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Cary Ichter, ESQ.

Cary Ichter, ESQ.

Cary Ichter’s story is the American Dream come true, with hard work, tenacity, and determination at its core. Cary’s family settled in Douglasville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, where he attended high school. Cary began debating as a high school junior, and upon graduation, he was offered a full debate scholarship at the University of West Georgia (then known as West Georgia College). West Georgia has historically had one of the best debate programs in the United States. With tuition and books covered, Cary funded the balance of his college and living expenses by working at Kroger, where he unloaded trucks and stocked shelves at night. While at the University of West Georgia, Cary participated in debate for four years, maintained a rigorous class schedule during the day, and, at night drove from Carrolton to Douglasville to work at Kroger.

In his final year of school, Cary accomplished two impressive feats. First, he ran for President of the West Georgia Student Government Association, making his campaign promise that he would quit his job at Kroger and dedicate that time to running Student Government and tending to the interests of his fellow students. Cary won that election, and true to form, he resigned from Kroger so that he could devote his time to tending to his duties as President of Student Government. Additionally, as a college senior, Cary and his partner were ranked number seven (#7) in the country and received a first-round bid to the National Debate Tournament. That same year, Cary received the Southern Debater of the Year award from Sanford University.

Cary moved on to great success at the University of Georgia Law School where in 1984, he graduated magna cum laude, became a member of the Order of the Coif, was a member of the Georgia Law Review, and was published in Volume 18 of the Georgia Law Review.

Cary’s dedication and tenancy landed him a coveted position in the litigation department of Powell Goldstein, then considered to be the finest litigation law firm in Atlanta under one of its most revered trial attorneys, Jerry Blackstock. Mr. Blackstock saw something in young Ichter. While most young lawyers rarely saw the interior of a courtroom, Cary was soon trying cases, initially second chair, and eventually as lead counsel. Mr. Blackstock had Cary work alongside him representing Delta Air Lines, State Farm Insurance Company, as well as international real estate investment entities and technology companies.

Cary had been at Powell Goldstein little more than seven years when he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started his own firm, founding Meadows, Ichter & Trigg with Dart Meadows and Mark Trigg. While they started the firm with a secretary and a part-time paralegal, the firm grew rather rapidly. In 2000, when Mark Trigg left the firm, former Georgia Attorney Mike Bowers became a name partner in the firm, creating Meadows, Ichter & Bowers.

The firm grew to be as large as the litigation departments of Atlanta’s largest law firms and every bit as formidable. Meadows, Ichter & Bowers handled business litigation, representing corporate entities and individuals, enjoying tremendous success in and out of the courtroom. By 2003, Meadows, Ichter & Bowers had grown to more than 30 lawyers and more than 50 employees. That same year, the partners were persuaded to merge with Balch & Bingham, a prominent Birmingham, Alabama law firm.

While at Balch & Bingham, Cary handled business litigation throughout the country and was a rising star in the Atlanta legal community. In 2003, Cary acted as lead trial counsel for EarthLink in a three-week jury trial in Columbus, Ohio. Cary’s local counsel in that case was Thompson Hine, a firm that had recently opened an office in Atlanta. Thompson Hine recruited Cary to join its Atlanta office as its lead litigator.

As Cary was contemplating an offer of partnership with Thompson Hine, he was approached by Adomo Yoss of Miami, Florida, the then largest minority-owned law firm in the country, and offered a partnership. Unfortunately, with the financial crisis that followed, Adorno was unable to pay its producers. So, Cary decided to leave with colleague, Jim Thomas (formerly of McKenna Long) and two other lawyers to establish Ichter Thomas in 2009.

Although the firm was formed at the beginning of the financial crisis, Ichter Thomas flourished, representing large and small businesses and individuals. Cary quickly became high-profile for his handling of cases other lawyers would not touch. In particular, Cary represented guarantors in collection cases-an area of considerable demand after the financial crisis. In what was virtually unprecedented performance, Cary beat back motions for summary judgment in those cases, took the cases to jury trials, and obtained results for his clients that resulted in their having to pay nothing to the plaintiff banks.

Cary also successfully represented a number of franchisees in litigation seeking to rescind their franchise relationships with various franchisors, obtaining awards worth millions of dollars to his clients.

Cary has represented the Development Authority of Fulton County in litigation since 2009. In particular, Cary prevailed in a case in which individual taxpayers challenged and sought to unravel $5 billion of development bond transactions. Cary won that $5 billion case by way of summary judgment, which the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed in SJN Properties, LLC v. Fulton County Board of Accessors, 296 Ga. 793 (2015).

In connection with his development bond work, Cary was able to persuade the Georgia Court of Appeals to overrule a fourteen-year-old precedent. Additionally, Cary has been lead counsel in bond validation hearings in which over $15 billion of development bonds have been validated, financing projects that have brought thousands of jobs to the State of Georgia and Fulton County.

