Brian Tanner is a former federal prosecutor and seasoned lawyer with a proven track record of success. Brian represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of civil matters, and he has significant experience representing clients harmed by the negligence or intentional acts of others — recovering millions for his clients. Drawing on his experience as a former prosecutor, Brian also specializes in defending individuals and businesses in government white collar investigations and against allegations of civil fraud. Brian leads the firm’s appellate practice.
Brian returned to private practice in 2018 after over a decade in public service, capping off his career as the Attorney General-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brian maintained a robust trial practice, specializing in the prosecution of complex criminal fraud, public corruption, and cybercrime. Twice recognized by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his outstanding skills as a prosecutor, Brian handled some of the most high-profile matters in the office during his distinguished service.
Brian also served as the Appellate Chief during his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In that role, Brian was responsible for briefing hundreds – and arguing more than a dozen – of civil and criminal appeals before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Beginning in 2017, Tanner served as a member of the Attorney General’s Appellate Chiefs Working Group, a national body of appellate lawyers selected from each federal circuit that advised senior Department of Justice leadership on issues of emerging appellate import.
Brian received his undergraduate degree with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his law degree from the Emory University School of Law, where he graduated second in his class, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served as a managing editor of the Emory Law Journal. He began his legal career with prestigious clerkships with two federal judges: Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., of the Eleventh Circuit.
Following his clerkships, Brian joined the international law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP as a litigation associate. There he represented companies and individuals in high-stakes cases involving securities fraud, copyright and trademark issues, class actions, and antitrust.
R. Brian Tanner was born in Savannah and raised in Statesboro. He lives with his wife and his two sons in Savannah.
- Negotiated $900,000+ pre-suit settlement of dram shop action against restaurant that excessively served alcohol to patron, resulting in fatal car crash.
- Helped secure $800,000+ settlement of claims related to dockworker injured by negligent operation of crane.
- Settled case of longshoreman injured by deficient light conditions and unsafe and unmarked hatches aboard cargo vessel for $400,000+.
- Successfully resolved claims by union members against union and employers regarding unfair application of union’s seniority and work assignment system, resulting in restoration of seniority and payment of attorney fees.
- Led public corruption trial against former Savannah police chief accused of decade-long prosecution of gambling operation centered on annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
- Led prosecution of massive gas-shorting fraud at three travel stations along I-95 corridor that was facilitated through bribes paid to state agricultural inspectors.
- Led prosecution of 23-member conspiracy engaged in elaborate operation to obliterate and replace vehicle identification numbers, create counterfeit state vehicle titles, and resell high-end stolen vehicles.
- Investigated and successfully prosecuted sheriff and deputy sheriff of Dodge County (Ga.) for vote buying and voter intimidation during federal election.
- On appeal, preserved trial victory despite district court’s ex parte communications with the jury on substantive legal issues during complex, lengthy fraud trial.
- On appeal, preserved mortgage-fraud convictions and sentence of local businesswoman ostensibly involved in assisting distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure.
- On appeal, preserved trial victory and rebutted claims of ineffective penalty-phase counsel in death-penalty case involving murder of small-town postal employee during botched robbery.
- On appeal, crafted argument in a complex criminal case that, while rejected by the panel, was adopted by the United States Supreme Court.
- U.S. Attorney (Attorney General-appointed) (2017)
- Appellate Chief (2011-2018)
- Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Coordinator (2009-2011)
- Assistant United States Attorney (2006-2011)
Awards, Recognition, and Memberships
- FBI Director Robert Mueller, Commendation for Demonstrated Excellence, Prosecutive Skills and Outstanding Service (2011)
- FBI Director James Comey, Commendation for Demonstrated Excellence, Prosecutive Skills and Outstanding Service (2014)
- Attorney General’s Appellate Chiefs Working Group (2017)