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Hon. Gail S. Tusan
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Hon. Gail S. Tusan Senior Judge

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Employment Law
Family Law
Health Care
Higher Education & Title IX
Personal Injury
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Gail S. Tusan, Senior Judge brings more than 30 years of judicial service in various Georgia jurisdictions to her practice at JAMS. Most recently, Judge Tusan retired from her sixth elected term as a superior court judge in Fulton County. During her time on the superior court, Judge Tusan served two successful terms as chief judge, and played an active role in the design and launch of the Family Division, which implemented a case management system featuring mediations and judicially hosted settlement conferences where she also served for over a decade.

Since joining JAMS, Judge Tusan has served as mediator and arbitrator for disputes involving commercial contracts, real estate disputes, distributor/supplier agreements, family business and family law matters, FLSA and employment contracts and discrimination and civil rights issues. Many of these matters have involved multiple parties. Recently, Judge Tusan has handled several matters using video technology to allow for ADR processes to be conducted remotely.

Judge Tusan’s diverse career and extensive legal and community service have garnered her a reputation for building consensus during disputes and forging partnerships among the legal community, government and the public they serve. She is frequently asked to participate in educational programming for the legal community.

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Tusan practiced civil litigation in a variety of areas, including intellectual property, unfair competition, franchise law, family law and other general business matters. 

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Regularly hosted judicial settlement conferences as an alternative to trial
  • Served 30 years on various Georgia courts, presiding over thousands of civil, family and criminal cases spanning numerous subject areas
  • Served as Fulton County Superior Court’s first deputy chief judge
  • Served two terms as chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court
  • Served 10 years in the Family Division of the Fulton County Superior Court and as chief judge of the Family Division
  • Chaired the Fulton County ADR Board

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Served as arbitrator in a dispute regarding fraud and deceptive practices regarding the sale of previously-owned vehicles
      • Served as mediator in a partnership dissolution dispute involving an event production company that included issues of business valuation and partnership buy-out
      • Served as arbitrator in dispute related to claims of fraudulent inventory of automotive resale lot
      • Managed cases involving factoring receivables, breach of contract, breach of consulting agreements, products liability, lease to purchase options, dissolution of professional partnerships, insurance claims, subrogation and indemnification matters, covenants not to compete and trade secrets, and fair dealing disputes
  • Construction
      • Served as arbitrator in a construction defect dispute between homeowners and a national retail home improvement company and their independent contractors
      • Managed cases involving construction defect, delayed payment claims, surety issues and subcontractor and developer payment disputes
  • Employment Law
      • Served as arbitrator in various wage and hour disputes including FLSA cases.
      • Served as arbitrator in an employment dispute related to discriminatory practices and civil rights violations
      • Served as arbitrator and mediator in unjust enrichment dispute related to contractual commission structure changes and payment
      • Served as arbitrator in contractual dispute arising out of consultant billings for services rendered to an online restaurant meal ordering service
      • Managed cases involving whistleblower, wage and hour, workers’ compensation, piece-rate compensation, labor, discrimination and wrongful termination disputes
  • Family Law
      • Served as mediator in a dispute between three members of the same family regarding a number of jointly-owned businesses
      • Served as mediator on several matters involving developing or modifying custody agreements and parenting plans, including interstate custody plans
      • Managed cases involving divorce, custody and modification issues, grandparent custody and visitation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, asset division, alimony and child support, dissolution of family businesses and termination of parental rights
  • Financial Markets
      • Served as arbitrator on a consumer credit card matter related to certain consumer law violations
      • Managed cases involving TILA claims and flex loan agreement disputes
  • Health Care
      • Managed cases involving Freedom of Information Act disclosures, hospital construction disputes, hospital certification and licensure issues and non-compete contractual disputes
  • Personal Injury
      • Managed cases involving serious personal injury and wrongful death actions, change of venue, Fabre issues, forum non conveniens, libel/slander, motor vehicle and water craft negligence, negligent security, premises liability, product liability and medical malpractice claims
      • Served as arbitrator in various personal injury matters seeking damages for medical expenses, punitive damages and attorney’s fees involving a micro-mobility company

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.


  • Logan E. Bleckley Award for Judicial Excellence, Litigation Section, Atlanta Bar Association, 2019
  • Empowerment Summit Trailblazer Award, Gate City Bar Association, 2018
  • Professionalism Award, Atlanta Bar Association, 2016
  • Woman of Influence, Atlanta Business League, 2015
  • Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore Legacy Award, Judicial Section, Gate City Bar Association, 2015
  • Distinguished Merit Award, Concerned Black Clergy, 2014
  • Community Leader of Faith Award, Day1, 2014
  • Henry Brown Service Award (Co-Recipient), First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 2013
  • Family First Award, Family Law Section, Atlanta Bar Association, 2012
  • Leah Ward Sears Distinction in Profession Legacy Award, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, 2009
  • Horace T. Ward Legacy Award, Judicial Section, Gate City Bar Association, 2007
  • Inductee, Academy of Women Achievers, YWCA of Greater Atlanta, 1995
  • LRE Supporter of the Year, Georgia Law-Related Education Consortium, 1991–1992
  • Distinguished Working Mother, Nu Lambda Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., 1991
  • Peace and Justice Community Service Award, MLK Center, 1991
  • Charter Inductee, John Muir High School Hall of Fame, 1989
  • Alumna, Leadership Atlanta, 1987–1988
  • Honoree, Outstanding Young People of Atlanta, 1986


