Legislation

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Does Georgia really need more than five “loser pays” rules?

Do advocates of more “loser pays” rules offer a solution in search of a problem?
Are people unaware of the “loser pays” sanctions that are already part of Georgia law?
As discussed in previous posts, Georgia already has five statutory “loser pays” rules, four of which passed in tort reform legislation during the time I have been … Continue Reading

Georgia “loser pays” rule # 5 – bad faith, stubborn litigiousness, undue trouble and expense

Brig. Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb, father of Georgia’s first “loser pays” statute”
The oldest of the five “loser pays” rules in existing Georgia law has been in effect for nearly 150 years, having first appeared in the Code of 1863.
That Code was largely the work product of Thomas R. R. Cobb, son-in-law of Chief Justice … Continue Reading

Georgia “loser pays” rule #3 – fee awards for no justiciable issue, delay or harassment

Advocates of tort reform often call for “loser pays” legislation. Georgia already has five different “loser pays” rules. In earlier posts I have discussed OCGA § 9-11-68, enacted as part of tort reform legislation in 2005, which includes both the offer of judgment / offer of settlement rule and the frivolous claims and defenses rule.
O.C.G.A. … Continue Reading

NJ suit by spectator against Little League baseball player would be tossed out by Georgia courts

Baseball has been called the great American pastime. We all love an occasional trip to Turner Field to watch the Braves, and nothing can compare with family outings to minor league baseball games in smaller cities. I have nothing but pleasant memories of the spring and summer afternoons and evenings rooting for my son in … Continue Reading

The learning curve of a bar president

In the past 10 days this plaintiffs’ trial lawyer, in the capacity of State Bar of Georgia president, has co-presided over a joint meeting of the State Bar Executive Committee and the Georgia Supreme Court, had a joint press conference with the Attorney General of Georgia and spoke at a lunch meeting that included general … Continue Reading

Independent Courts as Economic Infrastructure

The following article appeared in the February 2012 issue of the Georgia Bar Journal.
A third of a century trekking between Georgia courts, first in a single rural circuit and then more or less statewide, has made me a minor connoisseur of courthouses, the most visible physical infrastructure of the judicial system. I have tried cases … Continue Reading

“Tough on crime, smart on crime”

The State Bar of Georgia communications staff will distribute the following article to all Georgia newspapers this week:

Tough on Crime, Smart on Crime
By Kenneth L. Shigley
My first job after law school was as a prosecutor in a rural judicial circuit. Soon after joining the district attorney’s office, I assisted in a death penalty trial for … Continue Reading

Only 81 days remain as State Bar president

A year goes by awfully fast when you’re working two full-time jobs. With only 81 days remaining in my term as State Bar president, I look forward to the ability to just focus on my clients and my law practice.  For now, however, I find myself working late into the night to catch up on … Continue Reading

Tough on Crime, Smart on Crime

(The following President’s column appeared in the December 2011 issue of the Georgia Bar Journal.)
My first job after law school was as an assistant district attorney in the small town where I had graduated from high school. I was 26 but in blue jeans rather than a suit could have passed for a decade younger. … Continue Reading

Trial preparation – propose stipulation that attorneys can issue deposition subpoenas

My law practice is focused on personal injury, wrongful death and commercial trucking law practice. As president of the State Bar of Georgia, I have many occasions to speak to groups, both in and out of my practice area. The following is excerpted from my presentation — “Trial Preparation: 30 tips in 30 … Continue Reading