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Jeffrey Ertel

Georgia Attorney Jeff Ertel

Jeffrey Ertel

Phone: (404) 885-8878



  • (1979) Bachelors of Science State University College of New York at Buffalo

  • (1992) Juris Doctorate, State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law

Professional Experience:

  • 1992 – 1995 – Staff Attorney, Georgia Appellate Practice and Education Resource Center

  • 1995 -1996 – Staff Attorney, Multi-County  Defender. 

  • 1996 -2023 – Senior Litigation Attorney and Staff Attorney, Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Georgia


  • Handled over 1,000 federal felony cases

  • Tried over 50 federal criminal cases

  • Handled over 150 criminal appeals, including to the United States Supreme Court

  • Defended 10 Death Penalty Cases at The Trial Level

  • Removed 10 men from death row

  • Adjunct Professor of Law at Emory University

  • Trained lawyers across the country in trial skills and death penalty litigation


Jeffrey Ertel has been a criminal defense attorney his entire 31year career, defending those charged with the most serious felony offenses.  Jeff has built a national reputation based on his extensive preparation, exhaustive investigation, dogged litigation and skillful appellate advocacy.  He has represented clients in state and federal courts in Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Texas, South Carolina and Georgia.  The basic principle Jeff holds most dear is that everyone deserves the best defense when charged by the government, regardless of whether they are innocent or not.

Jeff graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, Magna Cum Laude.  He moved to Georgia and worked for the Georgia Appellate Practice and Resource Center where he represented clients sentenced to death in the State of Georgia from 1992 to 1995.   When the Resource Center lost federal funding and had to cut staff, Jeff was hired at the Multi-County Public Defender (MCPD), an organization that represented people charged in death penalty cases in Georgia.  At MCPD, Jeff directly represented clients, none of whom received a death sentence.  He also consulted on a number of cases around the state.  In 1996, Jeff began working for the Federal Defender Program, Inc. (FDP), in Atlanta where he not only continued to represent death-sentenced Georgia clients in habeas corpus proceedings, but he also began representing clients charged with serious felonies in Federal Court.  In 2006, Jeff was named Senior Litigation Attorney, a supervisory position, with the FDP, which he held until he decided to start his own law firm in 2023.  In his career at the FDP Jeff has handled well over one thousand federal felony cases; has tried more than 50 federal felony cases; and has appealed over 150cases, including to the Supreme Court of the United States.  All totaled, Jeff has won the appeals of 10 death-row inmates who are no longer on death row, and successfully defended 10 other death penalty cases at the trial level. 

Jeff was an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law and since 1996 he has trained lawyers from all over the United States at national death penalty seminars and trainings.  In addition, he has trained lawyers throughout Georgia at death penalty and federal trial seminars and trainings. 

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