  • Member, State Bar of Georgia, 1981–present
  • Member, Reputation & the Public Trust Committee, Atlanta Bar Association, 2015–present
  • Member; Access, Fairness, Public Trust & Confidence Committee; Judicial Council of Georgia; 2014–2018
  • Education Co-Chair, Annual Meeting, National Association of Women Judges, 2017
  • Board of Directors, Judicial Division, American Bar Association, 2010–2012
  • Chair, Judicial Section, Gate City Bar Association, 2009–2010
  • Chair, Judicial Section, Atlanta Bar Association, 2010
  • Founder, Georgia Association of Black Women Lawyers Foundation, Inc., 1993
  • Founding Member and President, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, 1983
  • Member, Georgia Commission on Family Violence and Commission on Child Support, 2001–2002
  • Chair, Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency, Supreme Court of Georgia, 1996–1999
  • President, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Georgia Council, 1999–2002
  • Board Member, Georgia Council, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, 1997–2002
  • Vice Chair, Legal Clinic for the Homeless, 1990
  • Vice President and Board Member, YMCA of Greater Atlanta, 1988–1990
  • President, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, 1988
  • Board Member, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, 1984–1988
  • Board Member and Co-Director, Camp Anytown, National Council of Christians and Jews, 1984–1986
  • Member, Georgia Council on Vocational Education, 1984–1986

Professional Activities

  • Interviewee, "Hon. Gail Tusan, JAMS and The Pave Foundation," North Fulton Business Radio, Episode 388, September 2021
  • Guest Speaker, Behind the Case podcast, Episode 2, Atlanta Attorney at Law Magazine – Attorneys to Watch 2020
  • Adjunct Professor, Emory University School of Law, 2014–present
  • Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Spelman College, 2018–present
  • Panelist, Jury Trials in Divorce – A Lost Art? Round II With A Touch Of Technology, Judge’s Perspective: What Divorce Lawyers Need to Know About Jury Trials, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE): State Bar Series, State Bar of Georgia Headquarters, 2018
  • Group Leader, Orientation to Professionalism, Georgia State University College of Law, 2018
  • Panelist; The National Youth Summit on Education, Justice and the U.S. Economy; The Leadership Academy at Morehouse College; 2017
  • Moderator, Civil Rights Lessons for Today’s Issues, National Association of Women Judges, 2015
  • Panelist, Family Law: Where Are We Going – What The Future Holds Judges’ Panel, Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2007
  • Panelist, Women Getting Down to Business Symposium, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, 2007
  • Presenter, Fatherhood Re-Entry Employment Consultative Session, Co-Hosted by The Center for Working Families, Inc. and Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Inc., TCWFI: Dunbar Neighborhood Center, 2007
  • Speaker, The Judicial Assistant – The Judge’s Catalyst for Positive Office Energy and Effective Transition or Change, Judicial Secretaries’ Seminar, Institute of Continuing Judicial Education , 2006
  • Panelist, Using Civility as a Tactical Tool in the Practice of Law, Monthly Luncheon, Association for Women Lawyers, 2006
  • Panelist, Second Annual Women’s Judicial Panel Discussion, co-hosted by Alston & Bird LLP and the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, Alston & Bird: Atlanta Office, 2006
  • Class Speaker, Prisons and Punishments I – Crime in America, Course Instructors: Steve Sencer and Kent B. Alexander, Emory University School of Law, 2005
  • Moderator, Getting Elected or Selected: A Woman’s View, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, 2005
  • Speaker, The American Jury, We the People in Action, Law Week USA, NPU-C, 2005
  • Lecturer, A Glimpse at Family Law from Behind the Bench, Georgia State University College of Law, 2005
  • Panelist, Quality Standards for Batterer’s Intervention Program Utilized As Sentencing Resources, 2003
  • Annual Judicial Seminar for Superior Court Judges, Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, State Bar of Georgia, 2003
  • Moderator, How to Represent Your Client With Dignity, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, 2001
  • Group Leader, Orientation to Professionalism, Emory University School of Law, 2001
  • Guest Speaker, African American History Month, D.M. Therrell High School, 2000
  • Guest Speaker, Monthly Membership Meeting, Atlanta Junior Chamber of Commerce, 2000
  • Keynote Speaker, Black Law Students Association, University of Alabama School of Law, 1994
  • Legal Expert, Channel 11’s Noon-Day Show (WXIA-TV) and GABWA’s Legally Speaking Series, Atlanta Cable Television Broadcasts

Background and Education

  • Trial Judge, Superior Court of Fulton County, 1995–2019
  • Trial Judge, State Court of Fulton County, 1992–1995
  • Judge, City Court of Atlanta, 1990–1992
  • Magistrate Judge (Pro Hac), Magistrate Court of Fulton County, 1986–1990
  • Administrative Law Judge (Pro Hac), Office of Contract Compliance & Bureau of Vehicles for Hire, 1984–1986
  • Of Counsel, Joyner Law Offices, 1986–1990
  • Associate; Asbill, Porter, Churchill, & Nellis; 1984–1986
  • Associate, Kilpatrick & Cody, 1981–1984
  • Intern, United States Department of Justice, Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys and the Commercial Litigation Section of the Civil Division, 1980–1981
  • J.D., George Washington University School of Law, 1981
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1978


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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