Our Team

Paul E. Andrew - Founder | Partner
pandrew@amrslaw.com
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Paul specializes in contracts and contract disputes, construction law, corporate law, business organization and litigation, shareholder disputes, employment litigation, and real property litigation. A 1987 graduate of the University of Georgia, Paul earned his law degree with honors from Georgia State University in 1990. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (Member, Sections on: Labor; International Law) and the American Bar Association (Member, Section on Labor and Employment Law). Paul was born in Decatur, Georgia on January 19, 1963 and has previously practiced law as an Associate with Fisher & Phillips (Atlanta, Georgia), as well as with Thompson & Sweeney, P.C. (Lawrenceville, Georgia).

Steven M. Reilly - Founder | Partner
sreilly@amrslaw.com
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Steve's legal expertise lies in divorce/family law and criminal defense. In addition, he represents clients in other areas of civil practice, including small business and personal injury matters. Steve graduated from law school at the University of Georgia in 1986, having received his bachelors degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia three years earlier. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Gwinnett County Bar Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is also a certified mediator, handling cases in the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit.

Steve has been a resident of Gwinnett County since 1975. After graduating from law school, he became an officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he practiced law as a military attorney. In 1990, Mr. Reilly was honorably discharged from the Army and entered private law practice in Lawrenceville.

Steve Reilly has been active in the Gwinnett County community, having previously served as a board member of the Gwinnett United Way and the Gwinnett County Boys & Girls Clubs. He is a 1996 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. Also active in politics, Steve was the Democratic nominee for the United States Congress in Georgia's 7th U.S. House district in 2012.

Christine Kendall - Legal Assistant
ckendall@amrslaw.com
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Christine Kendall joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2015 as paralegal to Paul Andrew, assisting in all civil litigation matters. Arriving in the Atlanta metropolitan area in 2000 she worked several years at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in product liability, employment and business litigation. Christine is a long-ago New York transplant journeying through Chicago, Charlotte, Raleigh and even Pasadena always working in civil & business litigation. She is now sold on the milder winters and the smaller law firm environment.

Katy Clarke - Paralegal
kclarke@gmail.com
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Katy joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2002 and serves as paralegal to Steve Reilly, overseeing domestic relations and criminal defense matters.

Katy resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Georgia Fiduciary Group

Estates | Conservatorships | Trusts

Michael T. Smith - Founder | Partner
MSmith@amrslaw.com
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Mike is a professional fiduciary, serving clients all over the State of Georgia for the last thirty (30) years as a court appointed and privately nominated Administrator and Executor for estates and Conservator and Trustee for incapacitated adults and minor children. In these roles, Mike serves on over 300 active cases at time and manages in excess of $100,000,000.00.

Beginning in 1993, Mike has served as County Administrator/County Conservator for the Probate Court of Gwinnett County and has represented decedent estates and conservatorships of minors and adults in both legal and fiduciary capacities. In 2021, Mike was appointed to serve as County Administrator/County Conservator for the Probate Courts of Cobb County and Athens-Clarke County. In addition to these court appointed cases, Mike accepts private appointments to serve as estate representative through the Wills and estate plans of private individuals, and he accepts appointments as Conservator and Trustee to receive wrongful death, personal injury, and worker's compensation settlements.

In these capacities, Mike and his team at Georgia Fiduciary Group provide boutique fiduciary services, including drafting and filing initial pleadings and Trusts in probate and superior courts; administering estates, conservatorships, and trusts; asset management through carefully selected and trusted financial advisors; real and personal property management; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing estates, conservatorships, and trusts.

Mike is a life-long resident of Dacula, Georgia, having graduated from Dacula High School in 1985. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia in Geography (1989), and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University College of Law (1992). Mike is married to wife Jennifer, and has three children, Austin (Auburn University), Landon (University of Georgia), and Morgan (Hebron). The family attends Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula.

Hillary Cranford - Director of Fiduciary Services | Senior Attorney
hcranford@amrslaw.com
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Hillary is a professional fiduciary, serving clients all over the State of Georgia as a court appointed and privately nominated Administrator and Executor for estates and Conservator and Trustee for incapacitated adults and minor children. In these roles, Hillary serves on approximately 100 active cases.

From 2007 to 2014, Hillary served as staff attorney for the Gwinnett County Probate Court and law clerk for Judges Walter J. Clarke and Christopher A. Ballar. In 2014, Hillary was sworn in as the first Associate Judge of the Cobb County Probate Court, as appointed by Judge Kelli Wolk. In 2015, Hillary returned to Gwinnett and was sworn in as the first Associate Judge of the Gwinnett County Probate Court, where she served alongside Judge Ballar until June, 2019. Hillary joined the firm in July, 2019. In 2020, Hillary was sworn in as the second County Administrator/County Conservator for Gwinnett County, to serve alongside Michael T. Smith. In 2021, Hillary was appointed as County Administrator/County Conservator for the Probate Courts of Cobb County, Rockdale County, Athens-Clarke County, and Sumter County. In addition to these court appointed cases, Hillary accepts private appointments to serve as estate representative through the Wills and estate plans of private individuals, and she accepts appointments as Conservator and Trustee to receive wrongful death, personal injury, and worker's compensation settlements.

In these capacities, Hillary and her team at Georgia Fiduciary Group provide boutique fiduciary services, including drafting and filing initial pleadings and Trusts in probate and superior courts; administering estates, conservatorships, and trusts; asset management through carefully selected and trusted financial advisors; real and personal property management; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing estates, conservatorships, and trusts.

