Joseph B. Atkins is Of Counsel with Downey & Cleveland, LLP in Marietta, Georgia.

Joe is a litigator who also serves as a hearing officer, and legal and policy counselor.

His clients benefit from his seasoned judgment forged during well over three decades as a law firm partner, interim county attorney, lobbyist, chair of his county ethics board, and board member of a governmental authority.

Joe is the board attorney for the City of Marietta Historic Board of Review, City of Marietta Historic Preservation Commission, and City of Marietta Civil Service Board.

Joe represents local governments, businesses, and individuals in matters involving Americans with Disabilities Act, local government, land use, wireless telecommunications permitting, storm water, civil rights, voting rights and redistricting, governmental ethics, personal injury, premises liability, and property damage litigation.

He has served as lead counsel in thousands of hearings, trials, and appeals in state and federal courts, the Georgia Public Service Commission, the Georgia Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, and local governing authorities and their hearing boards.

Joe has also advised local governments in major infrastructure projects, such as the zoning and construction of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves Truist Park, the Battery Atlanta, and the courthouse for the Superior Court of Cobb County.

Legal Assistant

Donna Fossett
770-422-3233, ext. 1271

Practice Areas

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  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Georgia, 1984
  • Juris Doctorate, University of Georgia, 1987

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Georgia State and Superior Courts

Professional & Community Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Lawyers Foundation of Georgia
  • Cobb County Bar Association
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association

Published Decisions & Significant Matters

  • Amberfield Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Young, 346 Ga. App. 29, 813 S.E.2d 29 (2018)
  • Crumly v. Cobb County Bd. of Elections and Voter Registration, 892 F.Supp.2d 1333 (N.D. Ga. 2012)
  • T-Mobile South LLC v. Cobb County, Ga., 2011 WL 336641 (N.D. Ga. 2011)
  • Cobb County v. Georgia Transmission Corp., 276 Ga. 367, 578 S.E.2d 852 (2003)
  • Smith v. Cobb County Bd. of Elections and Registration, 230 F.Supp.2d 1313 (N.D. Ga. 2002)
  • Johnson v. Hamrick, 196 F.3d 1216 (11th Cir. 1999)
  • Askew v. City of Rome, 127 F.3d 1355 (11th Cir. 1997)
  • Lead Zoning Counsel to Board of Commissioners of Cobb County for $1 Billion Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball Stadium and Mixed Use Project (2013-2014)
  • Advisor to Statewide Associations of Local Governments and Legislators Regarding Georgia’s Mobile Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act (O.C.G.A. § 36-66B-1 et seq.) (2008-2014)
  • Lead Counsel to Board of Commissioners of Cobb County on Redistricting Matters Following Decennial Census (2002 & 2012)
  • Lead Counsel to Cobb County Government on Ethics and Pre-Clearance Matters Related to Tax Allocation District Referendum, Bond Referenda, and numerous SPLOST Referenda (2005-2012)

Community Involvement

  • Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority (Member 2020-present)
  • Cobb County Board of Ethics (Member 2015-2020, Chair 2019-2020)
  • Cobb County Chamber of Commerce
  •  Boy Scout Troop 713, St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (Scoutmaster 2012-2016, Troop Committee (2016-2022)
  •  Rotary Club of Marietta, Board of Directors
  • Marietta Reads, Volunteer
  • Peachtree Road United Methodist Church