Recent News

McCalla Raymer Merges With Chicago's Pierce & Associates

By Meredith Hobbs |

Atlanta-based real estate closing and foreclosure firm McCalla Raymer has combined with a Chicago firm, Pierce & Associates, forming McCalla Raymer Pierce.

Students Accused in Campus Sex Assaults Target Federal Rules

By The Associated Press |

As colleges face increasing pressure to aggressively investigate reports of sex assaults, some critics say the rights of the accused are being trampled. Now they want federal guidance on the issue to be tossed out.

Marissa McCall Dodson

Dodson Joins Southern Center as Policy Director to Focus on Criminal Justice Reforms; plus other "On the Move" news.

By Meredith Hobbs |

Marissa McCall Dodson has left the national American Civil Liberties Union, which she’d joined in November, for the Southern Center for Human Rights, where she is the new public policy director.

Judge Clarence Cooper, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

Update: Federal Judge Sanctions City of Atlanta for Missing Deadlines

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge has sanctioned the city of Atlanta for failing to meet court deadlines in a discrimination case, warning city lawyers that any more failures will result in a default judgment against the city.

Taylor Tribble of Huff Powell & Bailey

Two Doctors Prevail in Trial Over Man Who Died Just Before Operation Was to Begin

By Greg Land |

A Gwinnett County jury found for the defense in a suit brought by the wife of a man who suffered massive brain damage and later died after his aorta ruptured just as he was about to undergo surgery to repair it.

Band in LawJam called

Ringing in With the Bellbreakers

By The Bellbreakers provided the answers to this questionnaire. |

Meet the Bellbreakers, another band competing in the upcoming LawJam battle of the lawyer bands, to be held June 10 at the Buckhead Theatre.

(left to right) Audrey Boone Tillman, Tara Plimpton, Sarah Powell, Sloane Perras, Kristin Aquino-Pham speak at the Diversity and Inclusion speaker series at Greenberg Traurig in Atlanta, Ga. on May 26, 2016. (photo by Rebecca Breyer/freelance photographer)

4 Women GCs Share Diverse Personal Paths


The roads to the title of general counsel for four Georgia women were as diverse as the speakers themselves, the industries they represented and the audience they addressed Thursday at Greenberg Traurig.

Tennessee walking horse called “Honors”

Ruling Bars USDA Vets From Keeping Tennessee Walker Out Of Show Ring

By R. Robin McDonald |

The Georgia owners of a champion Tennessee Walking Horse disqualified from several major competitions are preparing the horse for future shows armed with a new ruling from a federal judge in Gainesville.

Sam Olens

Georgia AG's Switch on Transgender Suit Reflects National Debate Over Standing, Ripeness

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens gave a brief lesson in civil procedure when telling Republicans in White County how the state would fight the federal government's recent pronouncement on civil rights for transgender public school students.

James Steinberg.  Megan Demicco, an associate at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

Know the Limits of Liability When Drafting IT Contracts

By Jim Steinberg and Megan DeMicco |

When drafting IT agreements, examine limitations on recovery of direct and indirect damages and know the common exceptions to each, as well as the benefits of defining direct damages, write Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton lawyers.

The February Bar Exam Results Are Out

By Meredith Hobbs |
Carla Wong McMillian. Appeals Court judge. Handout photo. 1/18/2013

Rape Conviction Undone: Defense Failed to Object to 'Improper' Closing Words

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A man convicted of molesting and raping his girlfriend's 7-year-old daughter won the right to a new trial because his defense attorney failed to object to the prosecutor's "improper" closing argument statements, the Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled.

Fulton County DA, Paul Howard

Fulton DA Defends Judge Who Handled Guilty Plea Upended By Appeals Court

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has come to the defense of a judge reversed by the Georgia Court of Appeals over comments the judge made to a defendant about a plea negotiation.

Spalding, Nix, Rhine, Melonakos & Walker will compete next month in LawJam 2016.

Band Chooses Long Name Over 'Dad Bod'

Spalding, Nix, Rhine, Melonakos & Walker is not just another long string of lawyer—and nonlawyer—names but the name of the latest band we're profiling before Law Jam 2016 to raise funds for Atlanta Bar projects.

Richard B. Russell Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Atlanta Ga.

Former Head of Wealth Management Firm Pleads Guilty

By R. Robin McDonald |

The former president and chief operating officer of an investment and wealth management firm with offices in Atlanta has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud investors of more than $35 million, the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta announced Thursday.

W. Pope Langdale III, Valdosta, Ga.

Plaintiffs' Bar Fights Rule Banning Solos From Using 'Group' In Firm Names


The State Bar of Georgia's Formal Advisory Opinion Board has proposed prohibiting law firms with only one practicing attorney from using the words "group" and "& Associates" as part of their name.

Georgia State University College of Law

New GSU Law School Wins Design Awards

By Meredith Hobbs |

Georgia State University's new law school building at 85 Park Place has received design awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

February Bar Exam Results Will Be Posted Friday

By Meredith Hobbs |

Georgia's Office of Bar Admissions will release the February bar exam results and post the names of those who passed at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams

3 Obstetricians Reviving Challenge to 2012 Ga. Abortion Law

By KATE BRUMBACK | The Associated Press |

A 2012 Georgia law banning abortions after 20 weeks quietly took effect nearly six months ago with no fanfare or resistance—until lawyers for three obstetricians who had challenged the measure realized what had happened.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta's new retractable-roof stadium, is under construction downtown and will host the Super Bowl in 2019.

King & Spalding Helps Atlanta Score Super Bowl


Super Bowl LIII won’t kick off until 2019, but the King & Spalding team worked on the game plan for nearly a year to help Atlanta clinch its bid to be the host city.

Kimberly Childs won the three-candidate race for a seat on the Superior Court.

Winner in Three-Way Cobb Judicial Race Tells How it Happened

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Kimberly Childs describes how she feels after winning a three-way campaign for the opening created by the pending retirement of Judge Adele Grubbs from Cobb Superior Court.

Tennessee walking horse called “Honors”

Judge Says Prize Tennessee Walker Cannot Be Barred From Competition Without Hearing

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge in Gainesville has granted a preliminary injunction to the owners of a champion Tennessee Walking Horse that prevents the horse—known widely as "the Secretariat of Tennessee Walking Horses"—from being disqualified from horse shows without a hearing.

Sherry Boston

Sherry Boston Enjoys DA Win In DeKalb County as Runoffs Loom for Other Posts

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Sherry Boston on Wednesday took a few minutes to contemplate the enormity of her ousting DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James by 24 percentage points.

Scott Ballard

In Lone Upset in Superior Courts, Griffin Circuit DA Ousts Judge

By Greg Land |

The power of incumbency prevailed for all of Georgia's superior court judges save one: Griffin Circuit Judge Tommy Hankinson was ousted from the seat he's held for 14 years by circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard.

Georgia State Capitol Building

Grand Jury Law Could Be Undermined, Atlanta Bar President Tells Lawmakers

Harold Franklin, the outgoing president of the Atlanta Bar Association, sent this letter last week to: State Reps. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, Alex Atwood, R-St. Simons, Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, and B.J. Pak, R-Lilburn.

L-R James D. Blitch IV and Harold Franklin Jr.

Atlanta Bar President Passes Gavel and Reviews Year, Including Equal Justice in Law Enforcement Effort

By Meredith Hobbs |

Atlanta Bar Association president Harold Franklin passed the gavel to Jim Blitch on Tuesday at the group's annual lunch at the Piedmont Driving Club.

Loretta Lynch

Justice Department's Top Officials Speak at Georgia Commencements

By R. Robin McDonald |

The U.S. Justice Department's two highest-ranking officials—both ground-breaking women—delivered commencement addresses in Georgia this month that included passionate and poignant calls for justice on the part of the graduating classes they addressed.

Clayton County Judge Races Head to Runoffs

By Gabrielle Orum Hernandez |

Clayton County's Superior Court seats are both headed for runoff races in July.

DeKalb County Courthouse

Sherry Boston Defeats Robert James For DeKalb County DA Spot; Other Incumbents Win

By Gabrielle Orum Hernandez |

Following a particularly contentious campaign, DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston ousted incumbent Robert James in the race for DeKalb County's District Attorney post.

Incumbent Judges Keep Seats in Gwinnett County

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The three judges who faced opposition in Gwinnett County will retain their seats on the bench, with voters giving them nearly identical winning margins.

There were up to 235 deputies at the Fulton County Courthouse in 2005. A panel urged increasing to 314 deputies, but only 152 deputies and eight private guards are there now.

In Fulton County, Runoffs Set for Two Judges' Races and Solicitor Spot

By Greg Land |

Fulton County citizens voted on three new superior court judges and a solicitor general on Tuesday to fill positions left vacant by officeholders who declined to run for reelection.

Cobb County Courthouse

2 Big Wins, A Runoff and Incumbents Prevailing in Cobb County Judicial Elections

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The big news on a busy judicial election night in Cobb County--with four seats open and two incumbents being challenged--is that only one race will have to be decided in a runoff.

Aaron Wright (l-r), Bryan Ward, Scott Holcomb and Marvin Lim, Holcomb + Ward, Atlanta, Ga.

Lawmaker and Former Colleague Team Up for New Firm; Plus Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

M. Scott Holcomb, a six-term member of the Georgia House of Representatives (D-Atlanta), and Bryan Ward, his former colleague at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, have formed litigation firm Holcomb + Ward.

Judge Wendy Shoob

Judge in Murder Case Refuses to Bar Key Witness Over Discovery Abuse Claim

By Greg Land |

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob blasted a Fulton County prosecutor and the Atlanta Police Department for long delays in granting murder defendants' discovery requests about a confidential informant faced a similar complaint Monday when defense lawyers said they'd just found out more material had been missing.

Fisher Phillips has unveiled a new logo.

Fisher & Phillips Rebrands, Sans Serif and Ampersand

By Meredith Hobbs |

National labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips has ditched the ampersand and rebranded as Fisher Phillips. The Atlanta-based Am Law 100 firm has unveiled a new logo, tagline and website to go with the streamlined name as part of the campaign to update its brand.

John Malcolm (left) and Phillip Thompson.

Lawyers With Death Case Experience Debate Capital Punishment


Two attorneys who have worked on death penalty cases debated theoretical and religious arguments for and against capital punishment on Monday, May 23, before members of the Atlanta chapter of the Federalist Society.

Hunton & Williams Eying Transatlantic Tie-Up with UK’s Addleshaws

Hunton & Williams is in merger talks with midmarket U.K. firm Addleshaw Goddard, Legal Week has learned, with Addleshaw managing partner John Joyce expected to discuss the negotiations with partners Tuesday evening. Joyce visited the U.S. last week to speak to Hunton & Williams alongside a delegation that included his executive team and Addleshaw’s divisional managing partners.

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Georgia Death Penalty Conviction Due to Race-Based Juror Selection

By R. Robin McDonald |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed the conviction of a Georgia black man sentenced to die for the murder of a white retired schoolteacher, saying that "the focus on race in the prosecution's file plainly demonstrates a concerted effort to keep black prospective jurors off the jury."

John Roberts, Jr.

U.S. Supreme Court Questions Prosecutors' Credibility In Ruling For Condemned Georgia Inmate

By R. Robin McDonald |

In a decision reversing the 29-year-old murder conviction of a black Georgia death row inmate, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court majority, questioned "the shifting explanations, the misrepresentations of the record, and the persistent focus on race" by county prosecutors...

Judge Todd Markle

Judge Wrongly Pushed For Guilty Plea, Appeals Court Says

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Court of Appeals has upended a burglary conviction and sentence because the trial judge wrongly pushed the defendant, who was representing himself, to plead guilty.

Cyber Security, Part 3: Identifying Solutions

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

Cyber security issues are constantly evolving. Indeed, even since the first article in this series was published, it was announced that plaintiffs law firm Edelson PC has already filed a privacy class action lawsuit against a law firm, alleging that the defendant firm failed to engage in effective cyber techniques and, thus, failed to maintain confidential data.

Cyber Security, Part 2: Firms Should Avoid These Common Mistakes

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

The idea of cyber security may be foreign—or even frightening—to many attorneys. However, as evidenced in Part One of this series ("Cybersecurity: You Can't Afford to Ignore It Anymore," April 25) law firms appear to be the next great target for hackers.

Cybersecurity: You Can't Afford to Ignore It Anymore

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

In late March, newspapers confirmed that a Russian hacker named "Oleras" targeted 48 law firms (most of which are Am Law 100 firms). Oleras planned to hack these firms to secure confidential and highly valuable insider information regarding mergers and acquisitions that the hacker could then use on the market.

Georgia Supreme Court

Georgia Supreme Court Rules in 4 Discipline Cases

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued the following discipline decisions.

Arnall Golden Vaults Onto Am Law 200 List

By Meredith Hobbs |

Arnall Golden Gregory joined the ranks of Atlanta-based Am Law 200 firms for the first time this year—making all 10 of Atlanta's highest-grossing firms either Am Law 100 or 200 firms.

Lawyer With Georgia Ties Indicted on Marriage Fraud Charges

By R. Robin McDonald |

A Mississippi immigration lawyer with Georgia ties has been indicted on federal charges accusing him of filing fraudulent documents to help his clients secure U.S. visas or permanent residency, either through sham marriages to U.S. citizens or via a program intended to help immigrant crime victims.

U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Death Sentence From All-White Jury

By Mark Sherman |

The Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of a death-row inmate in Georgia on Monday, chastising state prosecutors for improperly keeping African-Americans off the jury that convicted him of killing a white woman.

L to R: Nathan Wade and Reuben Green

Cobb County Judge's Race Centers on Experience … and Accusations

By Greg Land |

The race between Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green and challenger Nathan Wade pits a six-year jurist with deep campaign coffers against a lightly-funded opponent who is banging away at what he claims are ethical lapses by the judge.

Roderick Bridges

Judicial Candidate Apologizes For Flier Giving Thumbs-Down to Opponent's Religion

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

State Court candidate Roderick Bridges apologized to DeKalb voters about a mailer sent from his campaign this week that suggested he was more qualified than his opponent, State Court Judge Dax Lopez, because Bridges was Christian and Lopez is not.

Judge Wendy Shoob

Atlanta DA and Police Apologize for Delayed Discovery Response

By Greg Land |

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the Atlanta Police Department have apologized in response to a Fulton County judge's scathing contempt order last month demanding that a prosecutor and the police department each pay a $1,000 fine or initiate new procedures for responding to discovery requests.

Why Delta's Top Lawyer Led Its Fox Theatre Exit

By Kristen Rasmussen |

How did Delta Air Lines' top lawyer end up as the spokesman in the company's spat with a local landmark?

GAPBA presented awards at their annual gala on May 12. Honorees included (l-r) Manoj Mishra (l-r), Vicky Kimbrell, Teresa Wynn Roseborough and Christopher Chan

After Hours: Photos that Spotlight Lawyers' Lives Outside Their Offices

Check out our gallery of photos from recent events for legal professionals.

Judicial Candidate's Focus on Religion Is 'Shameful,' Lawyer Writes

A recent campaign ad in the DeKalb County State Court judicial race sets a new low in judicial campaign politics.

L to R: Carla Brown and Ronda Colvin-Leary

Gwinnett Judge, Challenger Discuss DUI Court

By Kristen Rasmussen |

One woman has wanted to be a judge since childhood. The other never even considered the possibility until about 13 years ago, when a spot on the bench opened up and the governor tapped her for it.

The Band Attractive Nuisance

Q&A On Being an Attractive Nuisance

Attractive Nuisance will be making appearances at local establishments between now and October, where they will be making their second appearance at Cobb County's Justice Jam, benefiting Legal Aid.

L to R: Joanne Elsey, Judge Stephen Schuster and Cindie Alter

Cobb County Race Among Schuster, Alter and Elsey Stays Heated

By Kristen Rasmussen |

A judicial race that started with accusations of retaliation remains contentious a few days before the May 24 election.

(left to right) Stephen G. Lowry, of Harris Penn Lowry, Bob Langstaff Jr., of Langstaff Law, Kristy S. Davies, of Harris Penn Lowry, in Atlanta on May 18, 2016.

More Litigation to Follow $40M Decatur County Verdict

By Greg Land |

A lawyer for a husband and wife awarded $40 million by a South Georgia jury for injuries the husband suffered in a car accident said litigation against an insurance company is necessary for his clients to collect.

Police Officer, Lawyer Among 19 Facing Immigration Charges

A Georgia lawyer and a Mississippi police officer are among 19 people indicted on charges that they committed visa or marriage fraud to allow Indian men to obtain legal status in the United States.

Judge Allows Data Breach Suits Against Home Depot to Go Forward

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge in Atlanta says multiple suits against The Home Depot associated with a massive breach that compromised financial data of about 56 million customers can move ahead to a possible trial.

2016 Firm Financials: The Numbers Are In

Atlanta Firm Financials tells you who’s up, who’s down and everything in between.

Facts Behind the Figures in Atlanta Firm Financials

By Jonathan Ringel |

Our Atlanta Firm Financials project presents a mountain of data, so here are some caveats and definitions of terms to use as grappling hooks.

Atlanta's Top-Grossing Firms Outpace Am Law 100 Revenue Growth

By Meredith Hobbs |

Atlanta's largest firms prospered last year, despite the uncertain economy and continued flat demand for legal services nationally.

Sam Olens

Olens Validates Critics of Feds' Transgender Policy But Says He Can't Sue Yet

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Not liking a federal policy on transgender students isn't a good enough reason to sue the government, Attorney General Sam Olens told a meeting of North Georgia Republicans this week.

Donald Trump

Trump Unveils List of His Top U.S. Supreme Court Picks

By Jill Colvin |

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia if he's elected to the White House.

Ralph Knowles

Ralph Knowles Leaves Legal Legacy on Behalf of Victims of 'Powerful Interests'

By R. Robin McDonald |

When attorney Ken Canfield was organizing the Atlanta firm that would become Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles, he called U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Johnson and asked what Johnson thought of Alabama lawyer Ralph Knowles.

Family Lawyers and Appeals Judges to Gather in New Digs on Georgia Coast

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

About 600 lawyers and judges will be gathering on the Georgia coast this week, lured there by the expansion of convention and hotel accommodations on Jekyll Island.

Dave Slovin

Google Change in AdWords Advertising Display Impacts All Law Firms

By Dave Slovin |

At the end of February, Google changed the way it displays AdWords advertising on search results pages. Before the change, ads would surround search results at the top, right side, and bottom of each page.

Mark Kaufman

Bankruptcy Partner Jumps From Dentons to King & Spalding to Advise Troubled Cities, Plus Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

Bankruptcy lawyer Mark Kaufman has joined King & Spalding as a partner from Dentons.

Judge to Decide if Georgia Immune From Slave Descendant Suit

By Russ Bynum |

A federal judge said Tuesday she will decide soon whether Georgia agencies are immune from a lawsuit claiming discrimination and neglect have eroded one of the last Gullah-Geechee communities of slave descendants on the Southeast coast.

Harold L. Murphy

Judge Awards Chattanooga Hospital Authority $36 Million in Fight Over Troubled North Georgia Facility

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge in Rome has awarded $36 million to a Chattanooga hospital authority after a management deal intended to ensure the survival of a nearby North Georgia hospital fell apart.

David Sawyer

Feud Over Fish Tank Deaths Ends in Defense Win

By Greg Land |

A lawsuit seeking to recoup about $170,000 for a fish tank whose residents kept dying went belly-up when a DeKalb County jury declined to award any damages to the aquarium's owners.

Habachy Clinches Top Award in Legal Food Frenzy for 3rd Year

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Fate of Newell's In-House Lawyers in Ga. Unknown as HQ Moves to N.J.

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Details on Newell Brands' in-house lawyers were not available in the wake of last week's announcement that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Georgia to New Jersey.

Ralph Knowles

Litigator Ralph Knowles Dies at 71

By Jonathan Ringel |

Ralph Knowles, who led plaintiffs' litigation over breast implants, latex gloves, prison conditions and mental health treatment, died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer, according to his partners at Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles. He was 71.

Morgan Lewis Straddles the Trump-Hillary Divide

Presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may not agree on much, but they have at least one thing in common: Both have found reasons to hire ex-candidate Ted Cruz’s former law firm.

 L to R: Shawn Bratton and Latawsha Little-Hill

Bratton, Little-Hill Discuss Experience, Qualifications for State Court Post

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Judge Shawn Bratton of Gwinnett County State Court and his election challenger, Latawsha Little-Hill, spoke to the Daily Report about their experience and qualifications for the bench ahead of the May 24 elections.

Adrienne M. Harrison, Ph.D., a historian, author and Army veteran, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Dentons’ Women LEAD program, held May 10 at the Carter Center.

After Hours: Photos that Spotlight Lawyers' Lives Outside Their Offices

Check out our gallery of photos from recent events for legal professionals.

Rebecca Sczepanski left in the black T-shirt plays at a gaming convention in Jacsonville Florida, to her right is Jon Davis, Pathfinder Society Venture Captain.

Savannah Attorney Gets Real Benefits From Fantasy Games

By John Carroll | Special to the Daily Report |

When Rebecca Sczepanski is not practicing law at Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn in Savannah, she can often be found fantasy role-playing at a local pub. The employee benefits and executive compensation specialist has been hooked on role-playing games for six years.

Bryan P. Tyson, Executive Director, Public Defenders Council of Georgia.

Council Votes to Pay Public Defenders the Same As Prosecutors, Uphold Hungry Lawyer's Firing

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

The Georgia Public Defender Council voted Friday to pay its lawyers the same as prosecutors with similar levels of rank and experience.

John Watkins is a partner in Thompson Hine LLP’s Atlanta office. Watkins practices in the firm’s business litigation and corporate practice groups, including a focus on insurance coverage. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia School of Law teaching insurance law.

Is There a Cyber Gap in Your Coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Claims?

By John L. Watkins |

Cyber liabilities commonly involve the exposure or compromise of medical or financial information causing economic or reputational injury. The Internet of Things means cyber risks involve potential claims.

Don Liu, Xerox Corp.

Xerox GC Discusses Merits of Diversity in Rainmaking

By Meredith Hobbs and Kristen Rasmussen |

When it comes to rainmaking, diversity can be an effective tool for getting a foot in the door, said Xerox's general counsel, Don Liu, at a panel sponsored by the Georgia Asian Pacific Bar Association before its annual gala Thursday.

Atlanta Attorney, Alyssa Freeman

Fulton County Settles Pension Case for $2.1M

By Greg Land |

Fulton County has agreed to pay more than $2.1 million to settle claims of 186 former county employees whose pension benefits were wrongly calculated several years ago.

Judge William Pryor Jr. wrote the opinion for the three-judge panel.

Convicted Killer and 'Serial Litigant' Wins Appeal—With Help from New Lawyers

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has revived a civil rights claim filed by a convicted killer and "serial litigant"—and offered guidance on handling prison lawsuits.

U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor Ross.

News Coverage Prompts Federal Judge's Recusal in Lending Case

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge presiding over predatory lending claims against an international London-based bank has recused in response to a Washington Post story that explored the collapse of housing values in neighborhoods adjacent to her own.

Lawyer: 48-Year Fugitive in Poor Health, Seeks Commutation

By Dave Collins |

A lawyer for a Connecticut man who spent 48 years on the lam after escaping from prison says his client is in poor health and he will ask Georgia officials to commute his 17-year robbery sentence.

Richard Robbins

Atlanta Investment Advisers Battling SEC Sue New York Law Firm for Malpractice

By R. Robin McDonald |

An Atlanta investment advisory firm under investigation by federal authorities for its work on behalf of a number of Georgia-based public pension plans is suing a New York law firm for $12 million over claims of legal malpractice.

Judge Reuben Green

Cobb County Bench Bows Out of Recusal Bids For Judge Drawing Fire From Video Recordings

By Greg Land |

The entire Cobb County bench has recused from deciding at least six motions by criminal defendants who want Superior Court Judge Reuben Green removed from their cases.

Susanne Hollinger

Coke Patent Lawyer Offers Thoughts on Business Goals and Outside Counsel

By Kristen Rasmussen |

No longer the exclusive purview of the legal department, a company's intellectual property plays a key role in accomplishing its business goals, a top lawyer at the Coca-Cola Co. said during a recent discussion of IP strategy.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Appeals Court Delays Execution for Alabama Inmate

By Kim Chandler |

A federal appeals court delayed the execution of an Alabama inmate on Thursday, saying there should be more time to review his claim that he is no longer competent because of strokes and dementia.

L to R: Danielle Barav-Johnson and Kaeley Russo

Challenges and Support When Seeking a Temporary Protective Order

By Danielle Barav-Johnson and Kaeley Russo |

Because the process of seeking a temporary protective order can be so emotionally difficult, it was very important to our client and to us to know that there were sources of support available.

Atlanta Bar Poll Favors Incumbents and Candidates With Large Campaign Funds

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

A recent poll conducted by the Atlanta Bar Association found incumbents and big fundraisers in judicial elections across nine counties getting the best results.

Bill Watts as President Abraham Lincoln.

Abe Lincoln, Country Lawyer, Offers Trial Tips to 11th Circuit Judges and Attorneys

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Judges and attorneys attending a federal appeals court conference in Alabama last week heard a luncheon speech by a lawyer it's safe to say none of them had met before—Abraham Lincoln.

The Grand Hotel, Point Clear Alabama.

Cybercrime Expert Tells Judges Why the CIA Loves Facebook and the DOJ Hates Onion Router

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

While the U.S. Marshal's office surveyed the Grand Hotel Marriott conference center and the perimeter of Mobile Bay the old-fashioned way—with sharp eyes, radios and explosive sniffing dogs—a federal law enforcement agent briefed judges and lawyers on how the government uses social media and the internet to secure information that once required spies.

Rachel Berlin

Lawyers Should Oppose Firms’ Rampant Illegal Age Discrimination, Attorney Writes

By Rachel Berlin |

A disturbing trend is emerging in major market law firms across the country, and it will likely impact you or someone you know. Law firms are slashing the salaries of attorneys and forcing them to retire simply because of their age.

DLA Piper's Yorkshire Offices to Feel The Brunt of Support Staff Cull

DLA Piper's Sheffield and Leeds offices are expected to bear the brunt of the firm's cuts to its UK support staff.

Koch Industries’ General Counsel and Senior Vice President Mark Holden (left) received the award from Douglas Ammar.

Photos: Georgia Justice Project Honors Koch's GC

Georgia Justice Project’s Grass Roots Justice Awards event was April 14 at Greystone Hall in Piedmont Park.

2015 Open Government Hero Nydia Tisdale at the Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Banquet at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta on September 17, 2015.

Independent Journalist Sues Deputies Who Arrested Her at Political Rally

By R. Robin McDonald |

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, a Roswell videographer arrested while recording a political rally two years ago says that law enforcement officers who ejected her from the rally and then jailed her "used excessive force, unconstitutional arrest and, ultimately, bogus criminal charges to silence a citizen journalist."

Meg Heap

Prosecutors Get More Time to Argue Against Parole for Violent Offenders

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles will notify prosecutors six months before some violent offenders could be released early from prison, a change prompted by prosecutors who were upset that they didn't have enough time to argue against parole.

James Harper

Judge Allows Racketeering Claims Against Glock Firms, Lawyers to Proceed

By R. Robin McDonald |

A racketeering suit by a former federal prosecutor against international gun mogul Gaston Glock, two of Glock's Georgia companies and three of Glock's attorneys has cleared a key hurdle.

Nicole Morris and son Roman

Georgia PATENTS Celebrates First Year of Pro Bono Assistance

Georgia PATENTS—Pro Bono Assistance & Training for Entrepreneurs and New, Talented, Solo Inventors—celebrated its first year by recognizing its attorneys and supporters on April 21 at King Plow Arts Center.

L-R Standing, Attorney Keegan Federal, Pamela Lee , Paralegal; Valerie Gordon, Attorney; Mike Watson, Attorney; Debbie Nelson, Plaintiff; Lloyd Bell, Lead Trial Counsel; Seated Chris Nelson, Plaintiff.

Jury Awards $15M in Case of Man Who Fainted, Fell And Was Paralyzed After Blood Test

By Greg Land |

A DeKalb County jury awarded $15 million to a man and his wife for injuries he suffered when he passed out and fell off of an exam table after having blood drawn in 2012.

John Monroe

Georgia Supreme Court Clears Way for Gun Rights Group to Challenge Atlanta Botanical Garden Ban on Guns

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The attorney for a gun rights group is looking ahead to challenging a ban on taking weapons inside private facilities leased from public entities after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in his client's favor Monday.

Richard B. Russell Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Atlanta Ga.

Ex-Police Officer Faces Court Hearing in Street Gang Case

A former Georgia police officer accused of helping a street gang evade police faces a court hearing as part of a nationwide racketeering case.

Lawyers, Judges Are Sparse on 'Best' Speech List

By Jonathan Ringel |

Colleges and universities looking to inspire their graduates don't think many lawyers and judges will get the job done, according to a list of 354 of the "best commencement speeches, ever" compiled by National Public Radio.

Members of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers

Photos: Georgia Women Lawyers Pack House for Annual Award Event

The Georgia Association of Women Lawyers annual dinner sold out this year at Cooks & Soldiers in Atlanta.

Clarence Thomas.

Justice Clarence Thomas Recalls Lessons from Rural South Georgia

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Growing up on a farm in South Georgia gave him a helpful perspective on his future career, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said during a hallway conversation Friday following a judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Clarence Thomas.

Fla. Judge's Medical Emergency Ends Justice Clarence Thomas' Talk at 11th Circuit Conference

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A medical emergency in the back of the room abruptly ended a question and answer program with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference late Friday.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Visitor Center.

Decision on Guns in the Atlanta Botanical Garden Set For Release Monday

By Jonathan Ringel |

The state Supreme Court is set to release a decision Monday on a gun rights group's bid to overturn the Atlanta Botanical Garden's ban on visitors carrying firearms, according to the high court's website.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Visitor Center.

Gun Rights Group Wins a Round at Georgia Supreme Court in Battle with Botanical Garden

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a gun rights advocacy group representing a member who is seeking to carry his pistol into the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Nominations Open for In-House Legal and Law Firm Litigation Departments of the Year

Nominations are open for two of the Daily Report's most popular recognition events—those that award the Law Firm Litigation Departments of the Year and the In-House Legal Departments of the Year.

Joel S. Reed, John Weiland Homes.

New Digs, Familiar Feeling: Former GC Might Be Home at Home in New Operations Role

By Mary Smith Judd |

Joel Reed's leap from a GC role to the operations side of a larger, acquiring business might strike some as a risk.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, during arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Religious Expression, Equal Protection Square Off

By Amanda A. Farahany and Taylor J. Bennett |

Given the current environment, corporations must take an even stronger stance than ever before to curtail a workplace culture that elected officials (and those who hope to be elected) have fostered.

