State Procedure

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Georgia State Patrol fires trooper who killed 2 teens in crash

The leadership of the Georgia State Patrol deserves credit for openness in promptly taking disciplinary action and publicly disclosing that a State Trooper’s reckless conduct caused the deaths of two west Georgia  teenagers and injuries to two others last week.
State Trooper Anthony J. Scott, 26, was fired Friday after investigators determined he was driving 91 mph … Continue Reading

What is the “full value of life” in Georgia wrongful death law?

In Georgia wrongful death law, the measure of damages is the “full value of life,” which includes both economic and noneconomic value of the decedent’s life to him or her. Unlike some states, Georgia does not provide for recovery of losses suffered by those left behind, who are deprived of the companionship, advice, counsel, or … Continue Reading

Touch at trial – jurors lay hands on injured plaintiff

The “laying on of hands” can resonate powerfully. In my background, it has spiritual and theological implications as a ritual of blessing or of healing. Can this and other senses beyond sight and hearing also be part of legitimate trial advocacy in conveying truth to jurors?
The Georgia Court of Appeals recently said yes in the context … Continue Reading

Georgia Ranked #1 in Business Climate

Our home state of Georgia has been ranked #1 in business climate, according to Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of states’ attractiveness to corporate facility investors. The selection criteria included a survey of corporate site selectors, the states’ competitiveness, qualified projects so far in 2013 on a per capita basis and state tax burdens on … Continue Reading

Shigley named trustee of Institute for Continuing Judicial Education

Ken Shigley has been named a trustee of the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education in Georgia for 2013-14.
The ICJE is a resource consortium of the Georgia Judicial Branch, the State Bar of Georgia, and the ABA accredited law schools of the State (Emory, Georgia State, Mercer, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and the University of … Continue Reading

What is the time limit to make a claim for injury or death against a city government in Georgia?

“You snooze, you lose.” The time limit to file a lawsuit in court for personal injury or wrongful death in Georgia is two years. But the time to present a notice of claim to a city government when one is hurt or killed by a municipal government’s negligence or public nuisance — whether due to … Continue Reading

Hearsay rule change in new Georgia Evidence Code

Most bright middle school students probably have a working knowledge of the concept of hearsay, simply as gossip.  “He said she said” does not mean the statement is true.
Hearsay as a legal rather than merely social concept is part of the law of evidence. The Georgia rule on hearsay will change on January 1st, when … Continue Reading

Incompetent plaintiff can be in courtroom through all of trial, but is it a good idea?

Often in trials involving catastrophic brain injury that renders the plaintiff so incompetent as to be unable to assist her lawyers at trial, the defense moves first to bifurcate the trial between liability and damages phases, and then to exclude the plaintiff from the courtroom during the liability phase.
The idea is to prevent the jury … Continue Reading

8 year time limit applies to road design claims in Georgia

Occasionally we see claims that an accident and injury was caused, in whole or in part, by negligence in the design of a road, intersection or signage. In Georgia, there can be a claim against Georgia DOT if the road design did not conform to design standards when it was built. There may also be … Continue Reading

A trap door in Georgia renewal actions for uninsured motorist insurance coverage

Georgia law allows a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit one chance to dismiss without prejudice and refile. The renewal statute, OCGA § 9–2–61, allows a plaintiff who voluntarily dismisses a timely filed suit to file suit within six months, regardless of whether the statute of limitations has run.
However, a case decided by the Georgia Court … Continue Reading