10% of her class at Georgia State University College of Law in 2011. While at GSU Laura was a member of their award-winning Moot Court and Mock Trial teams and worked as a trial intern at the Clayton County District Attorney’s office and Dekalb County Solicitor General’s office.
Laura is admitted in Georgia.
Senior Litigation Counsel
Patrick Doyle Dodson is a Senior Litigation Counsel for the firm. His areas of practice include real estate and construction law and related litigation. Mr. Dodson’s real estate practice focuses on zoning and permitting, property rights, and transactional matters. His construction law practice includes contract negotiation and disputes and construction defect litigation.
Mr. Dodson is an adept litigator with over twenty years of civil litigation experience. He has received the “Distinguished” designation from the Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating service for Peer Rated High Professional Achievement. Prior to joining Giacoma, Roberts, & Daughdrill, LLC, Mr. Dodson was a Senior Counsel at Jarrard & Davis, LLP, where he specialized in local government law with specific focus in general litigation, commercial litigation, zoning litigation, commercial transactions, government contracting and ordinance drafting. Mr. Dodson was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Patrick attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He then attended law school at the Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Patrick is admitted in Georgia and Tennessee.
Sam Holder is a real estate and litigation
associate. He focuses his practice on landlord-tenant matters, property rights, construction disputes, zoning, and general business litigation. Sam assists clients with Georgia based litigation, commercial leasing, and navigating the intricacies of Georgia state and local government.
During law school, Sam was a summer associate with the firm. Sam graduated cum laude Emory University School of Law. While attending law school, Sam served on the board of the Emory Law School mock trial competition team, which was nationally ranked top ten during his tenure, and was inducted into The Order of Barristers honor society for his excellence in trial advocacy. In addition to his juris doctorate, Sam also received a Transactional Law and Skills Certificate from the Center for Transactional Law and Practice.
Sam earned his B.A. in political science from Rhodes College with a minor in history. At Rhodes, Sam was a four-year participated in and captain of Rhodes’ nationally top ten ranked mock trial team. Sam graduated Rhodes cum laude and received the Abe Fortas Award for Excellence in Legal Studies.
Outside of work, Sam can be found spending time with his wife, Miranda, and their dog and two cats.
Mishael K. Najm is a commercial litigation associate. She focuses her practice on landlord-tenant matters, construction disputes, land use, and business litigation. Mishael has experience representing litigants on “both sides of the v,”
allowing her to offer deep insight and strategies. An analytical and independent thinker, Mishael is adept at identifying inconsistencies and weaknesses in an opposing party’s case and fining solutions to problems where previous efforts may have failed. Leaving no stone unturned, Mishael understands the importance of investigating a case and applying a client-first mentality to her practice.
Mishael earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she was a member of the school’s Moot Court Program, winning “Best Oralist” in the 2018 Talmadge Moot Court Competition. During law school, she interned at the legal department of a leading Fortune 500 enterprise technology provider and the Georgia Court of Appeals. She received the State Bar of Georgia, Young Lawyers Division, Award of Achievement for Service to the Profession, in 2021 and 2022. Prior to embarking on her legal career, she
interned and worked at international nonprofit human rights organizations. With her diverse experience, Mishael has developed a global perspective that allows her to meaningfully connect with clients from a range of backgrounds to form effective working partnerships. Mishael is an avid traveler, having visited over 20 countries.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Case Manager / Paralegal
Shanea’ Thomas serves as the firm’s Case Manager/Paralegal. Her career spans over a twenty (20) year period with a range of expertise assisting with civil matters. Shanea’ efficiently manages and maintains the firm’s fast-paced caseload.