When Jim Thomas decided to return to McKenna Long, Cary formed Ichter Kresky, LLC with a well-known family law practitioner. In that capacity, he tried divorce cases involving a multi-million-dollar marital estate in a bench trial; he successfully handled a dispute involving the removal of the trustee from a family trust worth more than $70 million; and he successfully tried a divorce case to a jury – quite an unusual occurrence. As a consequence of this experience, today Cary considerable experience in handling family law matters and issues related to trusts and estates.

In 2016, Ichter Davis, a boutique law firm in Atlanta, was formed to handle commercial litigation, trust and estates disputes, and family law litigation for high-net-worth individuals. Cary Ichter and William Daniel Davis, also a former West Georgia College debater, have extensive experience in the courtroom, in corporate settings, and in championing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. This expertise sets them apart from other litigation firms. They work tirelessly to deliver results for their clients and are fiercely dedicated advocates both in and outside the courtroom.

Cary has also been acting as a court-appointed Special Master in various matters since 2005. Cary is typically appointed to act as a Special Master in complex commercial matters and mass tort and class action cases. In 2005, Cary joined the Academy of Court Appointed Masters (“ACAM”), (now called the Academy of Court Appointed Neutrals (“ACAN”)), the only national organization dedicated to educating the bench and bar on the appointment and use of Special Masters. In 2011, Cary was elected to the Board of ACAM. In 2013, he was elected President of the Academy, and in 2016 he became the first ACAM President ever to be re-elected.

As a consequence of his interest in the use of Special Masters by the courts, Cary took it upon himself to draft and to shepherd through the approval process Georgia’s Uniform Superior Court Rule governing the appointment and use of special masters in Georgia courts. Later, Cary was the Reporter (i.e., one of the primary drafters) of the ABA’s Guidelines for the Appointment and Use of Special Masters in State and Federal Court. The Guidelines were unanimously approved by the ABA House of Delegates in 2019.

In his prestigious career, Cary has tried over fifty jury trials on a wide range of issues, including franchise relationships, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, real estate disputes, personal injuries, fraud, partnership break-ups, collections, UCC sales issues, and other commercial disputes. Cary has also successfully handled cases involving software licensing, municipal bond financing, professional wrestling, employment disputes, restrictive covenants ancillary to employment agreements, trade secrets, misappropriation of business opportunities, and intellectual property disputes. Cary is widely recognized as one of the best and most active commercial litigation lawyers in the State of Georgia. His cases include:

  • Handling over $10 billion of contested bond validation proceedings for various Georgia development authorities
  • Handling bond validation for largest development project in Georgia history
  • Successfully defending a local development authority in $5 billion dispute concerning legality of bond financing transactions
  • Successfully defending guarantors in matters relating to over $7 million in real estate loan transactions
  • Successfully defending employer against pregnancy discrimination and FMLA claims in federal jury trial
  • Representing both employers and employees in federal discrimination cases
  • Representing several international franchise brands on a national basis, including quick and serve restaurants, athletic footwear and apparel stores, and hotel chains
  • Obtaining and collecting $850,000 award against an area developer on behalf of a regional childcare franchisor
  • Arbitrating a commercial products liability claim on behalf of a furniture company that received defective coating products and sustained a substantial commercial injury
  • Defending and prosecuting claims made under the Uniform Commercial Code related to the purchase and sale of ISP customer base
  • Prosecuting claims on behalf of the owners of intellectual property for copyright infringement and for the breach of licensing agreements
  • Representing franchisees in pursuing fraud claims against franchisors, resulting in millions of dollars of awards
  • Representing franchisors in collection of royalties and fees
  • More recently Cary represented the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority in connection with the validation of a $5 billion development bonds for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, LLC and Hyundai Motor America. The Hyundai project is the largest development project in Georgia history.


J.D, magna cum laude, University of Georgia (1984)

  • Editorial Board and Managing Board, Georgia Law Review
  • Order of the Coif
  • Published: Note, “Beyond Judicial Scrutiny”: Military Compliance with NEPA, 18 Ga. L. Rev. 639 (1984)

B.S., University of West Georgia (1981)

  • Southern Debater of the Year, 1981
  • President, Student Government Association


  • Admitted to practice in Georgia 1984-present
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • State Bar of Georgia


  • Board and President, Academy of Court Appointed Neutrals (2011-2021)
  • Georgia Bar, Future of the Courts Committee (2003-2004)
  • Trustee, University of West of Georgia Foundation (2004-2010)
  • Committee, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation (2006)
  • Committee, 18th & 19th Annual Hospice Atlanta Gala (2005-2006)
  • Committee, The Atlanta Committee for CARE (1998-2008)
  • Southeastern Council, MedShare (2010-2015)


  • Best Lawyers in America (2002-present)
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite (2002-present)
  • Georgia Super Lawyers (2004-present)
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