John M. Carlton Jr., Partner

John Carlton has practiced with Whelchel & Carlton, LLP, and its predecessor firms, since 1974 and has been a partner since 1976.  John Carlton is a Colquitt County native.  He provides advice to the Hospital Authority of Colquitt County and to the Development Authority of Moultrie and Colquitt County and has concluded several multi-million dollar transactions for those Authorities.  He represents agribusiness clients in complex farm and forestry land purchases and loans and has personal knowledge of the practical and legal aspects of land ownership as he has served as the General Manager for his extended family’s land holdings since 1976.


University of Georgia, B.A. (History), 1966 University of Georgia, School of Law, J.D., 1974


United States Army, Military Intelligence (SP5 – cryptanalyst); National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Bronze Star

Bar Related Activities

John has been an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, in both leadership and educational roles.  He served on Board of Governors from 1984-91.  He served on the Committee to Implement Trial Lawyer Competency, and as the Chairman in 1987, and as a continuing education speaker.  His speaking engagements include Residential Real Property Seminars in 2001 and 2002 and the Real Property Law Institute in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2011, serving as both Chairperson and Speaker.

Volunteer Activities and Community Involvement

Ducks Unlimited – Area Chairman, State Treasurer, State Vice-Chairman
First Presbyterian Church – Treasurer, Chairman of Deacons, Elder, Clerk
American Cancer Society – Education Crusade Chairman
Kiwanis Club – Member and Past President
Leadership Georgia
Southwest Georgia Private Industry Council – Director
Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce – Past President
Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation – Trustee
Community Foundation of South Georgia – Chairman
Boys & Girls Clubs of Moultrie/Colquitt County – Founding Director and CVO

Kenneth M. Turnipseed, Partner

Ken Turnipseed provides representation to business and healthcare clients and individuals.  Ken has recently provided legal representation that includes:

  • Assisting hospitals, physician practices and physicians with healthcare regulatory and transactional issues, including corporate compliance programs and negotiating and drafting of physician recruitment and employment agreements;
  • Providing business representation, including formation, operational counseling and mergers and acquisitions;
  • Conducting commercial and residential real estate purchases, sales and financings; and
  • Assisting clients with complex and simple estate planning, including wills, trusts and estates.

Prior to moving to South Georgia, Ken practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama at the regional law firm of Balch & Bingham, LLP where he provided representation to public and private companies regarding financing and securities; provided technical healthcare regulatory advice to physicians, hospitals and healthcare systems; and represented various business and healthcare clients in transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions.

Before attending law school, Ken practiced as a tax consultant for Ernst & Young, LLP in Birmingham, Alabama where he provided tax advice to large and small companies pertaining to operational and transactional matters.

Ken and his wife, Fraley, have two daughters and are very active in the community.  They are members First United Methodist Church in Moultrie and volunteer with various community organizations.


University of Alabama School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 2003
University of Alabama, Masters in Tax Accounting, 1997
University of Alabama, BS (Accounting with distinction), 1996

Memberships and Affiliations

Alabama State Bar, Admitted 2003
State Bar of Georgia, Admitted 2006
Certified Public Accountant (Alabama, 1997, Inactive)
American Health Lawyers Association
Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys
Georgia Council of School Board Attorneys
National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Order of the Coif
Farrah Law Society

Volunteer Activities and Community Involvement

Kiwanis Club of Moultrie, President 2011-2012
Colquitt County Arts Council, Board President 2011-2012
YMCA, Moultrie Board of Directors (2011-present)
United Way, Moultrie Attorneys Fundraising (2009-2011)

J. Hamilton Garner, Partner

Hamilton Garner provides representation to individual and business clients.  His primary practice areas include probate matters, general civil litigation, domestic relations, criminal defense and real estate.   Recently he has handled diverse matters including:

  • Probate litigation including will contests (caveats); guardianship proceedings; drafting of wills, powers-of-attorney, Advanced Directive for Health Care, trusts; has been court-appointed as both executor and conservator in contested estates
  • General litigation including representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in contract disputes, construction litigation, personal injury, premises liability and land-line disputes
  • Domestic relations litigation including divorces, child custody, child support, legitimation and adoption
  • Residential real estate purchases, sales and financing
  • Criminal defense including both felony and misdemeanor offenses

Prior to becoming a partner in Whelchel & Carlton, LLP, Hamilton was in private practice both as a solo practitioner and as an associate with a small firm.  He began his career as a Superior Court law clerk and then became an Assistant District Attorney obtaining convictions in a variety of matters including murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, sale of cocaine, DUI and domestic violence.

Hamilton is married to Beth Lee Garner and they have twin boys, William and Robert.  They are active members of Moultrie First United Methodist Church and other local organizations.


Mercer University, B.B.A (Management), 1996 Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, J.D., 2001


Hamilton was formerly a Captain in the Georgia Army National Guard/U.S. Army, having received his commission as an Armor officer through ROTC in 1996.  He graduated from the Armor Officer Basic Course, Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course and Airborne School.  His leadership positions included Armor Platoon Leader (M1A1 Abrams), Support Platoon Leader (logistics) and as a Company Executive Officer.  He then transferred to the Judge Advocate General’s Corp and  advised commanders, officers and soldiers on UCMJ, USERRA, SCRA, laws of war and general legal matters including preparation of wills, powers-of-attorney, and pre- and post-deployment assistance.

Memberships and Affiliations

State Bar of Georgia, Admitted 2001
All Courts of the State of Georgia
Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia
Supreme Court of the State of Georgia
United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia
Supreme Court of the United States

Volunteer Activities and Community Involvement

Moultrie Bar Association, President, 2011 – Present
Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce, Member of Board of Directors
Kiwanis Club of Moultrie, Committee Chairman and past member Board of Directors
Moultrie First United Methodist Church, past Chairman of Counsel of Stewards
YLD Leadership Academy (State Bar of Georgia), 2009 graduate
Leadership Colquitt County, 2009 graduate
Hero House – Children’s Advocacy Center of Colquitt County, past Board of Directors
Colquitt County Chapter Ducks Unlimited, past Area Chairman
Double Gobble Chapter NWTF, past Committee Member

Kyle T. Swann, Associate

Kyle T. Swann joined the firm as an associate in our Thomasville office in 2012. Kyle’s primary practice areas are criminal defense, wills and probate, personal injury, and general civil litigation.

Kyle is a native of Quitman, Georgia and a graduate of Brooks County High School. Following high school, he attended the University of Georgia earning a Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in Political Science in 2008. After graduating from UGA, Kyle worked as a policy fellow for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Kyle worked extensively with the House and Senate government committees while doing local government policy research.

He then attended the Mercer University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor in 2012. While in law school, Kyle received the CALI Award for Excellence for achieving the highest exam grade in Commercial Paper and Negotiable Instruments. He also served as a Summer Associate in our Moultrie office and at the law offices of Ayerbe & Cowart, LLC in Macon, Georgia.

Kyle  is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and resides in Thomasville with his wife, Sarah.