Brain Science Can Balance the Scales of Justice, Scholars Tell Judges

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Advances in knowledge of the brain are starting to affect how criminal defendants are—or should be—sentenced and the how to measure damages in civil cases, two law professors who are also neuroscience scholars told federal judges and attorneys here Thursday.

The Marina at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa, Point Clear, Alabama

Judges From Around 11th Circuit Gather At Mobile Bay For Conference

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Point Clear, Alabama—Under Bright Sunshine and tight security, federal judges from Georgia, Florida and Alabama have gathered beside Mobile Bay for a conference with lawyers who practice before them to discuss ways to improve the business of justice.

L-R Lester Tate (Moderator) Judge Ronnie Batchelor, Gregory McKeithen, Judge Shawn Bratton, Latawsha Little-Hill, Judge Carla Brown and Rhonda Colvin-Leary.

Gwinnett County Judicial Candidates Spar at Forum

By Greg Land |

A forum of judicial candidates for the Gwinnett County courts revealed a great deal of common ground between the three incumbents and their challengers regarding the value of alternative courts and sentencing, although issues of racial and economic disparity and justice system funding highlighted some fault lines between the contenders.

Stephen M. Forte

Smith Gambrell Expands Revenue and Footprint With Slight Profit Dip

By Meredith Hobbs |

Smith Gambrell & Russell's chairman, Stephen Forte, said he was pleased with the firm's performance in 2015.

Jeff Harris (left), Natalie Woodward and Buck Rogers

Georgia Trial Lawyers' Gala Honors Judge Herbert Phipps, Installs Pope Langdale

The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association celebrated its 60th anniversary at its President’s Gala on April 29 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.

Michael Tyler, Kilpatrick Townsend, Atlanta Ga. Handout Photo 2009

Lawyer Recalls Judge Horace Ward as a Great 'Morehouse Man'

Michael Tyler, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, delivered these remarks on May 3 at the funeral of Judge Horace Ward and provided the text to the Daily Report.

Robert Highsmith

Holland & Knight Partner To Sing National Anthem At Hawks' Game 3

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

When Holland & Knight partner Robert Highsmith isn't manning his practice or exploring underwater caves, he's singing and playing guitar in some of Atlanta's smaller music venues.

C. Lash Harrison

Ford & Harrison Boosts Profit Per Partner

By Meredith Hobbs |

Steady revenue growth and expense reductions pushed up average profit per partner $50,000 to $545,000 at Ford & Harrison in 2015—a 10.2 percent increase.

5 Tech Trends Posing E-Discovery Challenges

By Jake Evans |

E-discovery is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of civil litigation. This is largely attributable to two principal reasons.

Judge Robert D. Leonard II

Fulton County Grand Jury to Review Evidence On Waffle House CEO Sex Tape

By Greg Land |

In a ruling that could result in criminal charges for two lawyers and their client, a Cobb County judge has granted Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard access to sealed court documents and evidence for an investigation into a secretly-made video recording of Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers Jr. engaged in a sexual encounter with his housekeeper.

Hunter W. Holliday

Alston Partner Moves In-House at Consulting Firm

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Hunter Holliday has left Alston & Bird to join The North Highland Co. as vice president and general counsel of the Atlanta-based global management consulting firm.

L to R: Adam Klein and Robert James

Man Jailed for 529 Days Sues County for $10 Million

By R. Robin McDonald |

When Marcus Tavon Brown was shot in DeKalb County on Oct. 2, 2012, he told DeKalb police the name of the man who had shot him.

Nominations Open for Litigation Departments of the Year

We invite you to participate in the Daily Report Litigation Departments of the Year contest.

Nominations Open for Legal Departments of the Year

The Legal Department of the Year contest recognizes Atlanta’s top in-house departments in distinct categories.

Judge Reuben Green

More Recordings Show Cobb County Judge Consulting with Prosecutors

By Greg Land |

Courtroom videos have captured more conversations between Judge Reuben Green of Cobb County Superior Court and prosecutors discussing criminal cases without the defendants or their counsel present.

Gov. Nathan Deal

Governor Nathan Deal Signs Bill Remaking the Judicial Qualifications Commission

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday signed into law a bill dissolving the Judicial Qualifications Commission and reconstituting the judicial watchdog organization with expanded appointment power from the legislative and executive branches of government.

Fulton County Courthouse

Fulton County Races Draw Hefty Campaign Donations

By Greg Land |

Financial reports for the candidates seeking Fulton County judgeships indicate unusually hefty support for several of those running to fill three empty seats on the superior court. One candidate for county solicitor general has also broken the six-figure fundraising threshold.

Judge Amy Totenberg

Sentenced to Probation, Immigration Lawyer Says Advocacy 'Crossed the Line'

By R. Robin McDonald |

Norcross immigration attorney Bonnie Youn told a federal judge on Tuesday that she pleaded guilty to illegally helping a client circumvent federal immigration laws because she feared a jury trial amid "the current anti-immigrant political climate in a presidential election year."

Ed Garland (left) presented the award to Bobby Lee Cook.

Photos: Southern Center Turns 40, Awards Bobby Lee Cook on Life's Work

The Southern Center for Human Rights’ 40th anniversary benefit reception, “Justice Taking Root,” was held Tuesday at the Foundry at Puritan Mill and honored criminal defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Feds Indict Cop, Alleged Members of Gangster Disciples

By Kate Brumback |

Alleged members of the Gangster Disciples, including high-ranking leaders and an Atlanta-area police officer who prosecutors say claimed to be a hit man for the gang, have been charged with racketeering in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Effective Drafting of Arbitration Agreements: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know

By Simon Malko & Hillary Kinsey |

Arbitration clauses are commonly included in many different contracts, including corporate governance documents such as LLC operating agreements and shareholder agreements for closely-held corporations.

Georgia Trial Lawyers Recognized Tommy Malone and David Boone

This past weekend, hundreds of Georgia trial lawyers and judges gathered together for fellowship and education at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA).

Judge Amy Totenberg

Immigration Lawyer Sentenced to Probation

By R. Robin McDonald |

Calling federal prosecutors' resolution of the criminal case against a Norcross immigration attorney "reasonable and generous," U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, above, on Tuesday sentenced Bonnie Youn, 46, to two years probation and ordered her to pay a $5,245 fine.

Stephone Johnson

DeKalb County Superior Court Candidate Pleaded Guilty to 2008 Family Violence Charge

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Superior Court judge candidate Stephone Johnson was arrested and pleaded guilty to a simple battery charge in 2008 after his estranged wife accused him of abuse.

L-R Adam Appel, Andreea Morrison, Kim Ruder and Stephen Dermer, Dermer Appel Ruder, Norcross Ga.

Insurance Defense Firm's Dissolution Sparks Musical Chairs, Plus Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

When David Atkinson and Stephen Dermer decided to dissolve their six-lawyer insurance defense boutique, Magill Atkinson Dermer, it sparked some musical chairs in the local insurance defense community.

James Butler

$150M Jeep Verdict—Cut to $40M—Heads to Appeals Court

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The battle that led to a $150 million verdict against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for a Jeep that exploded, killing a 4-year-old boy, will continue at the Georgia Court of Appeals in July.

John Collar poses with some of his students. Part of a program called A+ Squash.

Lawyer Uses Squash to Help At-Risk Kids with Homework, Life Skills

By Andy Peters |

Growing up, John Collar didn't know that squash could be something other than a yellow vegetable. As an adult, he now uses the game of squash to help teach a group of at-risk kids the principles of leadership and self-esteem and how to improve their grades.

Settlements Approach $80M in Truck Crash With Nursing Students

By R. Robin McDonald |

Settlements of suits stemming from a tractor-trailer crash that killed five nursing students and injured two others will add up to nearly $80 million, said an Atlanta attorney for the latest family to come to terms with the Mississippi firm that owned the truck.

Mary E. Staley

Judge Agrees to Move Trial for Dad in Toddler Hot SUV Death

Acknowledging the intense and extensive media coverage of the case of a Georgia man accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a hot SUV to die, the judge decided it would be wise to move the trial away from the county where the boy died.

Ann Harris

Former Cobb County Juvenile Court Workers Plead Guilty to False Billing in Racketeering Case

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Three of the four indicted former Cobb County Juvenile Court workers have entered guilty pleas in connection with allegations that hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid on fraudulent invoices, according to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

Sally Q. Yates

U.S. Deputy Attorney Sally Yates to Give Keynote at University of Georgia School of Law's Commencement

By Meredith Hobbs |

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates will deliver the keynote address at the University of Georgia School of Law's commencement ceremony on May 21 in Athens.

L to R: Larry Ramsey and Robert Ashe III

Atlanta, Fulton County Fight Over Industrial Land at State Supreme Court

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Lawyers for the city of Atlanta and Fulton County took a fight over high-value industrial land to the Georgia Supreme Court last week, debating the validity of different versions of—and amendments to—the state constitution over the past 40 years.

University of Arizona Law School’s Use of GRE Scores Creates LSAT Trouble

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law’s recent decision to accept GRE scores in lieu of Law School Admission Test scores from applicants could cost the school its membership in the Law School Admission Council.

Eric Tresh and Camilla Heard

Photos from The Value Challenge 2016: A Day of Law Workshops

More than 100 in-house lawyers and firm lawyers attended the Association of Corporate Counsel Georgia Chapter's Sixth Annual "Value Challenge" on April 26 at the offices of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.

L-R Michael Werner & Joseph Fried

Bench Trial Yields $5.7M Award in Motorcycle-Mail Truck Wreck

By Greg Land |

A federal judge last week awarded $5.7 million to a man who lost a leg when a mail carrier's truck made an unexpected turn into the man's motorcycle on a rural northeast Georgia highway.

Edward Buckley

Heery International Sued by Former Executive Claiming Age, Gender Bias

By R. Robin McDonald |

A former vice president of construction company Heery International says that, when she was terminated in 2013, the company's chief financial officer told her, "It's slash-and-burn time, baby, and your job has been eliminated."

Habachy Tops Online Atlanta Fundraisers as Food Frenzy Nets $128K

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Defending champion Joe Habachy's last-day push in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy put him at the head of other Atlanta teams as online fundraising officially closed at midnight on April 29.

Atlanta Food Frenzy Closes In On Goal As Business Day Ends

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Law firms and legal organizations participating in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy were only $2,000 away from helping organizers reach their Atlanta regional goal.

L-R Douglas Chanco, Joseph R. Neal Jr., David Olson and Joshua Schiffer.

Lawyers Overcome Immunities to Collect $1.5M for Student Burned in Chemistry Mishap

By Greg Land |

A young woman who was badly burned when a chemistry experiment went awry at a Douglas County high school has settled her claims against a teacher and school principal for $1.5 million.

The new Atlanta Legal Aid Building.

Atlanta Legal Aid Kicks Off Annual Fundraising Campaign

By Meredith Hobbs |

The Atlanta Legal Aid Society kicked off its annual campaign with its customary spring breakfast for fundraising captains on Wednesday.

Judge T.Jackson Bedford (l-r), Cheyenne Love, Gabriela Flores, Anne Hardin, Nathan Buffington, Natalie Peek, Patrick Longhi and Judge Jane Barwick

Future Leaders Recognized On Fulton Law Day

The 2016 Future Leaders of America high school student scholarship winners were honored April 28 at the Fulton County Government Center.

Atlanta Firms Sued by Former NFL Players Over Legal Fees

By R. Robin McDonald |

Seven former professional football players who sued the National Football League in groundbreaking litigation over traumatic brain injuries are now suing their former lawyers, including two Georgia firms, over liens placed on the players' individual cuts of the $1 billion settlement, according to a Daily Report affiliate, The Legal Intelligencer in Philadelphia.

Atlanta Food Frenzy Needs 11K in 10 Hours To Hit Regional Goal

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

With just over 9 hours to go in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, Atlanta-area law firms and legal organizations were just over $6,000 away from hitting their regional fundraising goal of $125,000.

How to Prepare to Sell a Software Company

By Gerardo M. Balboni |

A company that is considering a transaction should work with experienced counsel to address key diligence items that persistently emerge in transactions.

Joel S. Reed, John Weiland Homes.

Best Practices: Own a Practice Area and Maintain a Calm Demeanor

The Daily Report spoke with Joel S. Reed, vice president of operations at Pulte Group, and asked him questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are his answers, edited for style and length.

Tennessee Enacted the Toughest Data Breach Law Yet

If your company gets hit with a data breach, you only have to notify customers if the exposed data was unencrypted. But this rule, known as the “encryption safe harbor,” is being abolished in Tennessee and other states may follow. Some data privacy lawyers say the new law puts an unfair burden on businesses.

5 Tips to Fend Off Website Accessibility Litigation

Your website is probably already being reviewed by plaintiffs attorneys who have gained momentum in filing website accessibility lawsuits under the ADA.

L to R: Charles Peeler and Jason Bring

Georgia Supreme Court Considers Attorney Ads That Target Specific Defendants

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Attorney advertising targeting a specific defendant sparked debate at the Georgia Supreme Court Wednesday.

Atlanta Food Frenzy Needs $35K in Final Day to Hit Target

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

As Thursday's business day closed, Atlanta law firms and legal organizations participating in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy had raised only 72 percent of its goal for the region, leaving a nearly $35,000 gap to fill by midnight Friday.

L-R Sterling Eaves, Belinda E. Edwards and Angela McMillian.

Fulton County Judicial Candidates Speak To Voters

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Candidates for the three open seats on Fulton County's Superior Court gathered at Georgia State University Tuesday evening to share with voters what skills they could bring to the bench.

Survey: GCs Need More Than Legal Expertise

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Sound judgment and high integrity soon will outrank legal expertise as the most sought-after qualities in general counsels, according to a recent report that highlights in-house lawyers' increasingly ascendant roles within their companies.

Governor Nathan Deal To Appoint New Clayton County Superior Court Judge

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Tuesday that would increase the size of the Clayton County Superior Court from four judges to five.

Roger Quillen

Busy Year Sparks Revenue Jump at Fisher & Phillips

By Meredith Hobbs |

Fisher & Phillips reported strong growth in 2015, with a 6.8 percent increase in revenue to $158 million.

Angie Tacker

Cheers All Around at The Great Whiskey Debate

The Decatur office of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the DeKalb Bar Association hosted a sold-out crowd for a whiskey-tasting fundraiser on April 22 at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse in Decatur.

L-R Eric Tresh, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and Camilla Heard, The Home Depot.

In-House Lawyers Warned Of High-Stakes State Tax Litigation

By Kristen Rasmussen |

False claims acts with whistleblower provisions to challenge corporate tax returns are plaguing Fortune 1000 companies, an in-house lawyer and a corporate law firm partner said at a panel discussion Tuesday.

Page Pate

Whistleblower Suit Over Chinese Imports Settles for $15 Million

By R. Robin McDonald |

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it has secured $15 million from a California-based furniture chain to resolve claims that it improperly evaded anti-dumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from China.

L-R Christopher Graddock, Keenan Nix and Darren Summerville.

DeKalb County Collision With Pizza Delivery Car Yields $11M Verdict

By Greg Land |

A DeKalb County jury awarded $11 million to a woman claiming permanent brain damage and multiple other injuries from a crash with a Papa John's pizza delivery vehicle on a rain-slicked, winding road.

