Leanna B. Pittard
Leanna Bankester Pittard is a skilled Athens personal injury attorney at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. While she handles a wide variety of cases, including civil litigation and mass torts, she focuses her practice on cases involving defective or dangerous products. Leanna first felt drawn to the legal world because it offered her an “opportunity to help people in a meaningful way.” At the firm, she uses this desire to assist injured victims by working with the firm’s team of legal assistants and paralegals to gather relevant evidence, documents, and information from clients, and then showing this “discovery” to the opposing parties. These duties mean that Leanna spends much of her time interacting with clients, speaking and working with them one-on-one, something that she greatly enjoys. When it comes to mass torts, it also means that she handles a massive amount of information and related documents.
“My undergraduate degree is in psychology,” says Leanna, “so I clearly have an interest in listening to others and doing what I can to help them. I often have clients who really need to tell their story; they need the closure that comes from talking to a sympathetic ear who understands how they are suffering. The satisfying thing about practicing law is that not only can we listen to our clients’ stories, we can help them navigate the legal system and do what we can to make them whole again.”
Leanna was born in Mobile, Alabama. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Birmingham-Southern College in 1998 before going on to attend the University of Alabama School of Law. During her time in law school, she was the Senior Articles Editor for theAlabama Law Review, a member of Bench and Bar Honorary, and in the Order of Barristers. She was also the recipient of the Marvin L. Warner Scholarship, and received a number of prestigious awards, including the American College of Trial Lawyers Award, a faculty award presented to the graduate who exhibits the greatest amount of promise as a trial attorney, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award, presented for overall ability in trial advocacy as well as achievements in evidence and pleading, trial practice, and procedure courses, and the George Peach Taylor Award, which is presented to those students who are selected to be on national trail teams. In law school, Leanna was also a member of the Trial Advocacy Competition Team, and helped carry the team to a regional championship in 2003 and a place in the top 10 at the national championship in 2003. She graduated law school in 2003, cum laude, with her J.D.
For the past 12 years, Leanna has been committed to giving back to her community. She has spent a great deal of her time—40-60 hours every year—providing charitable, volunteer services for a number of local organizations. She has tutored and mentored children at three separate homeless/abuse shelters, volunteered at a school for blind and deaf children where she helped build a garden and organized an egg hunt, led a minority Girl Scout troop, and prepared income tax returns at no cost for low-income individuals and families. She has also hosted book drives for needy children and schools, and helped plan and put together various events for the community, including chili and Cajun food cook-offs, cocktail parties and galas, holiday markets, ballets, art shows, plant sales, silent auctions, food truck events, and much more. Additionally, Leanna has served her church, volunteering in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, acting as lector and alter solidarity officer, and recently co-founded a ministry geared towards mothers of young children. At her own children’s schools, Leanna is an active member of the Parent-Teacher Organization and works in the classroom as a Room Parent. She was also asked to become an Alumni Board member at Birmingham-Southern College, her alma mater.
When she is not working or volunteering, Leanna enjoys spending time with her husband, with whom she shares a passion for travel, and two little girls. She has worked remotely for Blasingame, Burch, Garrard and Ashley, P.C. from her home in Alabama since 2011.
“We are proud of the quality of our lawyers,” Leanna says, “and we work hard to make sure our clients’ rights are protected.”
Leanna has many published articles, including:
- The Ten Commandments of Teleworking, GEORGIA BAR JOURNAL, October 2016.
- Joe E. Basenberg & S. Leanna Bankester, Notice Pleading in the Mass Tort Arena: What is Sufficient Notice? THE ALABAMA LAWYER, January 2007, at 74.
- Caine O’Rear, III & S. Leanna Bankester, Hospital Management vs. Medical Staff Bylaws, IADC NEWSLETTER, September 2006, No. 3, at 1.
- The Implications of Barnes v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. on Alabama’s Former Testimony Exception to the Hearsay Rule, 54 ALABAMA LAW REVIEW 583 (Winter 2003).
- Louis D. Burgio, Rebecca Allen-Burge, David L. Roth, Michelle S. Bourgeois, Katinka Dijkstra, John Gerstle, Erik Jackson & Leanna Bankester, Come Talk With Me: Improving Communications Between Nursing Assistants and Nursing Home Residents During Care Routines, THE GERONTOLOGIST, Vol. 41, No. 4, 449-460 (2000).