Hillary is the current editor of the Probate Judge's Handbook and Benchbook, published through the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia. The Handbook is available to attorneys throughout the State of Georgia and can be accessed through www.gaprobate.gov. In addition, Hillary is honored to be called upon to return each year to the Council of Probate Court Judges spring training to speak to Georgia's probate judges on estate and guardianship matters. Hillary also enjoys conducting regular trainings on estate planning for the Gwinnett County Human Resources program for county retirees, various continuing education courses through local county bar associations, and other programs at local civic group gatherings.

Hillary grew up in Douglasville, Georgia and currently resides in Suwanee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia (2004) with degrees in both English and Advertising. Hillary obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law (2007).

Ali E. Grant - Lead Attorney
agrant@amrslaw.com
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Ali jointed Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2018, specializes in the areas of fiduciary services, trust services, conservatorship management, and the administration of estates.

Ali and her team at Georgia Fiduciary Group provide boutique fiduciary services, including drafting and filing initial pleadings and Trusts in probate and superior courts; administering estates, conservatorships, and trusts; asset management through carefully selected and trusted financial advisors; real and personal property management; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing estates, conservatorships, and trusts.

Ali grew up in Buford, Georgia. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia (2012) and earned her Juris Doctor from Georgia State University (2018). Ali currently resides in Sugar Hill.

Ryan A. Carnes - Attorney
rcarnes@amrslaw.com
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Ryan joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2022, specializing in the area of fiduciary services and the administration of estates.

Ryan and the team at Georgia Fiduciary Group provide boutique fiduciary services, including drafting and filing initial pleadings and Trusts in probate and superior courts; administering estates, conservatorships, and trusts; asset management through carefully selected and trusted financial advisors; real and personal property management; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing estates, conservatorships, and trusts.

Ryan grew up in Winder, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia (2018) with a degree in Finance from the Terry College of Business and earned his Juris Doctor from Mercer University (2021). During law school, Ryan clerked for Judge Christopher A. Ballar at the Gwinnett County Probate Court. Ryan currently resides in Lawrenceville.

Andrea Wagner - Senior Paralegal | Adult Conservatorships and Trusts Firm Administrator
awagner@amrslaw.com
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Andrea joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 1995 and serves as the firm's Senior Paralegal managing adult conservatorships and trusts.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group team, Andrea's duties include drafting and filing initial pleadings in probate and superior courts; administering adult conservatorship and trust estates; managing client relationships; real and personal property management; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing adult conservatorships and trusts.

Andrea is a long-time Gwinnett County resident, graduating from Norcross High School (1994). She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University. Andrea currently resides in Hall County, Georgia.

Kim Seo - Paralegal | Minor Conservatorships and Estates
kseo@amrslaw.com
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Kimberly joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith as a paralegal in 2021, managing decedent estates and minor conservatorships. Prior to joining the firm, Kimberly worked for the Gwinnett County Probate Court as a compliance clerk and calendar coordinator for Judge Christopher A. Ballar. Kimberly is fluent in Spanish and Korean.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group team, Kim's duties include drafting and filing initial pleadings in probate and superior courts; administering decedent estates and minor conservatorships; preparing annual returns; managing client relationships; interpreting for our Spanish and Korean speaking clients; tax matters; and successfully discharging and closing decedent estates and minor conservatorships.

Kimberly holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Clayton State University (2016), and she currently resides in Newnan, Georgia.

Christie Kesler- Comptroller
ckesler@amrslaw.com
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Christie joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2016 as Financial Comptroller for the Georgia Fiduciary Group team.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group financial team, Christie's duties include opening and closing all financial accounts; reconciling all financial accounts; reporting on all financial accounts; assisting with the financial components of the administration of all estates, adult and minor conservatorships, and trusts; and managing relationships with clients, banks, and financial advisors.

Christie was born and raised in Gwinnett County, Georgia, graduating from Meadow Creek High School. She and her husband live in Hoschton with their two children. Christie is an active volunteer with Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center and attends Free Chapel Worship Center.

Hanna Thomas - Financial Assistant
hthomas@amrslaw.com
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Hanna jointed Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith in 2020 and works as the financial assistant to our Comptroller.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group financial team, Hanna's duties include providing essential support to our Comptroller; reconciling all financial accounts; managing accounts payable for all estates, adult and minor conservatorships, and trust; assisting with the financial components of the administration of all estates, adult and minor conservatorships, and trusts; and managing relationships with clients, banks, and financial advisors.

Hanna was raised in Flowery Branch, Georgia and graduated from Johnson High School (2015). She serves alongside her husband as a Youth Pastor at Free Chapel Worship Center and currently resides in Sugar Hill.

Jordan Mitchell - Property Manager
jmitchell@amrslaw.com
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Jordan joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith, LLP in 2020 and manages all real and personal property of estates, incapacitated adults, minors, and trusts. Prior to joining the firm, Jordan worked in the Gwinnett County Solicitor's Office as a legal associate in Judge Rhonda Colvin Leary's courtroom.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group team, Jordan's duties include securing and maintaining all real property; confirming all real and personal property is insured; coordinating the sales of real property; liquidating and distribution all personal property; managing relationships with clients and their attorneys; and assisting with the property component of the administration of all estates, adult and minor conservatorships, and trusts.

Jordan was raised in Walnut Grove, Georgia and graduated from Walnut Grove High School (2018). He currently resides in Monroe and will soon marry his fiancé, Isabella.

Elizabeth Simmons - Legal Assistant
esimmons@amrslaw.com
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Elizabeth joined Andrew, Merritt, Reilly & Smith, LLP in 2021 as a legal assistant after graduating Magna Cum Laude from The Pennsylvania State University (2020) with a degree in Risk Management and a minor in Business Law.

As a member of the Georgia Fiduciary Group team, Elizabeth's provides essential support to our estate, minor conservatorship, adult conservatorship, and trust teams.

Elizabeth lives in Flowery Branch and is an active volunteer at Free Chapel Worship Center, where she serves in the children and youth ministries.