In a case of negligent security against a commercial property owner, Couch v. Red Roof Inns Inc., S12Q0625, the Georgia Supreme Court last week upheld Georgia’s apportionment statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.

In a 5 -2 decision, with Justice Benham and Presiding Justice Hunstein dissenting, the Georgia Supreme Court found that (1) the jury is allowed to apportion damages among the property owner and the criminal assailant, and (2) instructions or special verdict form requiring such apportionment would not violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights. In addition to the Supreme Court’s  analysis of the statutory construction of O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, the opinion

Kids and swimming pools are a delightful part of summer. This time of year I am often reminded of the pleasant memories of taking my two offspring to the neighborhood pool to play in the water with their friends. Memories of many neighborhood swim meets at the end of sweltering days. I never dreamed that those competitions between teams of young children from subdivision swim & tennis clubs in Sandy Springs would eventually lead to one of my little darlings becoming a triathlete.

But each summer the joy of pool play is accompanied by tragedy. The case that led me

When a patron of a business is assaulted and injured by a criminal on the premises, there is sometimes a possibility of suing the business or property owner for negligent security.

When I have handled such cases, the usual drill has been to gather evidence of prior criminal assaults on the premises to prove that the owner was on notice of the need for increased security, and then get an expert to testify about the types of security measures that should have been employed but were not.

Often when we have investigated potential cases of negligent security we have found

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 counsels of some of Georgia’s leading corporations. In 75 days, I will complete my term as State Bar president and get back to practicing law full-time.

I do not expect any favoritism from anyone as cases must be decided on their merits.  But if a

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 Minutes” – at the Georgia Law of Torts seminar at Mercer University Law School in Macon on September 23, 2011.

11. Propose a stipulation that attorneys issue deposition subpoenas.

While federal law authorizes attorneys as officers of the court to issue subpoenas on standard forms, current Georgia

Today the Supreme Court of Georgia held, in a 4-3 decision, that notwithstanding a moral obligation to do so, a motel manager has no legal duty to investigate the health of a guest on the request of a family member.

In the case of RASNICK v. KRISHNA HOSPITALITY, INC., a 77 year old man from Texas was staying at a motel in Jesup while on a work assignment in Georgia, and spoke with his wife several times per day. When his wife was unable to contact him in several attempts one evening, she repeatedly asked the motel staff to