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Best Local Attorney, Best Law Firm 

Jamie Casino, Casino Law Group

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LONGTIME winner in this category Mike Hostilo has finally been dethroned, but he shouldn't feel too bad about it. The whole nation is now aware of the legal leviathan and judicial juggernaut that is Jamie Casino and his amazing two-year run of widely-viewed viral Super Bowl ads.

While the world is full of cheesy lawyer ads, everyone clued in pretty quick that these two-minute spots were something different.

The first ad told the story of Casino’s transformation from defense attorney to crimefighter after the murder of his brother. The second ad, this year, delved further into local politics and police corruption – even quoting Connect Savannah prominently.

“Your article hit exactly how most of us feel,” Casino tells us. “Local politicians are bullying us into accepting things we shouldn’t have to accept. We need more people to step up and open their mouths about the negligent, self-serving people running the local government.”

For Casino, the rapid and complete fall of former Police Chief Willie Lovett represents, if not closure, at least vindication.

Lovett was Chief when Casino’s brother Michael Biancosino was shot along with Emily Pickels in their car in 2012. The Chief infamously—and inexplicably—announced to the media that “no innocent persons were targeted.”

Now, one alleged shooter is dead of a shooting himself and his accomplice is on trial.

“The whole trial speaks to Lovett himself and how disingenuous and hurtful his statements were, and how deceptive,” Casino says. “I called the lead detective on the case and he said he had no idea Lovett had even made the statement, nor had the detective been consulted. The detective said ‘they didn’t do anything wrong that we could see.’”

As for the now-legendary Super Bowl ads, Casino says they actually come “from a very spiritual Christian position.”

“I look at that not so much as an advertisement as much as doing the right thing. I had the opportunity to basically call someone out that really needed it,” Casino says.

“I got the idea right around Christmas. I saw my mom’s face, and she was just broken. Then I thought of Lovett sitting at home enjoying his big fat pension, and I was determined not to let that slide.”

As for the current state of crime in the City of Savannah, Casino says “You’d have to be a moron to say all that corruption didn’t have the effect of increasing crime. Criminals see corruption and take advantage of it.”

On the upcoming elections, Casino is also typically blunt:

“Things have spiraled out of control, and it’s costing this city big time. The department is still in shambles. This City Council and these County Commissioners don’t want to put any more money into the police department. They turned a blind eye to bullying and corruption and we’re all now paying for it on multiple fronts,” he says.

“We need a full slate of challengers and wipe all those people out of here,” he concludes. —Jim Morekis

Runner-up: Mike Hostilo

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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