Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney, LLP

1180 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 3000 Atlanta, Georgia 30309
404.688.2600

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H. Joseph Colette

Partner

Joseph Colette represents state governmental entities, private healthcare practices, and several regional and local businesses. Mr. Colette provides civil litigation and transactional experience in multiple practice areas, with an emphasis on healthcare law, governmental law, employment law, real estate law, business counseling and litigation, products liability law, insurance coverage disputes, and employee benefits law, including retirement and pension plans.

Following law school, Mr. Colette worked as an associate at Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP in Atlanta as an environmental litigation and real estate attorney.  Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Colette was a solo practitioner in New York City, focusing on civil litigation and real estate. Mr. Colette lives in Atlanta with his son Cruz.

Education

  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 2005
    • Executive Vice-Chair of the Moot Court Board
    • Member of the Intrastate Moot Court Team
    • Member and Coach of the Regional Champion BLSA Mock Trial Team
    • Lumpkin Inn of Court
  • Emory University, B.A, 2002
    • Cum laude

Admissions

  • State Bar of Georgia, 2005
  • New York State Bar, 2009
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

Professional or Trade Affiliations/Memberships

  • Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar, Northern District Representative on the Executive Council
  • Labor & Employment Law Committee, YLD
  • Intrastate Moot Court Committee, YLD
  • New York State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Georgia Society for Healthcare Risk Management
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Gate City Bar Association
  • Lawyer’s Club of Atlanta
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute

Honors & Awards

  • Named in the Rising Stars list for 2014-2016 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine
  • Top 40 Labor & Employment Lawyers Under 40 in the State of Georgia by the American Society of Legal Advocates (3rd Consecutive Year)
  • Appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General by Attorney General Samuel Olens to provide counseling and real estate representation to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
  • Named to Leadership Academy of Young Lawyers Division of State Bar of Georgia (2014)

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Overview, Compliance, and Notification Requirements,” International Security Management Group, Inc., August 2013.
  • “Patient Confidentiality: The Use and Disclosure of a Patient’s Health Information,” Clayton Center Community Service Board, July 2013.
  •  “Americans with Disabilities Act & Dentistry,” Medical College of Georgia, School of Dentistry, December 2012.

Representative Experience

  • Part of the legal team providing representation for the Geo. L. Smith II Georgia World Congress Center Authority in development of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a new operable roof, state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium, to serve as the future home of the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Representation of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in closing two transactions for approximately 8.5 acres of real property in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Both properties were acquired by the Board of Regents on behalf of Georgia Gwinnett College for the expansion of its campus in Lawrenceville.
  • Representation of the State Properties Commission of the State of Georgia in closing the $2.3 million acquisition of a multi-acre commercial property in downtown Atlanta on behalf of the Department of Driver Services ("DDS"). DDS opened the doors to its new Atlanta office at 400 Whitehall Street in March 2015, replacing the previous building, which was a trailer that had been parked in an open area near Turner Field for 11 years. (http://www.og-law.com/blog/colette-closes-2-3-million-land-transaction)
  • Representation of Gateway Behavioral Health Services in the closing of a bond-financing transaction for over $6 million in municipal bonds issued by the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority to complete the financing of Gateway's project to construct a multi-acre adult crisis stabilization unit for individuals in mental health or addiction crisis in Glynn County, Georgia. Additional details about this transaction may be found here: http://glynncounty.org/documentcenter/view/52870
  • Representation of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in closing the acquisition of 12.77 acres of improved real property in Clayton County, Georgia on behalf of Clayton State University.
  • Representation of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in its acquisition of three multi-acre Downtown Atlanta properties for $4.1 million from the Georgia State University Foundation. (http://www.og-law.com/blog/colette-closes-4-1-million-land-transaction-on-behalf-of-board-of-regents)
  • Served as second chair in successful defense of putative class action and mass tort actions relating to PCE and TCE contamination in groundwater in federal court.
  • Representation corporate client in hazardous waste cleanup action by the State of Pennsylvania, and facilities compliance with the Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • Representation of governmental subdivision in $1 million Clean Water Act citizen suit.

Health Care Law Litigation & Counseling

  • Providing full service health care law services to public healthcare agencies throughout the State of Georgia, private health care companies, and professionals, including issues such as informed consent, funding through Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.
  • Counsel clients on patient privacy under federal and state law, including structuring business arrangements and contracts, and drafting and arguing motions to quash/modify subpoenas requesting client testimony or release of confidential patient records.
  • Represent clients in Medicaid audits and appeals of adverse findings.

Real Estate and Business Transactions

  • Experience drafting and reviewing commercial lease agreements and amendments for corporate clients.
  • Representation of clients in various real property transactions, including acquisitions, sales, finance, commercial/residential real estate closings, environmental and condemnation litigation.
  • Representation of numerous state and federally chartered banks and financial institutions located in the Southeast and beyond in commercial lending transactions.
  • Representation of financial institutions in structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing sales of accounts receivable, loans secured by accounts receivable, chattel paper, inventory, equipment or other real and personal property.

Business & Complex Litigation

  • Representation of corporate clients in products liability, breach of contract, insurance coverage disputes, and negligent security matters, drafting and arguing motions for summary judgment, motions to compel, and taking and defending depositions.
  • Served as second chair in successful defense of putative class action and mass tort action relating to PCE and TCE contamination in groundwater in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Representation of corporate client in hazardous waste cleanup action by the state of Pennsylvania, and facilities compliance with the Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • Representation of corporate clients and governmental authorities in collection matters, including pre-suit demands and litigation.

Labor & Employment Litigation & Counseling

  • Representation of numerous employers in matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including responding to Charges of Discrimination.
  • Representation of employers in federal court against claims involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • Providing employer counseling on termination and separations, hiring practices, wage and hour issues, unemployment compensation and other aspects of the employer/employee relationship governed by state and federal laws. Experience includes drafting workplace policies, employment contracts, and employee handbooks.
  • Representation of clients in employee benefits law matters, including retirement and pension plans, conversion of governmental plans into private qualified retirement plans, IRS compliance, and issues unique to governmental plans.

Community Activities

  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
  • High School Mock Trial Committee YLD
  • Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta