Recent News

Judge Edward Carnes.

Kardashian Sisters Lose Arbitration Bid; Carnes Cracks Cosmetic Jokes in Opinion

By Celia Ampel |

The Kardashian sisters were on the losing side of 11th Circuit Judge Ed Carnes' punny federal appellate court opinion issued Wednesday.

Christopher Quinn, booking photo.

Senior Gwinnett ADA Jailed in Prostitution Case

By Greg Land |

A Gwinnett County prosecutor is in jail on felony racketeering and misdemeanor pandering charges related to a raid on a Dunwoody apartment in an investigation into a purported prostitution ring.

The 'Nightmare for Conservatives' Who Will Swear In Trump

By Marcia Coyle |

“Nightmare.” “Absolute disaster.” “Looked like a dummy.” President-elect Donald Trump has lobbed these insults and more at Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.—personal attacks about him, and positions he took in ruling on signature Obama administration cases.

Gwinnett Assistant DA Arrested in Dunwoody Prostitution Ring

Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Christopher Quinn has turned himself in to Dunwoody police on unknown charges in connection with a prostitution sting.

The Coca-Cola Co. headquarters, Atlanta

What Coca-Cola Can and Cannot Say

By Stephanie Forshee |

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association in a case that will be heard in California, alleging they downplayed the health risks associated with its soda products.

Judge William Pryor Jr.

Trump Meets With 11th Circuit's Pryor

By Vivian Salama and Jonathan Lemire |

Judge William Pryor of Alabama reportedly met with Trump in New York on Saturday. The president-elect said last week that he would select a candidate to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia within his first two weeks in office.

Hon. William Duffey

Seatbelt Maker Not Liable for Alleged Design Flaw, Judge Rules

By Greg Land |

A federal judge has tossed out a wrongful death suit based on an alleged design flaw in a seatbelt, ruling that that company's involvement in designing and testing the belt was not sufficient to maintain the claim.

Gov. Roy Barnes

Arguments Run Overtime for $100M 911 Call Fee Fight

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A battle between phone companies and governments over a potential $100 million bill for emergency call fees ran into extra minutes at the Georgia Court of Appeals Tuesday.

Ogletree Adds New Offices in Oklahoma, California

By Meredith Hobbs |

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stweart, one of the nation's largest labor and employment firms, is kicking off the new year with new offices in Oklahoma City and Sacramento, California.

Dentons' Passantino Tapped for White House Counsel's Office

By David Bario |

Stefan Passantino, the head of Dentons' political law practice, told colleagues in a weekend email that he will be resigning from his Republican Party posts in Georgia in order to join the Office of White House Counsel.

Smith Gambrell Adds More Lawyers in New York

By Meredith Hobbs |

Just a week after opening new offices in the U.K. and Germany and announcing plans to acquire a seven-lawyer Manhattan boutique, Smith Gambrell & Russell is continuing its growth spurt in New York.

State Bar of Georgia Building

State Bar Submits Candidates for New Judicial Watchdog

By R. Robin McDonald |

The State Bar of Georgia's board of governors unanimously approved a list of 11 bar members to recommend to state legislators as candidates for two open seats reserved for attorneys on the newly minted state judicial watchdog agency.

How VW's In-House Lawyers Screwed Up a Litigation Hold

The obstruction of justice charge filed against Volkswagen AG on Wednesday pertains not only to lies by employees to federal regulators, but also to actions by VW’s in-house legal team, according to statements attached to the plea agreement.

Elimination of 'Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot' Policy Will Have Impact on Immigration Law Firms

Elimination of the so-called “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy that gave Cuban immigrants an automatic path to citizenship once they reached U.S. shores will deal a heavy blow to many small and solo immigration law firms in South Florida and other places where many Cubans live.

Julius Turman of Constangy Brooks Smith, San Francisco. HANDOUT.

Constangy Continues Expansion Push With San Francisco Office

By Meredith Hobbs |

Atlanta-based labor and employment firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete has opened a San Francisco office with the addition of partner L. Julius Turman, who joins from Reed Smith.

Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Not Throwing Away His Shot, Judge Raps Nomination 'Hamilton' Style

By R. Robin McDonald |

At the State Bar of Georgia’s board of governors meeting on Friday, DeKalb State Court Judge Dax Lopez nominated a candidate for the bar’s executive committee with an homage to the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton.”

L-R Justice David Nahmias, Justice Michael Boggs and Justice Britt Grant.

Bigger Bench Means More Questions From Justices

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Supreme Court didn't just expand this week. It warmed.

L-R Nathan Horsley and Mark Begnaud, Horsley Brgnaud,Atlanta

Georgia City Settles Police-Beating Case for $125K

By Greg Land |

An African-American man claimed he was beaten and arrested without cause in the city of Dawson. With one of the accused cops now dead and the other fired from the force, Dawson's insurer agreed to settle.

Left to right: Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners

Interact Ethically With Deposition Witnesses

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

Unethical conduct can result in sanctions, a deposition do-over, embarrassment and an unhappy client.

Claud

Fulton DA Files Emergency Motions Relating to McIvers

One motion seeks to halt the sale of Diane McIver's assets under the state's slayer law; the other seeks to keep her husband, Tex, from using assets from her estate to fund his legal defense or to support himself.

Legislature Set to Consider Mandatory E-Filing; 2 Vendors Vie for Jurisdictions

By Greg Land |

Among the prefiled legislation for this year's session of the Georgia General Assembly is a bill that will mandate all superior courts in the state to require electronic civil filings by Jan. 1, 2018.

Marla Moore, Director of the Administrative Office of the Court; Ben Easterlin JQC Chairman; and Randy Dennis, Fiscal Officer for the Administrative Office of the Court. .Zach Porter/Daily Report.02/03/10

Judicial Watchdog Agency Urges Former Chairman to Become Its New Director

By R. Robin McDonald |

The new chairman of the state Judicial Qualifications Commission says he is urging a respected former chairman of the agency to become its new director.

Florida Coastal School of Law.

Education Dept. Gives ‘F’ on Student Debt to Law Schools in Florida, South Carolina

By Karen Sloan |

Two law schools have landed on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of college programs with extremely high student loan debt compared with graduates’ earnings.

L-R Members of the GSU office of legal affairs who worked on the Turner Field deal, Kerry Heyward, Bharath Parthasarathy and Neal Bateman.

GSU Team Celebrates Long-Awaited Deal to Transform 'The Ted'

By Meredith Hobbs |

It took a lot of lawyering to acheive Georgia State University's transformative deal to buy the 68-acre Turner Field site from the city of Atlanta in a partnership with Carter & Associates and other private developers.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

High Court Justices Might Need a Drink After Arguments on Airport Bar Taxes

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Very dry oral arguments at the Georgia Supreme Court Monday served up more questions than answers in a convoluted dispute over who gets to keep airport bar tab taxes.

Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson.

Fulton Sheriff: Trump's AG Pick Is Not a Racist

By R. Robin McDonald |

Fulton County Sheriff Theodore "Ted" Jackson says that he has worked closely with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, and that President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. attorney general, is no racist.

Jeff Milsteen, chief legal affairs officer, Kennesaw State University

Olens Brings Chief Deputy to KSU

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Kennesaw State University president Sam Olens named Jeff Milsteen, former chief deputy attorney general of Georgia, as the school's chief legal affairs officer.

Suit: Firm Knowingly Issued Invalid Atlanta Parking Tickets

By Katie Brumbaek |

PARKatlanta and its parent company allegedly knew for years that the wireless technology it uses "causes a lack of synchronized and accurate data" that can result in mobile devices used by the company's employees showing that someone hasn't paid for parking when, in fact, they have.

Letter to the Editor: Congratulations and Thanks to Murphy and Retiring Fulton Judges

State bar president writes to extend congratulations to longtime U.S. District Court Judge Harold L. Murphy on the announcement that he will retire from full-time judicial service at the end of March.

Jeff Mokotoff, Ford & Harrison, Atlanta.

Partner Returns to Ford & Harrison After Turner Venture—and Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

When Ted Turner wanted to bring ecotourism to his vast New Mexico ranches, he turned to an Atlanta lawyer who admits "you would not find me in a cowboy hat and boots."

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington during his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Attorney General, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Jeff Sessions Tees Up 'Reasonable' Test for Laws DOJ Defends, Drops

The U.S. Department of Justice has a duty to enforce and defend federal laws—unless the agency can’t do so in a “reasonable way,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday during his confirmation hearing to be U.S. attorney general.

Ben Miller, Center for American Progress.

Is Doomsday Imminent for Charlotte Law School?

After the troubled law school's delay in starting the spring semester, its chances for survival are slim, says an education expert.

L-R Newly appointed Georgia Supreme Court Justices Michael Boggs and Britt Grant listen to Paul Weathington give arguments at the Supreme Court of Georgia on Monday January 9th 2017.

‘Perry Mason’ Moments Mark New Justices’ First Time to Hear Arguments

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The appeal focuses on whether a nurse should have been allowed to testify after she was left off the witness list in a medical-malpractice trial.

Edward Tolley, Ga. Public Defender Standards Council. Photo By John Disney 12-02-2011

Holdover Judicial Watchdog Member Named Chairman by Deal

By R. Robin McDonald |

Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed Athens attorney Edward Tolley as the new chairman–and the governor's sole appointee–to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state's judicial watchdog.

Chris Stewart, Atlanta

$3M Settles Case of Man Paralyzed in Trampoline Park Mishap

By Greg Land |

With a March trial date approaching, a Minnesota man who broke his neck jumping from a trampoline into a foam pit has settled his claims against the trampoline park for $3 million.

Girl's Supreme Court Justice Costume Gets Ginsburg Shoutout

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a superhero to Michele Threefoot, an 8-year-old girl in Columbia, MD, who dressed as the Supreme Court justice for her school’s “Superhero Day.”

Josh Belinfante

Interviews to Fill Vacant Federal Judgeships Underway

By R. Robin McDonald |

The six-man committee advising Georgia's U.S. senators on nominations for three open federal judgeships in Georgia has begun interviewing candidates for two open seats in the state's Northern District, including one that did not open up until Dec. 29—one day before the committee's application deadline.

Justices Ground Startup Flytenow, the 'Uber of the Sky'

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a pioneering flight-sharing startup’s dispute with the Federal Aviation Administration. The justices, without comment, turned away Flytenow Inc.’s petition, which argued that pilots using Flytenow’s online platform to solicit passengers are not “common carriers” who must satisfy more stringent aviation rules.

Patent Agreements Stock Art

Tips for Conducting Due Diligence on US Patents

By Rivka Monheit |

Involving patent counsel early in the process allows for a more comprehensive review, and can provide the company with valuable leverage during negotiations, writes Rivka Monheit of Pabst Patent Group.

Patents Stock Art

IP Cases to Watch at the Supreme Court in 2017

By Virginia Carron and Ashley Winkler |

Patent cases before the Supreme Court this term, including one already decided, promise that the coming year will continue the trend of transition since enactment of the America Invents Act. The court also will decide cases concerning trademarks and copyrights.

Judge Stephanie B. Manis

Judge Stephanie Manis Recalled With Humor, Admiration

By Greg Land |

A cold, light rain had just started to fall and the cavernous, ornate sanctuary of The Temple on Peachtree Street was at capacity as hundreds of mourners – including a Who's Who of Georgia's legal community -- gathered for a memorial service in honor Fulton County Senior Judge Stephanie Manis, who died Dec. 17 at age 76.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court Increases the Risk of Big Damage Awards

By Rich Miller |

Rich Miller of Ballard Spahr writes that the Supreme Court increases risk of big damage awards.

Patents Stock Art

Continuation Applications Can Hurt Patent Portfolios

By Brent R. Bellows |

It is common practice in the United States to file one or more continuation or "child" patent applications following the allowance of a first or "parent" application.

Raymond

Q&A With Atlanta Power Bank SunTrust's GC

By Kristen Rasmussen |

ALM GC reporter Kristin Rasmussen profiles Raymond Fortin, corporate executive vice president and general counsel at SunTrust Banks Inc.

Orrick Attorney, Once a Juvenile Defendant, Follows Unconventional Path to Bench

It’s easy to see why Keenan didn’t expect to cut such a path. Unlike most of the attorneys who walk the hallways at white-shoe firms, some of Keenan’s first experiences with the law came in handcuffs before he was a teenager. Now, he’s completing a round-trip of sorts, becoming a judge in the court system where he once was a juvenile defendant.

Justice P. Harris Hines and Justice Harold D. Melton at their investiture ceremony on January 6th 2016

With Snowstorm Looming, Governor Swears In New Chief and Presiding Justices for Georgia Supreme Court

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

When Gov. Nathan Deal's declared winter storm state of emergency began at noon Friday, he was in the packed chambers of the Georgia House of Representatives taking care of some previously scheduled business: swearing in the new chief and presiding justices of the Georgia Supreme Court.

On the Move

Seyfarth Snags Barnes & Thornburg Bankruptcy Partner, Partner Promotions—and Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

John Mills III has joined Seyfarth Shaw as a partner from Barnes & Thornburg. Mills has a bankruptcy and restructuring practice and he also handles litigation for clients related to real estate lending and structured financings.

Harold L. Murphy

Approaching 90, Judge Harold Murphy To Take Senior Status

By R. Robin McDonald |

In 2012, the longtime judge was interviewed by his son, King & Spalding partner Paul Murphy in this republished version of the judge as a lawyer with aspirations.

L-R David Katz and Bess Hinson

Guidelines for Cybersecurity Will Impact Banks, Insurers

By David Katz and Bess Hinson |

Bank compliance departments, which already contend with federal cybersecurity laws and industry-wide cybersecurity guidelines, will face the New York State Department of Financial Services' (NYDFS) expansion of regulation into cybersecurity risk management.

Closed sign

Courts to Close Early as Snow Nears

By R. Robin McDonald |

Attorneys due in court in metro Atlanta should take particular note.

Suit Challenges Law Banning Bar Employees Under Age 21

By Greg Land |

A group of Athens bars and three University of Georgia students who were bounced from their jobs as a result of a new law forbidding anyone under 21 from entering or working in a bar is challenging the law as unconstitutional.

Linda Evans.

Holdover JQC Member Resigns as Watchdog Agency Morphs

By R. Robin McDonald |

One of Gov. Nathan Deal's two appointees to the state Judicial Qualifications Commission has resigned as the judicial watchdog agency morphs from one that is constitutionally independent to a new, reconfigured agency under the purview of the General Assembly.

Justice Harold Melton

New Presiding Justice Melton Marks Ascent of High Court's Younger Generation

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

As Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold Melton becomes presiding justice in a ceremony Friday, he also signifies a coming of age for the high court's younger generation.

Smartup Website

Atlanta Techtrepreneurs: Clientside & SmartUp

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Atlanta's Tech Village "villagers" push automation to the Southeast legal community. Gabrielle Orum Hernández, Legaltech News

Stephen Forte, Smith Gambrell and Russell, Atlanta.

Smith Gambrell Sails Into Europe, UK and Bulks up in New York

By Meredith Hobbs |

The Atlanta-based firm picked up new offices in the United Kingdom and Germany, along with seven new lawyers in New York.

The Chattahoochee River in south Georgia, below the Walter F. George Lake.

Special Master Orders GA-FLA Water War Settlement Talks

By Kathleen Foody |

The states were given until Jan. 24 to meet, encouraged to use a mediator and ordered to file a confidential report by Jan. 26.

Brian Tam, Forsyth County Georgia.

Cagle Names First Appointee to New Judicial Watchdog Agency

By R. Robin McDonald |

Georgia's lieutenant governor has named a former Forsyth County commissioner as one of his two appointments to the state's newly constituted Judicial Qualifications Commission, now under the aegis of the Georgia General Assembly.

Fulton Co. Judge Alford J Dempsey Jr. Photo By John Disney 4-19-2012

County Leaders Air Proposals to Fight Crime in South Fulton

By Greg Land |

A group of county officials, business representatives and citizen activists met Tuesday to discuss what they described as a crime wave targeting south Fulton County.

Ga. Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines

Georgia's Incoming Chief Justice Shares Lessons From Law and Baseball

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Georgia Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines — who will become chief justice in a ceremony Friday — is known for his gentle manners and friendly nature. But in an interview in his chambers last month, he revealed a lesser known side: He's competitive.

Appeals Court OKs Speedy Trial Demand Hidden in Pile of Filings

By Greg Land |

The Georgia Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court's order denying a drunk-driving defendant's motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds, ruling that the demand—tucked into an unstapled stack of more than 30 pages of filings—was sufficient.

Michelle Friedland during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be U.S. Circuit judge for the Ninth Circuit. Nov. 6, 2013.

Ninth Circuit Deepens Split on Class Action 'Ascertainability'

By Amanda Bronstad |

Throwing its weight on one side of a widening circuit split, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday refused to adopt stricter standards for class certification in cases where there is no readily apparent way to identify class members.

Gail Tusan.

Fulton Judge Orders In-State Tuition for Immigrants

By Kate Brumback |

The Georgia university system must allow immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they've been granted temporary permission by the federal government to stay in the U.S.

Judge Tripp Self at his swearing-in ceremony as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Third-Generation Judge and 'One More Bow Tie' on the Court of Appeals

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Gov. Nathan Deal seemed to take delight in swearing in Macon Circuit Superior Court Judge Tilman "Tripp" Self III to a new job on the Georgia Court of Appeals starting this month.

State Sen. Charlie Bethel, at his swearing-in ceremony as a Georgia Court of Appeals judge.

From Senator to Judge: Charles Bethel

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Former state senator from Dalton and now Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Charles Bethel had a simple answer to a pre-new year question of what to call him, senator or judge? "Charlie works just fine. My mother's been calling me that all my life."

Scott MacGriff with Deputy Minister of the Interior Yarmand (seated next to Mr. MacGriff) chairing a conference on Police Policy for Aghans and international colleagues

After 36 Months in Afghanistan, Ex-Partner Returns to Big Law

By Scott Flaherty |

Dickinson Wright recently welcomed back government contracts partner Scott MacGriff in Washington, D.C., from the U.S. Department of Justice, where he spent the past eight years as a lawyer in its national courts section. The post saw MacGriff spend more than three years as a Justice Department attaché in Afghanistan.

Feds Step Up Audits of Mental Health Benefits Parity

By Rebekah Mintzer |

The U.S. Department of Labor steps up audits of employer health plans to make sure they are providing parity between mental health and medical benefits as required under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

For Stay-at-Home Lawyers Keen on Pro Bono, a New Kirkland Counsel Has You Covered

By Roy Strom |

Kirkland & Ellis has hired an antitrust clearance expert by bringing on of counsel Donna Peel. The firm’s new recruit spent the past six years as executive director of the Chicago-based Pro Bono Network.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Sotomayor's Pro Bono Call, Posner's Digs and Banter on the Bench: Supreme Court 2016

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February was one of the biggest stories this year about the U.S. Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor urged mandatory pro bono for all lawyers. Richard Posner railed on "stupid" decisions by Chief Justice Roberts. And the court's microphones picked up banter on the bench. Here's a look at some of our most-read stories about the high court.

Left to right: Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners

New Year, New Plans: Prepare for Changes to Your Practice

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |
David Dreyer

New State Representative Previews the 2017 General Assembly

By David N. Dreyer |

With Gov. Nathan Deal having shown his willingness to veto the so-called religious freedom legislation, which critics argue is an attempt to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, the 2017 Georgia General Assembly may get a welcome break from this divisive issue so we can focus on some long-overdue business. There are many important issues on the docket.

Britt C. Grant

Grant’s Journey to Becoming a Justice Started With a Key First Job

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

When Gov. Nathan Deal swore in Solicitor General Britt Grant as a Georgia Supreme Court justice in December, he noted her weighty resume—but he added with a smile that the most important item was working in a congressional office. His.

Paul Tamaroff

Process Servers Group Alarmed Over Proposed Rule Changes

By Greg Land |

The association that represents Georgia process servers is raising the alarm over proposed new rules that, it says, will essentially allow the sheriffs to eliminate them.

Clyde Reese at his swearing in ceremony as Court of Appeals Judge for the State of Georgia.

Reese Took Unusual Route to the Georgia Appeals Bench

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Newly sworn in Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Clyde Reese II was the one to point out to the Judicial Nominating Commission that his resume was not like the other candidates.

L. Lin Wood.

Lawyer in JonBenet Ramsey Libel Case Calls Out CBS for Fake News

By R. Robin McDonald |

The Atlanta libel attorney representing the surviving brother of slain beauty pageant princess JonBenet Ramsey in a $750 million defamation suit against CBS says the network's retrospective on JonBenet's still-unsolved slaying has earned it a new reputation — as a generator of fake news.

12 Months of Memorable Cases in Georgia

By Greg Land |

Large jury awards are always headline-grabbers—and 2016 was no exception. But there is often more to a case than just an eye-popping award. Here is a notable case from each month of 2016 in Georgia courts.

Xytex

Judge Tosses All but One Claim in Sperm Bank Suit Over Donor's Background

By Greg Land |

A Fulton County judge who last year tossed out a suit claiming a sperm bank had misled clients about the psychiatric, educational and criminal background of a sperm donor has dismissed the bulk of a similar suit filed this year, writing as he did before that the assertions of product liability, fraud, breach of warranty and other claims were all essentially claims for "wrongful birth"—a tort not recognized under Georgia law.

Paul B. Murphy, King & Spalding, Atlanta.

Former Federal Prosecutor Says 'Massive Sea Change' Not Likely at Trump DOJ

By R. Robin McDonald |

A former federal prosecutor and veteran of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington predicts that, despite trepidation in some political quarters over President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general, he anticipates few, if any, dramatic changes at the DOJ.

L. Lin Wood.

$750M Suit Filed Against CBS Over JonBenet Ramsey Broadcast

By R. Robin McDonald |

A four-hour retrospective on the unsolved slaying of the 6-year-old beauty princess is the basis of a $750 million defamation suit filed Wednesday.

Federal Trade Commission

Georgia Company Presses Challenge to Scope of FTC’s Cyber Authority

By C. Ryan Barber |

Setting the stage for a fresh test of the Federal Trade Commission's power to police online security, a now-defunct medical laboratory on Tuesday urged a U.S. appeals court to overturn an agency ruling that blamed lax data-protection practices for the exposure of nearly 10,000 patients’ personal information.

Judge Nels Peterson

The Rise of Judge Nels Peterson

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Nels Peterson will have served in that position for one year when he becomes a Georgia Supreme Court justice in January.

Brian Rickman.

Rickman Reflects on His First Year on Court of Appeals

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Brian Rickman said this month that his first year on the job has been a humbling experience.

Firm Seeks $76K Windfall After Foreclosed Homeowner Refuses Excess Funds

By Greg Land |

The law firm JF Legal says the foreclosed homeowner views the proceeds as "blood money."

Peter Carter, GC, Delta Air Lines, Atlanta.

GC of Delta Makes Pro Bono a Priority

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The Delta legal department provides pro bono legal services to immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes—and even the GC is taking on a case.

Chinese Nationals Charged With Hacking Firms to Steal M&A Info

Three Chinese nationals face federal charges for allegedly hacking into two major U.S. law firms in a scheme to trade on information about imminent mergers and acquisitions.

Claud

Attorney 'Tex' McIver Granted Bail in Wife's Shooting Death

By Greg Land |

On Friday, attorney Claud "Tex" McIver walked out of the Fulton County Jail after posting a $200,000 bond; McIver, facing a felony manslaughter charge in the September shooting death of his wife, Diane, had been granted bond by a magistrate judge the day earlier. Fulton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said McIver left the jail at about 3 p.m.

Judge Michael Boggs.

New High Court Justice Boggs Came With Hefty References

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

When Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs was being considered for the new job he will step into in January—Georgia Supreme Court justice—he submitted a weighty application packet.

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

Winning Tips for Litigators for 2017 from Those Who Won in 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

Why not learn from winners? Texas Lawyer asked Texas litigators who won at trial in 2016 what they would each recommend as three litigation tips for 2017.

Gus Makris, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta.

Commission Ties Judicial Pay Hike to Severing Local Supplements

By R. Robin McDonald |

A report released this month found local supplements paid to the state's appellate and trial judges have fueled inconsistent levels of pay across the state.

Gov. Nathan Deal far right presents the newest judges of the Court of Appeals to (from left) Tripp Self, Charlie Bethel and Clyde Reese a handmade gavel made by inmates in the state prison system.

How Gov. Deal Reshaped the Judiciary in Georgia

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

When he swears in a new judge, as he has been doing at rapid pace, the governor presents gavels mounted on plaques with the recipients' names. The governor wants members of the bench to know the mementos are made by inmates in Georgia prisons.

Stephanie Parker, Jones Day partner

ATL Lawyer Who Led $2.54B Patent Win Had Never Tried an IP Case

By Gina Passarella |

In what at first may appear to be an oversight, there isn't a single mention of intellectual property law on the website bio of Stephanie Parker, the lawyer who led the team that achieved last week's record-breaking $2.54 billion patent infringement settlement for client Idenix Pharmaceuticals.

American Airlines.

10 Airplane Horror Stories That Spawned Damage Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

'Tis the season for cramped airplanes – and lawsuits. Luggage falling on heads and hot tea spilling in laps &ndash are just some of the routine incidents on today's flights that sometimes end up in injury suits.

Vicky Kimbrell

Holistic Civil Legal Services Are Bettering Clients' Lives

By Vicky O. Kimbrell |

By looking beyond the single legal crisis of the moment and searching for its underlying causes, multidisciplinary teams of lawyers and community agencies can help clients in poverty and at risk of future victimization.

23 Big Firms in Atlanta Achieve Perfect Score on LGBT Equality Ranking

By Meredith Hobbs |

Six Atlanta-based firms were among the Am Law 200 firms that achieved a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index.

Claud

McIver to Retire in Wake of Warrants, Wife’s Death

By Gina Passarella |

Fisher & Phillips Partner Claud “Tex” McIver will retire from his firm in the wake of his wife’s shooting death and news Wednesday that warrants were issued against him for his role in her death, the firm said.

L-R Joseph Weeks, Andrew Leipold and Andrew Lynch, Decatur Ga.

