Awards / Distinctions
- Selected by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “People Who Have Courage” noting that Don has been fighting for the rights of abused children for 25 years
- Emory University bestowed the “Career Achievement Award for Public Policy and Child Advocacy”
- Named by the National Law Journal as one of the top three medical malpractice lawyers in the United States
- Called “The Voice of the Voiceless” by The Atlanta Globe
- “Internationally renowned child advocacy lawyer” by Points North Magazine
- “A famous advocate for children”, Business Chronicle
- Seven time recipient of “Top 100 Irish Americans” presented by Irish America Magazine
- 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor (only 100 awarded each year)
- 2008 Tradition of Excellence Award – State Bar of Georgia
Don has appeared on every major national news program including: 60 Minutes, 20/20, Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Montel, The O’Reilly Factor, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN and National Public Radio (NPR) addressing children’s issues.
In 1992, he became the youngest National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates and during his tenure, led a delegation of lawyers to Czechoslovakia and later was invited to Russia to produce the first civil trial in the history of those two emerging democracies. In 1997, he became National President of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the most exclusive group of trial lawyers in the country. In 1999, he was given the prestigious Chief Justice Award for Civility and Professionalism, the highest award possible for a lawyer in Georgia. He now serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, which trains the majority of new judges in the United States. In 1990 and again in 1992, he was named Trial Lawyer of the Year.
Don successfully handled the 1980’s U.S. Supreme Court case of Kathy Jo Taylor which was the first case in United States history to establish due process rights for foster children. Again in late 1999 he handled the nationally publicized case of Terrell Peterson, an abused foster child, who was on the cover of Time Magazine (11/2000) and was the subject of the highest rated 60 Minute story of the year. Both cases resulted in significant changes in the rights of children in state custody. In 2006 he obtained the largest US jury verdict on behalf of an abused child.