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Pillars of Justice

Brian Mendelsohn

GA Attorney Brian Mendelsohn

Brian Mendelsohn

Phone: (404) 885-8878



  • 1987 Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina (honors college)

  • 1990 Juris Doctorate, Columbia University School of Law

Professional Experience:

  • 1990 – 1995 – Staff Attorney, Georgia Appellate Practice and Education Resource Center

  • 1995 -2023 – First Assistant and Staff Attorney, Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Georgia


  • Handled over 1,100 federal criminal cases

  • 30+ Years of  Criminal Trial and Appellate Experience

  • Proven track record of positive outcomes for clients 


Brian Mendelsohn has been a criminal defense attorney for his entire three-decade legal career and is widely regarded as one of the top federal criminal trial lawyers in Atlanta.  Brian has won more federal criminal trials than most attorneys in Georgia have even tried.  From 1995 to 2023, Brian was an attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Georgia and was the First Assistant (Deputy Director) for seventeen years. While maintaining an active caseload, Brian was also responsible for supervising the office’s 27 trial lawyers. Over the course of his career, Brian has successfully defended clients charged with all types of federal crimes, including mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, bank and mortgage fraud, securities fraud, bribery, improper prescribing of opioids, drug trafficking, bank and armed robbery, child pornography and sex offenses, civil rights and excessive force, terrorism, murder, carjacking, explosives, firearms possession and trafficking, identity theft, and prison contraband smuggling.  Brian has forcefully and effectively gone up against the U.S Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, the Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Georgia State Patrol, the Atlanta Police Department, and many local law enforcement agencies. 

Brian started his legal career in 1990 as a death penalty appeals attorney.  At a time when Georgia was known as “the buckle of the death belt,” Brian fought on behalf of some of the most despised individuals in the state -- those on Georgia’s death row. Brian took numerous men off of death row and made the world realize that these men were more than the horrible crimes for which they were convicted.  In telling their stories, Brian learned how to change the narrative of a case in a way that gets results for a client.  Brian handled capital cases for over 25 years at both the trial and appellate levels. Among Brian’s notable death penalty clients are Eric Robert Rudolph, who avoided a death sentence in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park Bombing case, and Brian Richardson who received a life sentence from a jury in 2013 after a hard fought 12-week federal death penalty trial. The United States Attorney’s Office in Atlanta has not brought another capital prosecution since losing so convincingly in that trial.

Brian also represented four detainees who were held at Guantanamo Bay during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brian and his co-counsel were able to secure the release of three of these men. For this work, Brian and the other lawyers who worked on behalf of those imprisoned at Guantanamo were awarded the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award by the Southern Center for Human Rights.

Bar Admissions:

  • State Bar of Georgia

  • Georgia Supreme Court

  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

  • United States Supreme Court

  • LinkedIn

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