Mr. Stone has litigated cases in both federal and state courts throughout the country and has over a dozen years of experience with all aspects of trial practice and discovery, including trial preparation, factual investigation, drafting and responding to pleadings and discovery, expert discovery, depositions, motion practice, trial, and appeals.
Some of Mr. Stone’s representative matters include:
- In Re Flowers Foods, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 7:16-CV-00222-WLS (M.D. Ga.). In a securities class action case alleging violations of §§10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Johnson Fistel’s client was appointed Lead Plaintiff and the firm was appointed Co-Lead Counsel under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The complaint filed in the action alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements in connection with the Company’s labor strategy. As a result of these false and misleading statements, Flowers Foods stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period. A $21 million class settlement became final on January 10, 2020. At the hearing on final approval of the settlement, Judge W. Louis Sands expressed his satisfaction with the settlement and offered the following commentary: “I’d also just like to acknowledge just really the professional way you all handled this case . . . and I think it is that type of substantial work from opposing sides that I think that is what we look at a settlement that both sides of this case have been well represented and represented so the Court is satisfied that it has been in the hands of people who knew what they were doing . . . .”
- Gerneth v. Chiasma, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-11082-DJC (D. Mass.). Johnson Fistel served as co-lead counsel and represented the lead plaintiff in a securities class action alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaint alleged that defendants made false and misleading statements in connection with the company’s IPO regarding the company’s business and the prospects for approval of a pharmaceutical drug. A class-wide settlement in the amount of $18.75 million was approved on June 27, 2019.
- Glock v. FTS International, Inc., et al., No. 4:20-cv-03928 (S.D. Tex.). Johnson Fistel served as co-lead counsel and represented the lead plaintiff in a securities class action alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. A class-wide settlement in the amount of $9.875 million was approved on April 13, 2021.
- Cobb EMC Litigation: In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Stone prosecuted class and derivative state court claims brought by customer-members of the non-profit Cobb Electric Management Corporation (“EMC”) addressing conflicts of interest, transfer of the EMC’s employees and assets to a for-profit entity, improper by-laws, and breach of by-laws. The cases resulted in a recovery of over $120 million of assets, return of the employees to the EMC, revision of the by-laws, replacement of the board via elections conducted pursuant to the revised bylaws, dissolution of the for-profit entity, and the resignation of the CEO.
- In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 1:09-md-02036 (S.D. Fla.). Mr. Stone was instrumental in establishing groundbreaking consumer contract law requiring banks to order transactions and impose overdraft charges in a manner consistent with their implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, leading to over $1 billion in settlements. Reported decisions: 563 F. Supp. 2d 1358 (N.D. Ga. 2008); 694 F.Supp.2d 1302 (S.D. Fla. 2010).
- In re Southern Company Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 1:17-cv-00725-MHC (N.D. Ga.). Johnson Fistel served as Lead Counsel in this shareholder derivative action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against certain current and former officers and directors of Southern Company for breaches of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment, and corporate waste. After over five years of hard-fought litigation, the action settled on terms including corporate reforms valued by one expert as having the potential to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in value to the company. In approving the settlement on June 9, 2022, U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen praised Johnson Fistel for its diligence and efforts in the case and described the settlement as “the product of hard-fought, arm’s-length negotiations by prepared, skilled, and experienced counsel” who are “nationally recognized leaders in shareholder litigation.”
Areas of Practice
Mr. Stone practices complex civil litigation with a focus on securities and consumer fraud class action litigation and shareholder derivative litigation.
Mr. Stone was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2007. He is currently admitted to practice before the following courts:
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- The United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia
- All courts in the State of Georgia
Education and Awards
Mr. Stone received his Juris Doctor degree from the Georgia State University College of Law in 2007. During law school, he received CALI Awards for Excellence in Trial Practice in Research, Writing, Advocacy, and Criminal Law, clerked for a judge, and studied for a term at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, completing courses focusing on arbitration. Prior to law school, Mr. Stone was a legal assistant for a large law firm in Atlanta during breaks from college. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors from the University of Georgia’s Honors Program in Athens, Georgia, where Mr. Stone published his honors thesis comparing American and European antitrust enforcement.
Community and Volunteer Activities
Mr. Stone volunteers with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and serves on the board of his local homeowners association.