Rates for the Services of Jody Cooley

2 Parties = $275/hr per party

3 Parties = $225/hr per party

4+ Parties = $200/hr per party

All rates have a 4-hour minimum.

An administrative fee of $150.00 per party will also be charged for each mediation. Rates and charges for the conduct of Arbitrations are available upon request.

Jody Cooley

When a lawyer’s career spans across a multitude of practice areas and legal disciplines, they become experts at many facets of the law. As neutrals, they bring their vast array of experiences to help clients resolve their differences irrespective of their types of disputes.

Like many professions, the law practice has evolved over the years largely bringing about a more specialized approach. Lawyers work hard to gain proficiency at a practice area they enjoy and stick with it. This specialization approach is especially prevalent in the bigger city law firms.

The specialization of lawyers often translates over when a lawyer becomes a neutral, limiting their focus at mediation and arbitration. Not surprisingly, neutrals often seek to help resolve cases in the practice areas of their specialty where they are most comfortable. 

Sometimes, however, a lawyer’s career spans across a multitude of practice areas and legal disciplines. They become experts at many facets of the law. As neutrals, such lawyers can take their vast array of experiences and help clients resolve their differences irrespective of their types of disputes.

These days, it is a rare breed of lawyer that has such a wealth of experience. It is even more uncommon for an alternative dispute resolution company to offer such an experienced neutral. For this and many reasons, Legion is an exceedingly uncommon company. Legion offers the services of Jody Cooley.


Legion recruited Jody for his character, reputation, demeanor, and impressive experience. After growing up in the small east Georgia town of Waynesboro, Jody came north in 1979 to the University of North Georgia (then, North Georgia College) and he has never left. After a couple of academic years at North Georgia, Jody finished his degree at the University of Georgia obtaining a Bachelors of Business Administration-Finance in 1983. Jody went on to UGA’s law school completing his Juris Doctorate law degree in 1986. He immediately moved to Gainesville upon graduation and joined the Gainesville law firm of Hulsey Oliver Mahar (“HOM”) where he remained as a partner for 30 years.


While at HOM, Jody maintained a very active general civil and business law practice. Jody represented all walks of life from single individuals to small and medium size businesses to lenders, and even represented cities and counties in the Northeast Georgia area. There aren’t many aspects of civil law, including contract disputes, personal injury, real estate, partnership and corporate formation, dissolution, and litigation, banking, consumer litigation, collections, eminent domain and condemnation negotiation and litigation, probate, and domestic relations and other business related issues that Jody’s practice did not touch. He litigated regularly in the state and federal courts (including the US Bankruptcy Court where he represented debtors and creditors in core and non-core matters, and dischargeability issues) and he has tried jury trials across Northeast Georgia. Jody is truly a legal profession rarity in this day and time.

In 2016, after 30 years, Jody left partnership at HOM and accepted a position as Associate General Counsel for Wayne Farms LLC, a fully integrated poultry company headquartered in Oakwood, Georgia. Wayne Farms has approximately 9,000 employees, annual gross revenues of over 2 billion dollars, and business operations across 5 US states. At Wayne Farms, Jody’s vast legal experience blossomed even further. He provided legal advice and analysis across a broad range of legal disciplines, including contract negotiation and preparation, contract litigation, workers’ compensation, personal injury, human resources compliance and management, EEOC charges and complaints, ADA and FMLA compliance and litigation, labor arbitrations, compliance training, and management of litigation and outside counsel, including hiring, fee approval and oversight. The experience Jody enjoys was readily apparent to Legion making him a prime recruitment target.

More importantly, while Legion sincerely respects and appreciates Jody’s experience, Legion was more interested in Jody’s character.  He has a real heart for people and service. He has served as an elected member of the Gainesville City Board of Education, and Jody has served throughout his career on various community organizations, including the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Board, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier, Centerpoint, United Way, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation, Good News at Noon Medical Clinic, and Good News at Noon ministries. He was a Gainesville Jaycee and even recognized as Young Man of the Year in 2000. Jody is also a current member of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville where he has served in various and continuous roles including a term as Chair of the Church Council.


Jody has been married to his wife Lora, a pre-school special education teacher for Hall County Schools, for over 35 years. He and Lora have two adult daughters-Lila Kate-a graduate of Georgia Tech, and Abby-a graduate of UGA. As a result, especially during football season, Jody is very experienced in addressing disputes between parties with different perspectives.

Jody is a registered mediator with the State of Georgia, having received his training through Henning Mediation Services. His entire career, Jody has been actively engaged in resolving difficult personal and business issues. Jody has a unique ability to quickly identify the core issues and principles in a dispute.  His resolution creativity is most impressive as he has the personality to not only bring clarity to the disputing parties, but to also help them appreciate the benefits of resolution allowing all concerned to move forward to more productive personal or business goals.

If your dispute needs a neutral with not only extensive experience, but the character to lead the parties to resolution, schedule Jody Cooley.