His office, an old brick building on the
corner of Spring Street and Linden Avenue,
is perfect for a lawyer who likes to move fast
and take things apart, because it used to be
the Red Vogt Garage. A master mechanic,
Vogt serviced the cars of moonshiners and
champion drivers from the 1920s to the
1950s; he even coined the name NASCAR.
There are still parking stripes on the floor
of Law’s third-floor office, and a 1967 GTO
convertible on the second floor, in Law’s
expansive and well-equipped workshop.
Law still loves working with his hands. He
“We’ve had people stop in just to take a
chops firewood, fixes broken appliances, and
works on cars. If it moves, it interests him.
“Trains, planes and automobiles,” he says.
The ’ 67 GTO is his. “Runs like a top.”
The lobby of the building features
some of Law’s other favorite toys: a 1938
Harley-Davidson Knucklehead and a 1942
Harley-Davidson WLA, a military bike that
evokes Captain America and sits just off
the corner of a 7-by-9-foot painting of
Abraham Lincoln by artist Alexi Torres.
Called Reconstructing the Classics IX, it’s a
depiction of the Lincoln Memorial painted
to look as though it were woven.
picture with the painting,” says Law.
The bikes also have their admirers. One
man who had been in a recent motorcycle
accident was shopping for a lawyer. “He
was in the middle of interviewing three
firms for a big case, as he should, and
looked at [the Knucklehead] and said, ‘This
is my favorite motorcycle ever. Do I even
need to go anywhere else?’ He hired us
because of the motorcycle.”
The second-floor workshop is for
business as well as pleasure. In May 2010,
Steve Wells was severely burned when
his apartment exploded because of an
uncapped dryer gas line. It was a difficult
set of circumstances to explain, so Law and
his team went to the workshop and built
a model of the utility room and gas line
where the problem erupted.
“Once you see it, it’s easy to understand,
and we wanted the jury to see it,” says Law,
whose team used the model throughout
the January 2015 trial. It led to a $73 million
verdict against the apartment complex
owners and the management company.
“That model was very useful at the trial
in explaining their case from the beginning
to the closing statements. It really helped
the jurors get a literal picture in their
minds,” says Y. Kevin Williams, a defense
attorney at the trial, and a top-rated civil
litigation lawyer in Georgia.
Williams is typical of the kind of
opposition Law gets. Defense firms tend to
send their ace when Law is working a case.
For instance, in the case of a 6-year-old
girl injured by a foul ball at Turner Field,
he’s facing former Georgia Supreme Court
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, who is
representing the Atlanta Braves.
“There are a number of these foul ball
cases, and most don’t make it to trial,” Law
says. “We’re working toward that, but we
might settle at any time, too.”
Law recently won another large,
confidential settlement on behalf of a client
in a tractor-trailer case, against a familiar foe.
“It was the highest figure I’ve paid in
17 years of practicing law and it makes
me want to vomit,” says Marschalk. She
opposed Law in that case, as she has in
numerous other cases through the years.
Their first meeting didn’t go as smoothly
as Marschalk would have liked. A simple
mediation turned into an invective-
riddled outburst when Law interrupted
Marschalk’s opening presentation.
“Pete gave this blustery presentation
and, when it was my turn, I was more harsh
than usual,” says Marschalk, who directed
her blunt comments toward Law’s client.
“So Pete said, ‘We’re not going to do this,
we’re done.’ Then I said, ‘You may be Pete
Law and I know that’s supposed to scare
me, but I sat through your bullshit, so you
sit there and listen.’”
That’s when Law slammed his notebook
shut and left the room, the two lawyers
spraying obscenities at each other,
according to Marschalk. (Law says he only
used PG language.) A few moments later,
a mortified Marschalk was sitting in a quiet
caucus room when she recalls the mediator
entered and calmly explained, “Barb, I
thought I was past the point of having to tell
you that saying, ‘Fuck you, I’ll see you at the
Fulton County Courthouse’ to Pete Law is
probably not the best way to start the day.”
They still settled the case by 11 that
night, eventually recognizing a kindred
spirit in each other.
“He’s a plaintiff’s lawyer through and
through,” Marschalk says, sighing out of
resignation rather than contempt. “But
he’s like me—a scrappy fighter, smart as
hell and dangerous in a courtroom.
“You need certain elements to be a
skilled trial lawyer,” she adds. “You can be
street-smart, well-versed in the law, good-
looking. If you’re just one of those things,
forget it. You need a combination of all
of the above, and Pete’s got it, and I hate
that I’m bragging on him, because he is my