With Two Days Left, $50K Needed to Hit Food Frenzy Goal

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Atlanta participants in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy have just two days left to raise $51,471 for regional food banks to hit the $125,000 goal set by Frenzy organizers for the area.

Waka Flocka Flame performs during the Waka Flocka Flame: Flockaveli 1.5 Release Show at Center Stage Theater on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Atlanta.

'I Didn't Know' Won't Work for Rapper Who Brought Gun to Atlanta Airport

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A rapper arrested at a Transportation Safety Administration checkpoint for having a handgun in his carry-on luggage has lost a bid to use a defense based on not knowing the gun was there.

Fulton County Courthouse

Fulton County's Law Day Marks Miranda Anniversary and Awards Scholarships

By Meredith Hobbs and Greg Land |

Fulton County Superior Court is observing Law Day on Thursday by inviting 250 middle school students to learn what to do if stopped by the police, in keeping with the national Law Day theme, "Miranda: More Than Words."

Lake Allatoona

Federal Judge Upholds Gun Bans at Army Corps Recreation Areas

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal judge in Rome has dismissed a challenge to firearm regulations in effect on public lands controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying that Corps regulations are not unreasonable and that the plaintiff gun owners "can freely exercise their right to bear arms" elsewhere.

Fired Brunswick Public Defender Threatens Hunger Strike

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Brunswick's former top public defender, who was fired last week amid news he had hired an assistant lawyer while she was under indictment on a drug charge, has pledged to go on a hunger strike.

Georgia Legal Community Mourns Loss of Judge Horace Ward, State Bar President Writes

On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to express condolences to the family, colleagues and many friends of retired U.S. District Judge Horace T. Ward on his recent passing.

Judge Horace Ward

Funeral For Judge Horace Ward Set for Morehouse As Praise Mounts

By R. Robin McDonald |

The funeral of U.S. District Judge Horace Ward, the first African-American to serve as a federal judge in Georgia, will take place May 3 at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Ward's funeral will be in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Immigrant Students Seek In-State Tuition in Georgia

By Kate Brumback |

A group of young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and who have been granted temporary permission to stay is asking a judge to order the Georgia university system to allow them to pay in-state tuition.

Atlanta Firms Clear 50% Fundraising Bar for Food Frenzy

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

With only three days left in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, Atlanta-area law firms and legal organizations participating in the friendly competition have reached 50 percent of their $125,000 regional fundraising goal.

Justice Hugh Thompson.

Police Lose Appeal in Lawsuit Over Death by Taser

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Supreme Court took just over two pages Tuesday to toss an appeal by DeKalb County police officers seeking to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit brought against them by the family of a sick man who died after the officers repeatedly shocked him with a Taser.

Michael Neff

Snapchat Sued Over Selfie Speed App

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A Georgia lawsuit has alleged that the social media site Snapchat contains a dangerous feature that encourages posting while speeding in a vehicle.

Lawrence Kasmen

Berman Fink Adds Real Estate Partner; Plus Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

Berman Fink Van Horn has added real estate and corporate lawyer Lawrence Kasmen as a shareholder, expanding the 17-lawyer firm's commercial real estate practice.

Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Building

Law Firm Ads, (Wrongful) Death and Taxes Highlight Georgia Supreme Court Arguments

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Supreme Court oral argument calendar for Wednesday includes two complex civil disputes that boil down to law firm advertising, wrongful death and taxes.

Mallet, legal code and scales of justice. Law concept, studio shots

Governor Signs Bill About Officers' Use of Force, Grand Jury

By Ryan Phillips |

Police officers who use deadly force will still have a special privilege allowing them to make a statement before a grand jury, but they'll have to answer questions and won't be allowed to sit through the entire proceeding under a bill Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Tuesday.

Wayne B. Kendall

Lawyer in Voting Rights Case Sues NAACP Fund, Claiming $76K in Fees

By Greg Land |

The attorney who filed the original suit that led to a settlement of voting rights claims regarding Fayette County has sued the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the county for about $76,000 in attorney fees he says he is owed from a collective $225,000 the county and school board paid in the deal.

Georgia Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Georgia Rules in 5 Discipline Cases

The Supreme Court of Georgia on Tuesday issued discipline decisions regarding the following lawyers: Stephen Bailey Wallace II, disbarred; Mary Ellen Franklin, three-month suspension; Gayle S. Graziano, six-month suspension; David P. Hartin, voluntary surrender of license; Morris P. Fair Jr., petition for voluntary discipline rejected

Gov. Nathan Deal

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Governor's Right to Appoint New Appeals Judges

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Supreme Court voted 6-1 Tuesday to uphold the governor's appointment of three new Court of Appeals judges who took office in January.

Georgia Tech Legal Affairs Maintains Food Frenzy Lead

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

The Office of Legal Affairs at Georgia Tech kept its dominant lead over other Atlanta law firms and legal organizations in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy as the fundraising competition entered its second week.

Judge Horace Ward

Judge Horace Ward, a Civil Rights 'Giant,' Dies at 88

By R. Robin McDonald |

Ward, who retired from the federal bench in Atlanta in 2012, died Saturday, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. He was 88.

L-R Jeffrey Lewis and Massey Turpin.

Arnall Golden Gregory Partner Lewis Learns to Rumba for Alzheimers Benefit

By Meredith Hobbs |

Jeff Lewis, a litigator at Arnall Golden Gregory, has learned to rumba to raise money for Alzheimer's research.

Steve Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society gives remarks at the 4th Annual Shake it Up event on Thursday April 21,2016. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Slideshow: Shake It Up for HeLP Fundraiser

The threat of rain did not prevent a great turnout for Shake It Up for HeLP on April 21 at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

The AM Law 100 logo

The 2016 Am Law 100: Growth Slows for Big Law

The American Lawyer's annual report on the nation's 100 top-grossing law firms. Full financial results, in-depth analysis, firm profiles, and more.

Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams

Judge Tosses Ex-Atlanta Water Worker's Whistleblower Suit

By Greg Land |

A Fulton County judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a former Atlanta water department worker who said she was fired in retaliation for raising concerns that the city's drinking water was at risk due to workers using the same equipment they used when working on the sewer system.

Judge Beverly B. Martin

Federal Judge Gives Prisoners a Heads Up On a Quicker Chance at Freedom

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A federal appeals court judge has sent a message to more than 100 prisoners who could be eligible to go free sooner because they were sentenced under a law that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional—but only if they hurry.

Rep. Earl Ehrhart

State Legislator Sues to Stop Colleges From 'Micromanaging Sex Lives'

By R. Robin McDonald |

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart and his wife have sued the U.S. Department of Education to block the continued implementation of its five-year-old recommendations as to how the nation's colleges and universities should handle allegations of sexual violence by and against students.

Atlanta Food Frenzy Tops Last Year's Halfway Mark

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Law firms and legal organizations across Atlanta have surpassed last year's fundraising halfway through the two-week Georgia Legal Food Frenzy competition, raising $41,465 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank in the first week. Last year, participants raised just short of $40,000.

L-R Ben Garren, GC North America, The Coca-Cola Company and Norman M. Brothers Jr., SVP GC and Corporate Secretary, UPS took part in a panel discussion at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta Ga. on April 21, 2016.

GCs of Coke, UPS Value Relationships With Outside Counsel, Despite Cost Pressures

By Meredith Hobbs |

When the general counsel of UPS and the Coca-Cola Co.'s North American operation talk with their top outside counsel from Alston & Bird and King & Spalding about value, they talk about relationships, not price.

Atlanta Firms Outperform Am Law 100 in Revenue Growth

By Meredith Hobbs |

Four Atlanta-based firms are among the country's 100 highest-grossing law firms, led by King & Spalding, which posted $1,018,500,000 in revenue—breaking the billion-dollar mark for the first time.