Man's Fall Through Balcony a Tough Case for All Involved

By Greg Land |

A man who fell three stories when a balcony railing gave way and was shot a few months later by home invaders at the same apartment was awarded a post-apportioned verdict of $4 million by a federal jury on Friday.

L-R Josh Schiffer and Tom Tidwell, Atlanta.

MARTA Officer Found Liable in Civil Rights Case but Preverdict Deal Halves Award

By R. Robin McDonald |

A federal jury in Atlanta found a MARTA police officer liable for battery and awarded a man $500,000, including $250,000 in reimbursement of legal fees. But jury questions during deliberations and an initial verdict with damages but no liability finding had persuaded the attorneys involved to negotiate a "high-low" agreement with a $200,000 cap.

AMC to Sell Some Georgia Theaters to Clear Way For Carmike Deal

By C. Ryan Barber, The National Law Journal |
Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Building.

Supreme Court Orders Public Reprimand of Lawyer Whose Wife Stole $2M From Firm Account

The Supreme Court of Georgia issued one disciplinary decision on December 15.

Judge Stephanie B. Manis

Manis’ Dying Request: Obit Should Say ‘I Oppose the Death Penalty’

By R. Robin McDonald |

Days before her death, Fulton County Senior Superior Court Judge Stephanie Manis told her daughter, "In my obituary, I want you to state firmly that I oppose the death penalty. Will you promise me you will do that?"

Judge Amanda Mercier.

Judge Mercier Shares Insights Into the Mind of the Court

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Amanda Mercier took time to reflect this month on her first year in the job, offering some insight into what goes on in the mind of the court.

Judge Stephanie B. Manis

From the Archives: When Manis Said ‘It’s Just Time’

By Greg Land |

In 2007, Manis chose to become a senior judge. Here is Greg Land's article in the Sept. 14, 2007, edition of the Daily Report on her decision.

Left to right: Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners

Ethical Considerations for Legal Opinions

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

While providing a legal opinion may seem like a straightforward task, there are a number of ethical considerations that can arise, including most notably where the opinion is to be shared with third parties.

L-R Clyde Reese, Charlie Bethel and Tripp Self

Gov. Deal Swears In Three New Judges — Again

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

For the second time this month, Gov. Nathan Deal swore in three new appellate judges during a ceremony in the House of Representatives chambers at the state Capitol Monday.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan offices in Washington, D.C. September 15, 2016. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Sutherland-Eversheds Deal Catapults Atlanta Firm Onto Global Scene

By Meredith Hobbs |

A deal approved Friday to launch Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan into the international arena wasn't something even contemplated by the firm a year ago, its managing partner said.

Judge Stephanie B. Manis

Senior Judge Stephanie Manis Dies At 76

By Jonathan Ringel |

Senior Judge Stephanie Manis of Fulton County Superior Court died Saturday at the age of 76, according to a family-placed notice.

David C. Ates.

Officer Fired for Flying Confederate Flag Sues City of Roswell

By Kate Brumback |

A former Roswell police officer fired for flying the Confederate flag at her suburban Atlanta home has filed a federal lawsuit saying her termination violates her constitutional right to free speech.

Commission Wants Pay Raises for Georgia Judges, Prosecutors

A state commission wants another round of pay raises for Georgia judges and district attorneys just a year after state lawmakers approved their last wage increase.

Chief Justice Hugh Thompson poses with a box that he has used to carry his legal papers back and forth for his carrer at the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Quotes to Remember from Chief Justice Thompson

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

As Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugh Thompson prepared to retire in January and return to his home on the former estate of writer Flannery O'Connor near Milledgeville, he shared his own way with words.

Chief Justice Hugh Thompson poses with a box that he has used to carry his legal papers back and forth for his carrer at the Supreme Court of Georgia.

High Court Chief Justice Packs Up 45 Years on the Bench

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

When Georgia Supreme Court Justice Hugh Thompson leaves his chambers at the end of the day, he packs up his take-home reading in a faded cardboard box with clear tape reinforcing the worn handles. At the start of the New Year, another chief justice will take over and Thompson will carry the box out one last time.

Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas.

'Judicial Hellholes' Report Trains Fire on South Texas County

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas tort reformers couldn't have hoped for more favorable confluence of events. One month before Texas lawmakers are scheduled to start a new session, during which tort reformers are expected to lobby to curb hail-damage lawsuits filed against insurers, a Texas federal judge issued a stern warning to Steve Mostyn, a well-known Houston plaintiffs lawyer who files such suits and financially supports Democratic candidates. And then on Thursday the American Tort Reform Association issued its annual report on "judicial hellholes."

Piedmont Hospital's new tower rendering, Atlanta.

Morris Manning Helps Piedmont Gain Approval for $603M Expansion

By Meredith Hobbs |

Piedmont's $603 million project is the largest one to date to gain a certificate of need.

UnitedLex.

UnitedLex to Open Operations Center in Atlanta

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

Executives at the legal services company, which also operates 10 international facilities, say that expanding into the Atlanta area fits well within the company's strategy.

Atlanta City Hall. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Ex-City Council Hopeful Pleads Guilty to Stealing Federal Job Funds

By R. Robin McDonald |

A former candidate for Atlanta City Council who also served as a city budget analyst has pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds earmarked for job training programs from the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta announced Wednesday.

