Abernathy Ditzel, the Marietta family law firm that Jeremy Abernathy and Sean Ditzel started almost two years ago, is growing. The firm is adding two name partners—Jordan Hendrick from Sandy Springs firm Stout Kaiser and associate Mark Bryce, whom they are promoting to partner—and becoming Abernathy Ditzel Hendrick Bryce on Jan. 1.
Business had been good, Ditzel said, so he and Abernathy in August bought an office condo right off the Marietta Square at 319 Atlanta St., which gave them more space. That prompted them to think about expanding. Ditzel said he’d known Hendrick for several years from handling cases against each other, and the two had become friends.
The four partners, ranging in age from 30-year-old Bryce to 40-year-old Hendrick, are part of the next generation of family law attorneys in Marietta.
“Marietta is changing. There’s a need for a younger generation of family law attorneys,” Ditzel said. “We’re young, but we’re thinking like we’re in it for the long haul.”
The partners have plenty of connections to Marietta, where they live. Ditzel and Abernathy went to middle school together in Cobb County and then reconnected through the Cobb Bar Association. Abernathy also is a pastor on Sundays at Noonday Missionary Baptist Church, where Bryce plays in the church band. The church has a more than 180-year history in Marietta.
While they are rooted in Marietta, Ditzel said, they take cases all over the state, adding that most of their business is through referrals.
Ditzel and Hendrick have exclusively family law practices while Abernathy and Bryce also handle some plaintiffs, probate and juvenile law work.
Abernathy secured a $3.2 million Fulton County jury verdict in a wrongful death case in July with lead plaintiffs attorney Thomas Reynolds and Isaac Tekie of Reynolds Law Group. They represented the family of a disabled veteran, Antoine Hendrix, who was strangled to death when his motorized wheelchair went through a bottom railing on his Villa Rica apartment’s patio, pinning him by the throat to the top railing. The plaintiffs had collected the policy limit of $1 million from the apartment complex’s primary insurer, and the trial was over additional damages from the complex’s excess coverage carrier. The $1 million was deducted from the verdict.