R. Brian Tanner

Email:  btanner@savagelawfirm.net

Brian Tanner is a seasoned lawyer who brings both trial and appellate expertise to the firm after a 12-year stint at the United States Attorney’s Office, where he served as Chief of the Appellate Division and as the interim United States Attorney.

Tanner received his undergraduate degree with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his law degree from the Emory University School of Law, where he graduated second in his class, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served as a managing editor of the Emory Law Journal.

He began his legal career with prestigious clerkships with two federal judges: Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and Judge Stanley F. Birch of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Following his clerkships, Tanner joined the international law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP as a litigation associate. There he represented companies and individuals in high-stakes cases involving securities fraud, copyright and trademark issues, class actions, and antitrust.

In 2006, Tanner joined the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Georgia as an Assistant United States Attorney. He specialized in the prosecution of complex criminal fraud, public corruption, and cybercrime, and he was recognized twice by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his outstanding skills as a prosecutor.

Tanner became Appellate Chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2011, responsible for arguing appeals arising from the civil and criminal work of that Office before the Eleventh Circuit In that capacity, he briefed over 200 appeals and conducted more than a dozen oral arguments.

Beginning in 2017, Tanner served as a member of the Attorney General’s Appellate Chiefs Working Group, a national body of representatives from each federal circuit that advised senior Department of Justice leadership on issues of emerging appellate import. In late 2017, Tanner was appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the interim United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia while the Office awaited Senate confirmation of the President’s nominee for that position.

Tanner was born in Savannah and raised in Statesboro. He lives with his wife and his two sons in Savannah.


Emory University School of Law

Georgia Institute of Technology

Bar & Court Admittance

State Bar of Georgia
Georgia Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

“When the system doesn’t work for our clients, we work to make it right. And when we can make it right for our clients, we make the law better for millions of others.”

Notable Cases

United States v. Lovett: Co-lead counsel in corruption trial against former Savannah police chief accused of decade-long  protection of gambling operation centered on annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

United States v. Cisco: Lead counsel in prosecution of massive gas-shorting fraud at three travel stations along I-95 corridor  facilitated through bribes paid to state agricultural inspectors.

United States v. Patterson: Lead counsel in prosecution of 23-member conspiracy engaged in elaborate operation to obliterate and replace vehicle identification numbers, create counterfeit state vehicle titles, and resell high-end stolen vehicles.

United States v. Douglas: Lead counsel in prosecution of sheriff and deputy sheriff of Dodge County (Ga.) for vote buying and voter intimidation during federal election.

United States v. Martin Bradley III: Mitigated damage caused by district court’s ex parte communications with the jury on substantive legal issues during complex, lengthy fraud trial. 676 F. App’x 895 (2017).

United States v. Regina Preetorius: Defended mortgage-fraud convictions and 280-month sentence of local businesswoman ostensibly involved in assisting distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. 626 F. App’x 920 (11th Cir. 2015).

United States v. Meier Jason Brown: Rebutted claims of ineffective penalty-phase counsel in death-penalty case involving murder of small-town postal employee during botched robbery. 720 F.3d 1316 (11th Cir. 2013).

United States v. Anthony Davila: Originated argument against Eleventh Circuit’s automaticvacatur rule for guilty pleas infected by improper participation of court in violation of Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c). Though argument was rejected by panel, 643 F.3d 1355 (11th Cir. 2011), it was ultimately adopted by the United States Supreme Court, 133 S. Ct. 2139 (2013).