Spotlight: Douglas Chandler

By Kelly K. James


Doug ChandlerDouglas Chandler didn’t intend to specialize in professional malpractice law, but the attorney and mediator has found his niche there. Douglas manages a busy law practice and a mediation career as well. The keys to his success? Organization, regular workouts, and lawyers and staff (including his wife, Britt, a nurse practitioner and the firm’s operations manager) — who make it possible for him to do both.


“Ordinarily it starts with looking ahead at the entire year to judge what the caseload is, and planning and blocking my time off for ADR [alternative dispute resolution],” he says. “I have great people working with me at the firm and they do a lot of heavy lifting. My practice is 80 percent practicing law and 20 percent ADR. My long-term goal is to work into doing ADR full-time in 10 to 15 years.”


Douglas didn’t initially plan to go into professional malpractice law. An interview back in 1999 changed that. When he was interviewing for jobs out of law school, he interviewed with Frank Beltran, “one of the Georgia granddaddies of legal malpractice from the plaintiff’s side,” says Douglas. “He said, ‘many lawyers would never consider being a malpractice lawyer but it’s fascinating from an intellectual standpoint because you have the ‘case within the case.’ You might be handling the legal malpractice case, but you have to evaluate and learn about the law of the underlying case and it’s different each time, so you don’t get into a rut and get bored.”


Douglas has found that to be true. He has handled malpractice cases involving underlying estate matters, tax matters, personal injury, intellectual property, real estate, and medical malpractice cases, among others. “One offshoot of the practice is the ethics and disciplinary defense work — bar complaint defense — and we defend a lot of lawyers,” he says. “You also consider potential bar rule violations in the context of the malpractice case — the standard of care for the applicable legal duties and ethical duties and how you marry the two.”


In 2011, Douglas left Beltran & Chandler to open Chandler Law, LLC. To market his practice, he started writing articles about the law, and eventually a book, Minnows and Sharks: Lawyers’ Quick Reference to Reducing Risk and Avoiding Trouble, that was published in 2021. “I wanted to write about the lessons I had learned through the eyes of my clients and teach lawyers how to avoid problems before they happen,” he says. “The book talks about everything from bar admissions (certification of fitness), malpractice and bar grievance avoidance and prevention to succession planning, retirement and everything in between.”


A Love for Mediation

In 2019, Douglas became certified through Henning in both mediation and arbitration and started working as a mediator in 2022. But his interest in mediation was sparked early on during law school.


“I was clerking for a construction litigation firm, and I helped with the mediation of a case that summer,” he says. “Then I took a clinical mediation class with Rodney Max. He was a trailblazer in mediation who had a huge nationwide practice. He was a dynamic teacher and that got me fired up starting in law school and I kind of grew into wanting to do more of it. Today, nearly all our work is professional liability — primarily dealing with lawyers — and the vast majority of those cases are mediated. I find a lot of personal and professional satisfaction helping people resolve their disputes.”


Finding Peace on the Water

But it’s not all law and mediation 24-7 for Douglas. He and Britt love to sail; he taught sailing to midshipmen in college and sailed a bit when he was in the Navy, and Britt had sailed with her father when she was younger. “One of our first dates in Pensacola was an afternoon of sailing. I had no idea she had sailed before — she didn’t tell me, but I quickly figured it out because she almost instinctively knew what to do before I told her,” says Douglas. “A few years ago, we started thinking about what we wanted to do in retirement, and we want to sail different locations around the world.”


The couple joined a sailing club at Lake Lanier and started building certifications through the American Sailing Association. “We did our first charter together in the British Virgin Islands for a week, and we aspire to sail destinations in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles. We love the slimmed-down lifestyle,” he says. “You can’t put a lot on a sailboat. We like the wind in our hair and find a lot of peace in it.” They are also avid shooters and hunters who love good food and trying new restaurants.


To work off those restaurant meals, the couple also exercises four or five days a week at Core 57 in Alpharetta. At the dedicated hour of 5:45 a.m. “I see so many health and emotional issues in representing lawyers,” he explains. “I think it’s really important to take care of yourself and develop healthy habits.”


It’s those kinds of positive habits that make Douglas so successful both as an attorney and as a mediator.




Miles Mediation & Arbitration is shaping the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry with our comprehensive professional services model that combines the expertise of our highly skilled, diverse panel of neutrals with an unparalleled level of client support to guide and empower parties to fair, timely, and cost-effective resolution regardless of case size, specialization, or complexity. For more information, please call 888-305-3553 or email