Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
In the Matter of Joanna Temple, S16Y1320
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (5/23/2016, 5/25/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Suspension, Professionalism, Attorney-Client Relationship
The Supreme Court rejected an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline seeking a 1-year suspension following her guilty plea to a misdemeanor violation of attempted criminal usury in the second degree in connection with her role as lead counsel for payday lending companies, in which she advised those companies and their employees to intentionally violate New York's criminal usury laws.
In the Matter of Tiffini C. Bell, S16Y1280
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (5/23/2016, 5/25/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Public Reprimand, Attorney-Client Relationship
The Supreme Court imposed a public reprimand on an attorney for her admitted violations of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4 and 8.4 subsection (a) (4).
In the Matter of Jennifer L. Wright, S16Y0995
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (5/23/2016, 5/25/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Disbarment
The Supreme Court disbarred an attorney following her guilty plea to felony possession of a controlled substance and her failure to comply with the terms of her probation.
Smith v. One Bird LLC, S16A0934
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (5/23/2016, 5/25/2016)
APPEALS: Jurisdiction
Because neither party appealed the trial court's finding that the appellant had title to the land at issue, the only issue on appeal was whether the appellee had a prescriptive easement, which did not invoke the Supreme Court's jurisdiction.
Alday v. State, A15A2236
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (3/29/2016, 5/24/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Child Molestation
The Court reversed the defendant's convictions on two counts of child molestation for touching the vaginal area and buttocks of his minor granddaughter, because the trial judge improperly expressed his opinion as to what had been proven in violation of O.C.G.A. § 17-8-57.
Merrill Ranch Props. LLC v. Austell, A15A2313
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (3/28/2016, 5/24/2016)
CREDITORS AND DEBTORS RIGHTS: Fraudulent Conveyance
The plaintiff lacked standing under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act to set aside transfers non-judgment debtors made following the entry of a judgment in favor of the plaintiff on a loan default.
Hoglen v. State, A15A1755
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (3/29/2016, 5/24/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Aggravated Assault, Obstructing an Officer, Party to Crime
The evidence was insufficient to support the defendant's conviction for aggravated assault, because he was not a party to his grandfather's act of firing a gun during his apprehension by police executing a warrant to arrest him.
Ashline v. Marinas USA LP, A15A2059
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (3/29/2016, 5/24/2016)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Substitution of Parties, Adding Parties
The trial court properly denied the plaintiff's motion to add or substitute parties as successors-in-interest to the business against which the plaintiff had obtained a default judgment, since none of the exceptions to the general rule that a purchasing corporation does not assume the liabilities of the seller applied.
Delphi Communications Inc. v. Advanced Computing Techs. Inc., A15A1655
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (3/28/2016, 5/23/2016)
EVIDENCE: Spoliation
The plaintiff's evidence demonstrated the total amount of attorney fees and expenses incurred for work performed on all counts of the complaint, but the plaintiff prevailed on only one claim, and the evidence was thus insufficient to permit a trier of fact to determine what portion of the total amount of attorney time and litigation expenses was attributable to only the particular claim upon which the plaintiff had prevailed.
Williams v. State, A15A1973
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (3/28/2016, 5/23/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Driving Without a License, Right to Counsel, Right to Jury Trial
The bench trial that resulted in the defendant's conviction for driving without a license was fundamentally flawed in that the defendant was not adequately informed of the consequences of proceeding with a bench trial without an attorney and the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.
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