J. Byrd Garland,

Of Counsel

☎ 770-775-3188 MAIN | 770-775-1977 FAX


📍 Jackson Office

Practice Areas
Real Estate Closings
Estate Planning and Probate
Civil Litigation
Corporate and Business Law
Church Law

Law School: Mercer University, JD 1973
Undergraduate: University of Georgia, BBA 1970

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“Byrd is extremely knowledgeable about the ins and out of the courtroom and the judges. Byrd was passionate with conviction when giving opening and closing statements and in his presentation of the facts. His objections and reasons for those were always met with “Sustained.” He not only cared about me, but cared about the process and understood the politics and how it could affect the outcome of the hearing or my case. I highly recommend Byrd Garland to anyone needing a great attorney!!”



“Byrd has surrounded himself with an outstanding staff. Knowledgeable, courteous, and very prompt in handling my inquiries. As a legal team, I do not think I could find better. I have over 20 years of very satisfactory legal experience with Byrd Garland. No hesitation at all in recommending him.”



“Mr. Garland has been my family’s lawyer for many years. He has always been knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. We recommend him without reservation.”



“Mr. Garland has been our lawyer for years. He is very knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. We can always count on his guidance and expertise. We recommend him without reservation.”



“Mr.Garland has closed multiple real estate loans for me over the years. He is hands down the best attorney in this area. His communication skills are excellent which contributes to a successful closing. He puts everyone at ease and all leave the closing smiling.”



“Byrd Garland has closed loans for our institution for many years. He is an excellent closing attorney. We appreciate his attention to detail and superior communication. Byrd always makes his clients comfortable at the closing whether it is the buyer or seller and as a result all goes smoothly.”


Byrd is Of Counsel at Smith, Welch, Webb & White, LLC and Manager of the Jackson office of the firm. He represents many local governmental entities, many local businesses, lenders and others. Byrd makes it a priority to create lasting relationships with his clients, many of whom simply call from time to time for advice. He has practiced in Jackson, Georgia since 1973, joining his long-term friend and fraternity brother, A. J. “Buddy” Welch as a partner in 2001 when Buddy’s firm entered the Jackson market. Byrd heads up the real estate department of the Jackson office and, along with seven paralegals, the office excels in the proper and professional handling of real estate transactions with numerous closings each day.

Additionally, Byrd advises and represents several tax commissioners in Georgia helping with their In Rem Judicial Tax sales. Byrd maintains a steady caseload of probate matters as well as being always available to consult with constituents on a variety of legal matters.

Byrd was a Sigma Nu at the University of Georgia where he graduated with honors in 1970. He was a member of the honor court and Phi Delta Phi at Mercer Law School and graduated with a JD degree in 1973. 

Byrd is a 5th generation lawyer with a long line of lawyers on his paternal and maternal sides of the family. In 1969, he married his high school sweetheart, Tyler Watts, who also hails from a legal family. They have four children and five grandchildren. Tyler retired as the lead counsellor of Jackson High School in 2004 and now works for Byrd as a title abstractor (discrete investigator). Byrd and Tyler are proud to call Jackson, GA their home and they are both heavily involved in the community. Both hail from old established families who have called Butts County, Georgia their home for many generations.

Reported Cases

    • Efstathiou v. Saunders, 189 Ga. App. 470 (1988)
    • Woodruff v. State, 233 Ga, 840 (1975)
    • Butts County v. Briscoe, 236 Ga. 233 (1976)
    • Cole v. Thrasher, 246 Ga. 683 (1980)
    • Beauchamp v. Smith, 250 Ga. 16 (1982)
    • Staples v. Cole, 148 Ga, 294 (1981)
    • vii.Tri-State Systems. Inc. v. McMickle, 239 Ga. 155 (1977)
    • viii.Austin v. Clark, 328 Ga. App. 843 (2014)

Trial Experience

During the first 15 years of his practice, Byrd Garland, actively and successfully tried cases throughout middle Georgia in many different practice areas. Since 1988, his primary focus has been real estate transactions, including commercial and residential closings, loan default, foreclosures, and refinancing. However, he still enjoys an occasional exposure to courtroom litigation.

Admissions and Recognitions

    • 2001 Recipient of Chief Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service
    • Board of Governors (two terms)
    • State Bar of Georgia Membership Benefits Committee
    • Adjunct professor, Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University
    • Supporter: “Justice for All” program by Georgia Legal Services
    • Presenter of Ethics and Professionalism seminar to incoming law school freshman at Mercer Law
    • 2018 Butts County Hall of Fame award
    • 2018 Golden Eagle Award from Boy Scouts of America
    • Feature article, Georgia State Bar News, December 1991:”Family Ties: The Legal Version, a Garland Tradition”

Representative Clients

    • The City of Jackson, GA
    • Butts County Industrial Development Authority
    • Butts County Hospital Authority
    • Butts County Water & Sewer Authority
    • Butts County Tax Commissioner
    • Butts County Board of Education
    • Georgia District of the Church of The Nazarene
    • Numerous local lenders, builders, developers and businesses

Community Involvement

Throughout his legal career, Byrd has been heavily involved with local civic and religious activities including the following:

  • President of local Chamber of Commerce
  • Founding member and Chairman of Partners for Smart Growth
  • United Way Chairman
  • Chairman Butts County Hospital Authority
  • Rotary Club
  • Kiwanis Club
  • Lions Club
  • Columbia Record Club
  • Butts County Greenspace Committee
  • Jackson United Methodist Church, member, Lay Leader, Chair Staff/Parish relations committee (three 2yr terms), choir, Chairman of the Board
  • Trustee, Griffin District, North Georgia Conference of United Methodist Church
  • Member of the Jackson Downtown Development Authority
  • Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation