Gainesville native thrives as in-demand lawyer
Published: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
With brilliant careers as a prosecutor and a legal analyst for national television shows like "The Nancy Grace Show" and "HLN After Dark" on the HLN network, Latonia P. Hines manages to stay grounded and close to her roots here in Gainesville, where she grew up and her family still lives.
Hines, 37, can be seen providing on-air commentary and legal analysis for "HLN After Dark" on current legal matters and criminal investigations. HLN is a channel of the Atlanta-based Cable News Network, or CNN.
Recently, Hines served as one of the legal analysts of the HLN coverage of the Martin MacNeill trial, the Utah doctor convicted of murder and obstruction in the 2007 death of his wife.
Hines also provided commentary and legal analysis for "The Nancy Grace Show" during coverage of the Trayvon Martin trial. Trayvon was the unarmed 17-year-old teen shot to death in 2012 in Sanford by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of criminal charges.
Hines said being an on-air analyst requires that she stay current on legal cases because she could be called at a moment's notice to weigh in on cases.
On a lighter side, Hines also appeared in the Nov. 17 episode of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" as a friend of Phaedra Parks, a regular on the show. "Real Housewives of Atlanta" airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays on Bravo.
Hines is the oldest of four children of Andrew Jackson Hines Sr. and Patricia Hines. Her grandmother, Ola Mae Hines, now deceased, was a direct descendant of a survivor of the Rosewood Massacre, where the Levy County town was destroyed and some black residents killed following accusations made by a white woman resident.
Latonia Hines said she is proud to have been one of the first recipients of the state of Florida Rosewood Memorial Scholarship.
She said the Hines family has been members of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in northeast for more than 50 years. However, Hines and her mother are members of Redeeming Faith & Anointing Church in southeast Gainesville.
Hines said she comes home to Gainesville regularly.
"I come home to Gainesville once a month," said Hines. "My family means everything to me."
Hines was admitted recently into the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She is a senior prosecutor for the Cobb County Solicitor's General office in Marietta, Ga., and an adjunct professor of law at Kennesaw State University. She also has served as a private defense attorney in the Atlanta law firm of Swift, Currie, McGhee and Hiers LLP and as a paralegal in the Asset Forfeiture Division of the United States Attorney General office in the Northern District of Georgia.
Hines graduated from the University of Florida Levin School of Law in 1999 at the age of 23 and holds a bachelor's degree in political science, also from UF.
She enjoys participating in the Atlanta Bar Association's "A Courthouse Line" series, which is an all-lawyer song-and-dance fundraiser for the Atlanta Bar Foundation.
Hines said her success is a product of hard work and knowing early on what she wanted to accomplish.
"There is no success without work," said Hines. "No matter what obstacles come your way, you have to have determination and discipline and enough faith. And you have to be cognizant that what you do has consequences."