Jones Day, Atlanta Georgia, July 2016. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jones Day Juggles Time Zones for JM Huber's $630M Silica Unit Sale

By Meredith Hobbs |

In a transaction involving lawyers in eight countries, Jones Day advised J.M. Huber Corp. on the $630 million sale of its global silica business to Evonik Industries.

CNN Can't SLAPP Down Employment Suit, Appeals Court Rules

By Ben Hancock |

A California appeals court on Tuesday ruled that CNN Inc. cannot fend off an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a former producer by invoking the state's anti-SLAPP statute.

L to R: Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson

Senators' Committee to Begin Vetting Applicants for Federal Posts

By R. Robin McDonald |

An ad hoc advisory committee advising Georgia's two U.S. senators is seeking candidates for the state's open federal judicial and prosecutorial posts.

Top Georgia Settlements of 2015

Find out what a case settlement is worth. Top Georgia Settlements of 2015 explores settlements covered by the Daily Report and affiliate publication VerdictSearch. Plus, top 10 case summaries and rankings by category.

Former federal judge Jack Camp leaves the courthouse after his sentencing. Camp's daughter Sophie Camp is in the background. March 11, 2011.

Disgraced Judge Cleared of Racial Bias Claims Made By Convicted Ex-Wrestler

By R. Robin McDonald |

Six years after his arrest by the FBI during a drug-fueled affair, disgraced former federal judge Jack T. Camp and the stripper he paid for sex spoke publicly for the first time last week about the relationship as witnesses in a federal criminal case.

ConAgra to Pay $11.2M to Settle Georgia Peanut Butter Case

By Russ Bynum |

Deal resolves investigation into a nationwide 2006 salmonella outbreak blamed on peanut butter produced in Sylvester, Georgia, which sickened at least 625 people in 47 states.

Castles

Full-Time Mom Returns to Law at Fisher & Phillips—and Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

Rekindling a practice after eight years isn't easy, but Cass Hollis and her new firm are confident they can make it work.

John Marshall Law School, Atlanta.

Another Racial Bias Suit Filed Against Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

By Karen Sloan |

For the second time in four years, a female African-American former professor at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School has sued the institution for racial discrimination.

Christoph Ruckel of Ruckel & Collegen speaks to audience members after talking about his representation of Auschwitz survivors in criminal cases against a former guard at the death camp and the camp's bookkeeper, December 11, 2016.

Lawyer Pursuing Aging Nazis: 'Too Late, But Never Too Late'

By Jonathan Ringel |

The lawyer for 23 Auschwitz survivors in cases that led to a five-year sentence for a former Auschwitz death camp guard and a former bookkeeper convicted of accessory spoke at an Atlanta synagogue.

Hartmut Hoehle, assistant professor of information systems, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.

After a Data Breach, Don't Throw Money at Customers: It Can Backfire

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The post-breach strategy of lavishing customers with attention can backfire and actually make them suspicious of the company, according to new research by a group of information systems professors.

Law Firms Struggle With Lateral Partner Due Diligence, Report Finds

By Rebecca Cohen |

Firms place a lot of weight on lateral hiring, but many of them aren’t very good at it. That’s the conclusion of a report released Monday by ALM Intelligence. An ALI survey found that 96 percent of respondents consider hiring lateral lawyers with a client following “very important” or “moderately important” to their revenue growth strategies. But 30 percent of laterals deliver less than half their expected book of business in their first year at the new firm. Another 21 percent deliver only half to three-quarters.

Georgia Supreme Court building

Justices Issue Discipline Decisions on 4 Georgia Lawyers

The full text from the Georgia Supreme Court on discipline decisions for W. Burrell Ellis, Jr., Cameron Shahab, William D. Hentz and David Edmund Ralston.

Xytex

Athens Sperm Bank Sued for Allegedly Misleading Women About Donor's Criminal Record, Mental Health

By Amanda Bronstad |

A Georgia sperm bank is facing nearly a dozen "novel and cutting edge" lawsuits in four states and Canada that allege it misled women about a donor who turned out to be convicted on burglary and a diagnosed schizophrenic.

Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Building. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Georgia's High Court Expands Its Bench—Literally

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The same curved piece of wood now has new sections added on both ends just big enough for one person more to sit. When the court meets for the first time to hear oral arguments in January with nine justices instead of seven, it will be hard to notice the difference.

Middle Georgia School Board Districts to Be Changed After Voting Rights Suit

By Kathleen Foody |

In response to a federal voting rights lawsuit, the Emanuel County school district plans to change political boundaries to give black voters a majority in not just one but two of its school board districts.

Law Community Mourns State Bar Past President From Macon

The state bar president writes in memory of Cubbedge Snow Jr. of Macon, who served as president of the state bar in 1974-75.

L-R Mike Monahan, Brenda Smeeton, Molly Scott and Angela Hinton.

State Bar, Partners Present Pro Bono Awards for 2016

The State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice Committee and Pro Bono Resource Center have presented the 2016 State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Awards.

House Speaker David Ralston

Ga. High Court Reprimands House Speaker Ralston for Bar Rule Violations

By Greg Land |

A unanimous Georgia Supreme Court has accepted a special master's recommendation that state House Speaker David Ralston receive a public reprimand to resolve a bar grievance filed by two former clients, a married couple, over his handling of their case.

Jessica Chastain stars in

'Miss Sloane' Portrays Lobbyist Who Ignores Her Lawyer, and Everyone Else

By Jonathan Ringel |

The new movie showcases Jessica Chastain's power to emote charm, ecstasy, anger and loneliness.

