Sean L. Hynes is a partner with Downey & Cleveland, LLP in Marietta, Georgia.

Sean defends individuals, businesses, and companies in lawsuits involving automobile accidents, premises liability, slip-and-falls, food safety, and first-party claims.

With more than 25 years of litigation experience, Sean is often called upon clients to represent them in high exposure cases, and he regularly defends individuals and businesses in cases involving allegations of serious personal injury and wrongful death. Sean has served as lead counsel in more than 60 jury trials throughout Georgia, both at the state and federal level.

As an attorney, he has mediated more than 500 cases. In addition to his trial practice, Sean was lead counsel in numerous reported appellate cases, including Zaldivar v. Prickett, 297 Ga. 589 (2015) (construing the apportionment statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33); Newstrom v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 343 Ga. App. 576 (2017) (finding no valid UM claim in choice-of-law issue involving California policy and Georgia accident); and Colvard v. Mosley, 270 Ga. App. 104 (2004) (restricting the scope of chiropractic practice).

Sean also regularly speaks at continuing legal education seminars, including ICLE’s 38th Annual Insurance Law Institute (2019); the 51st GDLA Annual Meeting (2018); ICLE’s 34th Annual Insurance Law Institute (2015); ICLE’s 32nd Annual Insurance Law Institute (2013).

Sean has also presented and chaired ICLE’s Defense of a Personal Injury Claim in 2019 (Chair); 2017 (Chair); 2016 (Chair); 2015 (Chair), 2014 (Chair); 2013 (Chair); 2012 (Chair), and 2011. Sean has presented as a guest lecturer on jury selection at the Georgia State College of Law trial practice seminar for many years.

A native of Atlanta, Sean graduated from the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia School of Law. He joined Downey & Cleveland, LLP as an associate in 1998.

Legal Assistant

Kalie Payne

770-422-3233 x 1232

Representative Results

Trial Courts

  • State Court of DeKalb County
    Limited jury’s compensatory award to $3,731 and punitive damages to $3,369 in case involving defendant charged who DUI and did not appear at trial
  • State Court of Putnam County
    Obtained defense verdict when defendant received ticket for failure to yield and plaintiff suffered lumbar fracture and presented $83,000 in medical expenses to jury
  • Superior Court of White County
    Limited damages to the vehicle repair bill of $4,789 when the plaintiff introduced into evidence $17,000 in medical expenses
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
    Obtained defense verdict involving a slip-and-fall case inside gas station after jurors found that store’s surveillance video showed that plaintiff’s negligence caused her injuries
  • State Court of Cobb County
    Obtained defense verdict when defendant admitted to having three beers and being en route to package store, was at fault for the accident, and the plaintiff presented $32,000 in past medical expenses and alleged a need for future surgery in the amount of $266,000
  • Superior Court of Warren County
    Jury awarded $10,000 in total damages for wrongful death and apportioned 40 percent fault to decedent, rejecting request of plaintiff’s attorney for seven-figure award
  • State Court of Fulton County
    Obtained directed verdict for John Doe when the plaintiff to introduce into evidence any proof of applicable UM coverage
  • Superior Court of Barrow County
    Limited jury award to $2,543 when plaintiff presented past medical expenses of $25,000

Appellate Courts

  • Supreme Court of Georgia
    On writ of certiorari, obtained reversal of lower courts in favor of client, holding Georgia statute governing non-party fault permitted apportionment to plaintiff’s employer based upon negligent entrustment of company vehicle [pdf – appellate opinion]
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
    In a conflict of laws question involving a plaintiff who sought UM benefits under a California policy following a Georgia accident, appeals court determined that plaintiff’s execution of a general release was procedural in nature, meaning Georgia law applied and barred plaintiff’s recovery  [pdf – appellate opinion]
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
    Upholding exclusion of chiropractor’s expenses for testing that exceeded scope of chiropractic practice [pdf – appellate opinion]
Practice Areas

Practice Areas

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  • Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, University of Georgia, 1995
  • Juris Doctorate, University of Georgia, 1998

Court Admissions

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

Professional Memberships

  • Cobb County Bar Association
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Claims Association
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association