649 Irvin Street, P.O. Box 689, Cornelia, Georgia 30531
  • Cathey & Strain, LLC
  • Cathey & Strain, LLC
  • Cathey & Strain, LLC
  • Cathey & Strain, LLC
  • Cathey & Strain, LLC

Who We Are

Cathey & Strain is a civil litigation boutique, located in the town of Cornelia, Georgia in Habersham County. We have  handled cases around the country for almost 40 years.  The firm’s practice is focused primarily on complex civil litigation, including catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from automobile, product liability, medical/hospital malpractice, trucking, railroad, and aviation claims.  The firm also handles select cases involving commercial litigation.  Many of our cases are referred to us by other lawyers or former clients.

Cathey & Strain was founded on April 1, 1974, by law school classmates Dennis Cathey and Ed Strain with a handshake agreement. The firm has operated continuously since that day, with partner David Sleppy joining the firm in 1992 and associate Matthew Cathey joining the firm in 2011. Throughout its history,  Cathey & Strain has focused on and consistently achieved a singular goal for its clients: Providing the very best legal representation possible.

Our members have always been active in national, state and local bar organizations including the American Association of Justice, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Attorneys Information Exchange Group, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Mountain Circuit Bar Association. Original firm members were among those who formed the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and have served as president and vice-president thereof.  Member Dennis T. Cathey has been appointed by the Governor of Georgia to the Judicial Nominations Committee and the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.  Member Edward E. Strain, III, has served on the Board of Governors of the American Association of Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association). Member David A. Sleppy is co-editor of the State Bar publication Calendar Call, has served as an adjunct law professor and has been invited to speak at the Center for International Legal Studies. Each of our Members have been regular lecturers on civil trial advocacy topics and alternative dispute resolution methods and practices at continuing legal education seminars around the state and country.  Firm members have also been published in various legal publications including the Georgia State Bar Journal, Mercer Law Review, The Georgia Trial Practice Manual and Georgia Procedure – Verdicts and Judgments.

Cathey & Strain’s litigation practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims; they have developed a particular specialization in the area of automotive defects, including claims arising from roof crush, seatbelt or seat component failures, rollovers, hood intrusions, fuel-fed fires, tire failures and child restraint systems, including child seats and booster seats. Cathey & Strain will strive for a successful resolution of your case and make use of creative solutions, including alternative dispute resolution and  new technologies by keeping abreast of national legal trends.

In our nearly four decades of experience, we have learned to put our clients’ needs first.  Our personal injury lawyers are always accessible, walking you through the often-confusing legal process, keeping you abreast of the developments in your case and outlining your legal options with you.  Our main office is located in Cornelia, in the North Georgia Mountains. We also have an office in metropolitan Atlanta, in historic downtown Decatur just steps away from the Decatur MARTA station and DeKalb County Courthouse.  If your situation warrants, we will come to your house for the initial consultation and to confer with you as necessary during the development and litigation of your case.   You will always be able to contact the attorney that is actually handling your case.

Our fee structure is flexible. We recognize that if you have suffered a tragedy, you need time to grieve and therefore we don’t ask you to sign a fee contract the moment you walk through the door.  We maintain close client contact and through the years we have formed long-term relationships with many of our former clients and their families.  Typically, we handle cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning that we take a percentage of any recovery made in the case, whether through settlement or jury verdict.  The cases we handle are complex and involve catastrophic injury or death, which means they frequently deal with highly technical issues of scientific proof and the actual cost to develop the case through litigation can be very expensive.  Our specialized knowledge and the ability to fund these costly cases is one reason why many of our cases are referred by lawyers around the country.  We advance all expenses and have the ability to fund your case from beginning to trial.  If the case is lost, the client does not owe us a fee.

The firm members are keenly aware that juries are the key to a winning verdict and have attended numerous seminars around the country on juror attitudes, juror bias and juror beliefs.  We regularly make use of focus groups and mock juries, and use innovative, creative demonstrative evidence to make sure the jury understands your case.

Call Cathey & Strain to represent you

We’re accessible and responsive. Call us at 706-778-2601 to schedule a consultation. Our main office is in Cornelia, 65 miles north of Atlanta. Our Decatur office is conveniently located near the Decatur MARTA station.


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