Steve Pickens is a founding partner of Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP and leads the firm's litigation group. Mr. Pickens is a trial lawyer whose specialty is trying cases to a jury. He has tried cases all over Georgia and is often associated by other attorneys to help them try their cases. He has litigated over fifty civil jury trials to a verdict. During the course of his 25-year career, Mr. Pickens has applied his trial skills wherever his clients need them. He is just as comfortable litigating a medical negligence case as he is a case involving business fraud, contract law, or even eminent domain.
The wide application of Mr. Pickens’s skill set is demonstrated by the fact he is one of the most recognized attorneys in the state of Georgia in the niche area of property tax litigation. For over than 25 years, Mr. Pickens has used his trial skills to fight for property owners seeking relief from inflated property tax assessments. In 2016, Mr. Pickens won a tax value reduction of over $125,000,000 for one client and a reduction of over $60,000,000 for another client in a separate case. In that same year, Mr. Pickens also handled Superior Court appeals for nine different mall anchor stores in Atlanta. Mr. Pickens won the first of these anchor store appeals in a three-day trial by successfully arguing that the inflated value should be slashed from approximately $30,000,000 to $12,000,000, recovering 100% of the attorney’s fees paid by his client from the defendant county. After this appeal, the county capitulated on the other eight appeals Mr. Pickens was handling, resulting in a collective value reduction that exceeded $50,000,000. In addition to these large successes, Mr. Pickens achieved property tax reductions on many other properties, including apartment complexes, distribution centers, warehouses, retail centers, vacant land, and luxury homes.
In addition to continuing to litigate his property tax cases, Mr. Pickens devotes a large portion of his practice to representing families who have lost loved ones due to the carelessness of others. In this area of his practice, he has achieved multiple seven-figure results in cases involving medical negligence, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury. In fact, Mr. Pickens’s personal office contains more medical textbooks than lawbooks because understanding the medicine is an essential part of presenting these cases.
Mr. Pickens grew up in Savannah, Georgia and is a product of the Chatham County public school system. After graduating with honors from Mercer University, he earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law. For over ten years, Mr. Pickens has maintained the coveted “AV Preeminent – 5.0 out of 5.0” rating on Martindale-Hubbell, the leading national lawyer rating agency.
Areas Of Practice
- Tort Litigation
- Medical Negligence
- Wrongful Death
- Commercial Litigation
- Property Tax Litigation
- Land Use Litigation
- Georgia, 1992
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 1992
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1993
- University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, Georgia
- J.D. - 1992
- Honors: cum laude
- Mercer University
- B.A. - 1989
- Honors: cum laude
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Champions Member
- Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Regional Vice President - 2012-2014
- Gwinnett County Bar Association
- The American Association for Justice
- Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors – 2000-2006
- Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee - 2005
- Leadership Gwinnett - Class of 1996