About Ross, Burriss & Handelman

Experienced. Responsive. Dedicated.

Ross, Burriss & Handelman provides general liability and workers' compensation legal defense throughout Georgia for insurers, TPA's and employers.

Ross, Burriss & Handelman represents a wide range of clients which include multi-national corporations, Fortune 500 companies, insurance companies, businesses with multiple locations throughout the State, "mom & pop" business models, insureds, self-insureds, group funds and the State of Georgia itself.

Through constant communication with its clients, the firm strives to provide the best legal advice and court room defense representation available. While each individual case file is important, the implementation of a risk management program or analysis of existing loss prevention systems yields long term savings and claims avoidance benefits.

Ross, Burriss & Handelman can assist you with such programs. The firm offers seminars to insurers and employers for up to date best practices on claims management, aggressive hiring procedures, post-accident investigation and successful return to work strategies.

C. Todd Ross
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Ernest R. "Buck" Burriss, IV
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Todd S. Handelman
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Eric M. Nestale
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Amanda K. Goff
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Jenifer E. Cummings
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Melody Z. Ellis
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C. Todd Ross

C. Todd Ross, a native of Dothan, Alabama, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994 from the University of Georgia. In 1997 Todd graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. After graduation from Mercer, Todd was inducted into the Order of the Barristers.

Admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1997, Todd is also admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, and the Georgia Court of Appeals.  He is very active with the Georgia Association of Manufacturers. Todd represents several individual members of the association and has served as outside counsel to the association itself. Additionally, he has presented on the topic of workers’ compensation at the association’s annual HR/Plant Managers conference since 2009.

His law practice specializes in insurance defense litigation, workers’ compensation defense and premises liability defense. Also, Todd is a Special Assistant Attorney General who defends workers' compensation claims on behalf of Georgia's Attorney General. Todd is very active in the community through his church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Albany Chapter. In 1990, Todd married his high school sweetheart and they have three children.

Ernest R. "Buck" Burriss, IV

Buck grew up in Leesburg, Georgia and currently lives in Albany. After obtaining his Associate of Arts degree from Darton College and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia, he earned his Juris Doctorate from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Since returning home, his practice has focused on the defense of Employers, Insurers, and Self-Insured entities in workers’ compensation matters throughout Georgia.  Clients frequently contact him for advice concerning exposure mitigation, medical management of claims and return to work issues.  Buck frequently speaks on issues relating to workers' compensation to employers and human resource professionals throughout the state.  He takes pride in his availability to his clients and being responsive to their needs.

Away from work, Buck is an avid wakeboarder and outdoorsman.

Todd S. Handelman

Todd represents many public and private employers. He is well known for his statewide workers’ compensation practice, which is successful in part due to his vigorous defense strategies and extensive experience. Todd has successfully defended many employers in significant cases, including the City of Albany before the Georgia Supreme Court in the case of Abernathy v. City of Albany, 269 Ga. 88 (1998), which protects employers and their insurers from liability for a purely psychological work injury. He is at the forefront of legal developments in workers’ compensation. Todd and his wife Bonita, share a passion for traveling and spending time with family.

Todd was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1964. He is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Illinois where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Todd earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Georgia in 1989. Admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1989, Todd is also admitted to the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association and is also active in the Georgia Self Insurers Association and the Atlanta Claims Association.

Eric M. Nestale

Eric Nestale joined the law firm in August 2013. Mr. Nestale has been working, almost exclusively, in Workers’ Compensation through his employment with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division prior to joining the practice.  He also clerked with the Honorable Chief Judge Willie E. Lockette in the summer of 2011 in Albany, Georgia.

Mr. Nestale graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2010, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in History. He then obtained a Juris Doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2013. During law school, Mr. Nestale served as a Student Ambassador for the school and as a Fellow throughout his law school career. In addition, Mr. Nestale was a member of John Marshall’s Mock Trial team and received an award for Best Overall Advocate in the intra-school mock trial competition. He also competed in the 2013 American Association for Justice Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Eric was admitted to the Georgia Bar in October 2013.  He resides in Leesburg, Georgia with his wife, Ashley.

Amanda K. Goff

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Amanda graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2001. She earned her Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2005 and became a member of the Florida Bar in 2006. In Florida, Amanda represented the Department of Children and Families involving cases of child abuse and neglect.

After moving back to Georgia, Amanda became a member of the Georgia Bar. She and her husband, Ben, have two children. Amanda primarily represents employers in defending workers’ compensation claims. She also assists disabled children and adults obtain Social Security benefits.

Amanda is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, the State Bar of Georgia, the State Bar of Florida, Dougherty Circuit Bar Association, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, and the Georgia Court of Appeals. She was a member of the 2012 graduating class of Leadership Lee, was named one of Southwest Georgia’s Top Forty under Forty in 2013, and is very active in the Junior League of Albany, Inc.

Jenifer E. Cummings

Jenifer Enterante Cummings received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice 1997 from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 2004 Jenifer earned her Juris Doctor with a Certificate in International Law from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law.

Admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 2006 and the Georgia Bar in 2013, Jenifer is also admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Louisiana.

In June of 2013 Jenifer joined the firm. Jenifer’s practice includes general liability defense, workers’ compensation defense, corporate law, federal criminal defense, and litigation. Jenifer is very active in her church and community. She serves as President for the Albany Area Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association and Hospitality Coordinator for the Albany Area MOPs group. In 2000, Jenifer married her college sweetheart, Cade Cummings, and they have two daughters, Caroline and Jamie.

Melody Z. Ellis

Melody grew up in Albany, Georgia and currently resides in Leesburg, Georgia. She attended Valdosta State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, magna cum laude. She received her Juris Doctorate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 2004.

During her legal career, Melody has served as a law clerk for the judges of the Dougherty County Judicial Circuit, has served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Georgia by representing the Department of Family and Children Services in nine South Georgia counties in cases involving child abuse and neglect, and has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit where she was responsible for the prosecution of both felony and misdemeanor cases.

Away from work, Melody is an avid cyclist and enjoys off-road ultra-endurance events. She and her husband, David, have two children. Melody and her family are active members of First United Methodist Church in Albany.

Melody is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Dougherty County Bar Association, the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Her primary area of practice is workers' compensation defense.