DeKalb County Courthouse

DeKalb County Candidates Raise More Than $703K for Judicial and District Attorney Races

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Candidates running in contested elections for DeKalb's judicial and district attorney positions have raised a whopping combined $703,714 in campaign contributions for next month's elections.

L-R Bobby Cagle, Individual Honoree Elizabeth Vranicar Tanis, Sharon Hill and David Sneed. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Photos: Georgia Appleseed Celebration of Collaboration

More than 200 members of the bar, bench and business gathered at The Stave Room on April 20 to support the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice at its 2016 Good Apple Awards:

Big Donation Shakes Up Legal Food Frenzy Race

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

A big late afternoon contribution from the Office of Legal Affairs at Georgia Tech shook up the leaderboard in Atlanta's regional division of the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy.

Render C. Freeman

Settlement in Students' Deaths Was 'Never About the Money,' Lawyer Says

By R. Robin McDonald |

An Atlanta attorney who represents the family of one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students killed last year when a tractor-trailer plowed into their cars said that a $14 million civil settlement with his clients may persuade the trucking industry to better police its drivers.

GTLA past president Lester Tate, Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Dillard and GDLA past president Steve Kyle.

Photos From Georgia Defense and Trial Lawyers Gathering with Appellate Bench

The Georgia Defense Lawyers Association and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association held their second joint happy hour with the appellate bench on April 7.

Juvenile Justice Center

Fulton County Juvenile Court Summit to Target Youth Gangs

By Greg Land |

Fulton County Juvenile Court will host a "Youth and the Law Summit" on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., which teenagers and their parents are invited to attend to learn about the perils of gangs in their community.

L-R Alan Hamilton and James Roth.

Stone Mountain Park Collision Yields $2.2M Verdict

By Greg Land |

A DeKalb County jury awarded more than $2.2 million to a man who was able to drive away from a two-vehicle collision inside Stone Mountain Park and attend a company picnic, only later seeking relief for spinal and shoulder pain.

Coleman Watson

Bitcoin: The Next Electronic Payment Revolution for Law Firms

By Coleman W. Watson | Special to the Daily Report |

Cash may always be king, but it has become a rare form of payment in business transactions. As of 2009, decentralized cryptocurrency is the new kid on the block, giving rise to the next revolution.

April 24, 2015 - Graniteville, South Carolina, U.S. - Georgia Regents College of Nursing students pose for a photo in front of five empty chairs, signifying the five Georgia Southern University nursing students who were killed in a car crash near Savannah, Ga., on Friday, April 24, 2015. In addition to sending a photo, the students plan to collect funds to send to Georgia Southern's student government association, which will decide how it is allocated.

Big Settlements Reached in Deaths of Nursing Students Killed in Truck Crash, Plaintiffs' Lawyers Say

By R. Robin McDonald |

Attorneys for the families of four of the five nursing students who perished last year in a tractor-trailer collision on Interstate 16 near Savannah said that they have secured "substantial settlements" in civil suits against the truck owner, the driver and others. One lawyer said his client had received a $14 million payment.

Atlanta Food Frenzy Raises 18% of Its $125K Goal

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

After nearly three days of competition, legal organizations participating in the fifth annual Georgia Legal Food Frenzy in the Atlanta metro area have raised 18 percent of their regional collection goal of $125,000 for food banks.

Michael Rodgers

Polsinelli Snags Real Estate Partner From Seyfarth; and Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

Polsinelli has recruited real estate shareholder Mike Rodgers from Seyfarth Shaw, further expanding Polsinelli’s two-year-old Atlanta office.

DeKalb County Courts' E-Filing Will Be Down Noon Thursday Until Monday Morning

By Greg Land |

The e-filing system for the DeKalb County superior, state and magistrate courts will not be available from noon on Thursday, April 21, until 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 25, while the courts change to a new case management system.

Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal Appoints 4 New Judges

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday appointed three lawyers to Superior Court judgeships: Mary Beth Priest and John Worcester to the Superior Court of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, and Eric Norris to the Superior Court of the Western Judicial Circuit. Deal also appointed Tammi Long Hayward to a State Court judgeship in Clayton County.

Widow of Fan Killed in Fall at Turner Field Sues Braves Over Railing Height

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The family of a man killed after falling from the upper deck of Turner Field last year has sued the Atlanta Braves, parent company Liberty Media Corp. and Major League Baseball Enterprises, alleging the defendants knew the guard rail height was—and still is—dangerously low.

Ex-Partner: Judge Rickman Works Hard, Thinks Objectively and Is Compassionate

When my friend and former law partner, Brian Rickman, was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, I expected two things: I knew Judge Rickman would distinguish himself among his peers, and I knew he would not be shy addressing controversial issues. What I did not expect was Judge Rickman's character to be questioned.

Wab Kadaba, who heads Kilpatrick Townsend’s IP group, left, chats with Henry Walker, the firm’s chair, over lattes in the firm’s new collaborative space, called the KT Hub.

Kilpatrick Transforms Library Into Modern Collaboration Hub—With Latte

By Meredith Hobbs |

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has transformed the little-used 27th-floor library at its Midtown headquarters into a high-tech and welcoming collaborative space. Since opening last month, it has quickly become an informal meeting spot for the firm's lawyers and staff.

Linley Jones

Legal Malpractice Suit Targets Lewis Brisbois, Ex-Partner

By Greg Land |

A recently filed legal malpractice suit alleges that, even after an attorney missed a deadline to respond to a demand letter, he told his client that the opposing counsel was "fine" with granting an extension to reply—despite never having spoken to that lawyer.

Legal Food Frenzy in Atlanta Reaches 10% of $125K Goal

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

The 2016 Legal Food Frenzy had raised $13,136 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank as of Tuesday at noon—10 percent of the Atlanta goal of $125,000—with 10 days to go in the two-week fundraising campaign for food banks around the state.

Fulton County Judge Ural Glanville

Lawyers' Suit Seeking Court Recordings Is Dismissed

By Greg Land |

A Fulton County Superior Court judge has dismissed two attorneys' lawsuit asking that a Douglas County colleague and court reporter provide audio tapes of three hearings.

From left: Bob Graff, Frank Landgraff, Robyn Miller and Ben Garren.

Pro Bono Honors Volunteer Lawyers on 11th Anniversary

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta held its 11th Anniversary Reception on March 15 at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

L to R: Dax Lopez and Roderick Bridges

DeKalb County Election Spat Stems From Recorders’ Court Judge and Public Defender’s Dispute

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

A heated exchange between DeKalb County State Court judge Dax Lopez and his re-election challenger during a candidate forum last week brought to light a 2015 altercation between the challenger and a public defender during the challenger's time as a Recorders Court judge.

Feds Settle Medicare False Claims Case for $1.9 Million

By R. Robin McDonald |

A Toccoa medical clinic and two dermatologists who practice there have agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle whistleblower claims that they fraudulently billed Medicare, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta announced Monday.

J. Randolph Evans

Dentons Partner Randy Evans Juggles Roles in Nominating Process for White House and State High Court

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Dentons partner Randy Evans made national headlines last week by suggesting Donald Trump will win the Republican presidential nomination even if he falls short of a majority of delegates during the closing primary season.

1-2: Members of Emory University School of Law’s Lamar Inn of Court volunteered with Trees Atlanta to plant trees along DeKalb Avenue in Lake Claire on March 26. 1. John D. Hadden with his wife, Corinne, and daughter Isobel.

After Hours: Photos that Spotlight Lawyers' Lives Outside Their Offices

Check out our gallery of photos from recent events for legal professionals.

Beware of Informal Relationships and Conflicts

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

Conflicts of interest can be complicated and risky. They can be impediments to taking on new business and can also lead to high verdicts in legal malpractice cases.

Steven Mauro, Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta Ga.

Fisher & Phillips Hires New COO

By Meredith Hobbs |

Fisher & Phillips has hired a new COO, Steve Mauro, from Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia. Mauro succeeds Mark Noonan, who has retired.