Dekalb County Courthouse. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

DeKalb to Host 'Expungement Day' for Arrests Without Convictions

By Greg Land |

DeKalb County is hosting a "Records Expungement Day" on Saturday for residents with criminal arrests that did not result in convictions.

Chris Carr.

Attorney General Names Team to Head Law Department

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Attorney General Chris Carr picked his team Thursday, announcing his choices to fill three key roles in his new administration.

The new Georgia Supreme Court justices before their swearing-in on Dec. 7: Judge Nels Peterson, Britt Grant and Judge Michael Boggs.

Gov. Deal Swears In 3 New Georgia Supreme Court Justices

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Gov. Nathan Deal said it best himself Wednesday before a crowd of legal luminaries, friends and family gathered Wednesday in the House of Representatives chambers at the Georgia Capitol: "It's a rare opportunity."

State Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs

Legislation 'Mix-Up' Complicates Judicial Watchdog Agency Reinvention Timeline

By R. Robin McDonald |

The Georgia legislator who authored a constitutional amendment to remake the state Judicial Qualifications Commission says that "a mix-up" during drafting of the amendment and "last minute" changes will result in three separate watchdog agencies overseeing judicial discipline between now and July 1, 2017.

Mark Perry, Gibson Dunn partner

Appeals Court Casts Doubts on Smartflash's Patent Win Over Apple

By SCOTT GRAHAM |

Two judges signaled the patents claim ineligible subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

Paul M. Talmadge Jr., The Partners Group, Atlanta.

Sutherland-Eversheds Merger Would Reconfigure Atlanta Legal Landscape

By Meredith Hobbs |

Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan's proposed merger with U.K. firm Eversheds would cause another big shift in Atlanta's evolving law firm landscape, leaving only a few legacy Atlanta firms that have resisted the trend to merge.

Booted Vehicle.

Lawyer's Booted Porsche Suit Draws Over $56K in Sanctions; Bar Complaint Nixed

By Greg Land |

Attorney James Potts II said he was fighting a predatory and illegal practice after his Porsche was booted in a parking complex.

CNN Center, Atlanta.

Black Employees File Discrimination Suit Against CNN, Turner

A lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia says there has been a pattern of discrimination against blacks, particularly black males, in evaluations, compensation and promotions, at CNN, its parent Turner and Time Warner.

Deputy Shoots Man at Clayton County Courthouse Annex

Police tell local news outlets the man who was shot Wednesday morning was at the Clayton County Courthouse annex in Jonesboro on a child support matter.

David Chaiken, Troutman Sanders, Atlanta.

Troutman Sanders Snags a Federal Prosecutor—and Other 'On the Move' News

By Meredith Hobbs |

Federal prosecutor David Chaiken has joined Troutman Sanders as a partner after almost a decade trying insider trading, fraud and other white-collar crime cases at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

Alston & Bird's Bob Dole. Photo by: Michael Whetstine. Photo July 19, 2005.

Alston & Bird Central to Trump's Taiwanese Phone Call

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

Former senator and Alston & Bird special counsel Bob Dole told The Wall Street Journal that he and his firm helped to arrange the president-elect's taboo-breaking telephone call on Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. "It's fair to say that we may have had some influence," Dole told the paper.

11th Circuit Favors Gay-Straight Club at Florida School

ACLU wins students at a Florida middle school the right to form a gay-straight alliance club.

Marc Effron,White Elm Group, Atlanta.

Theft of Trade Secrets and the Metadata Trail

By Marc Effron |
Fulton County Courthouse

JNC Releases Names of Lawyers to Be Interviewed for Fulton Superior Court Opening

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission has narrowed down the candidates and announced the names of 16 Atlanta lawyers who will be interviewed Monday for an opening on the Fulton County Superior Court.

Yehuda Smolar. Catherine Lovett/Daily Report.

Suit Accusing Lawyer of Phony Loan Scheme Dismissed Without Prejudice

By Greg Land |

A trio of lawyers seeking more than $245,000 from a fellow attorney have dropped the lawsuit they filed earlier this year accusing YES Law Group partner Yehuda Smolar and his firm of using a phony line of credit and "loan fee" with a co-defendant to avoid paying the eight-year-old debt.

John R. Monroe, vice president and board member, GeorgiaCarry.org.

Georgia AG Sued Over Refusal to Recognize Virginia Gun Permits

By Greg Land |

Gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org has sued state Attorney General Christopher Carr, asserting that the AG's policy of refusing to recognize any Virginia concealed-carry permits because that state only recognizes Georgia permits for gun owners 21 or older is a violation of state law.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apple Loses to Samsung in Supreme Court Design Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

The unanimous decision by Justice Sonia Sotomayor wipes out Apple's $399 million in design patent damages and sends the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr.

Home Depot Blocks Shareholder Derivative Suit Over 2014 Data Breach

By R. Robin McDonald |

Judge Thomas Thrash said the company's executives and board of directors took steps to address data security—even if those steps turned out to be insufficient.

Left to right: Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners

How To End a Representation, Ethically

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |
Sutherland Atlanta Headquarters exterior signage, 999 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta Ga. 30309. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Analyst: Eversheds-Sutherland Merger Raises More Questions Than Answers

By Nicholas Bruch |

Eversheds has long sought a US merger partner. A combination with Sutherland certainly ticks that box. What Eversheds intends more broadly in the US, however, remains unclear.