Richard “Rusty” A. Watts is a seasoned Swift Currie partner with 25 years of experience in workers’ compensation and liability defense. His clients include construction companies, school districts, educational institutions, supermarkets, school board associations and insurance companies.

Rusty has tried more than 100 cases over the years. He previously worked as a claimants’ attorney, which gives him the ability to think about strategy from the perspective of both sides of a case. Rusty has a deep understanding of what motivates the plaintiff’s side of the aisle and is able to draw on this knowledge to develop the most effective defense for his clients.   

Rusty has extensive experience working closely with the State Board of Workers' Compensation. He is also an avid public speaker who has given presentations to the Southern Association of Workers' Compensation Administrators, the State Board of Workers' Compensation and the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.

When he is not representing his clients, Rusty contributes to legal education by working as a part-time instructor at Georgia State University College of Law and the Department of Risk Management & Insurance, as well as Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business and Economics. He also is on the Dean’s Board of Visitors at Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and previously served as the president of the school’s alumni board of directors.


  • AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review
  • Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2005


  • State Bar of Georgia


Rusty enjoys playing golf in his free time, so much so that he served on the board of directors at a local golf club. He also likes to swim and enjoys watching his son swim as well.


Thought Leadership


  • Coauthor, "New Strategic Considerations in Workers' Compensation Cases Involving Undocumented Workers'

  • Coauthor, "The Impact of the Baby Boomer Demographic on Workers' Compensation Systems"


  • National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association National Seminar, "Showcase Showdown Between Workers' Compensation and Federal Laws," March 2017

Bar Admittances

  • Georgia


Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University (J.D., 1992)

University of Florida (B.A., 1989)

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