State Procedure

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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

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

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

New source for free legal research

It’s not Westlaw or Lexis, but there’s a new source of free legal research — the Public Library of Law. I wouldn’t rely on it for anything complicated, but it’s OK for a quick, free check of something relatively simple.

Court of Appeals restricts use of medical narratives at trial

The Court of Appeals last week restricted the use of medical narrative reports in injury cases, holding it was reversible error to admit a neurologist’s unedited notes from the patient’s medical visits. The notes did not comply with O.C.G.A. § 24-3-18’s requirements for medical narratives, because they contained unexplained medical terms and … Continue Reading

$2,345,940.17 verdict sets new high in Gordon County, GA

Fri., 3/9/07, Calhoun, GA. 
In a scene reminiscent of the 1982 Paul Newman movie, "The Verdict," the jury after three hours of deliberation Thursday afternoon sent a note to the judge asking if they were limited by the amount the plaintiff asked for.   In closing argument I had asked for a verdict of approximately … Continue Reading

“Super Lawyer” listing still OK in Georgia

Last month there was a news story about the New Jersey Committee on Attorney Advertising, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruling that attorney advertisements that tout listings such as the “Super Lawyers” listings violate professional responsibility rules against ads that compare lawyers’ services or create an “unjustified expectation about results.”  … Continue Reading

Proposed new Georgia Rules of Evidence

One advantage of serving on the State Bar Board of Governors is early access to proposed rules changes. The latest is the proposed new Georgia Rules of Evidence, prepared over the past few years by the State Bar’s Evidence Study Committee. It is generally based on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Numerous other … Continue Reading

GA Supreme Court holds that RICO burden of proof is preponderance of evidence

Under state and federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Criminal Organizations), civil liability is based upon proof of criminal predicate acts, and provides for an award of treble damages for a person injured thereby. Georgia’s RICO statute defines the predicate as an “interrelated pattern of criminal activity motivated by or the effect of which … Continue Reading