Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Kliesrath v. Estate of Davis, S15G1206
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (4/26/2016, 5/2/2016)
APPEALS: Jurisdiction, Dismissal, Direct Appeal, Interlocutory Appeal
The Court of Appeals did not have jurisdiction over a direct appeal from a decision denying two police officers' motion for summary judgment based on official and qualified immunity in a lawsuit arising from a death after the officers tased a person multiple times, since the officers should have followed the interlocutory appeal procedures.
McKinney v. Fuciarelli, S15G1885
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (4/26/2016, 5/2/2016)
TORTS: Georgia Taxpayer Protection Against False Claims Act
The trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff's claims against government defendants in their individual capacities based on the plaintiff's failure to obtain the Attorney General's approval prior to bringing suit, because the plain language of O.C.G.A. § 23-3-122 requires the Attorney General to approve a taxpayer retaliation claim prior to filing suit.
Clark v. Deal, S16A0559; S16X0560
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (4/26/2016, 5/2/2016)
JUDGES: Judgeships
The Governor's appointment of three new judges to the Court of Appeals of Georgia was not unconstitutional.
Brown v. State, S16A0179
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (4/26/2016, 5/2/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Jury Charges, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting into evidence autopsy photographs of the murder victim, since the medical examiner testified that the photographs were necessary to show the extent of the skull fractures the victim suffered, so they were relevant, and the trial court found that the danger of unfair prejudice did not substantially outweigh the probative value.
State v. Brown, S16A0122
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (4/26/2016, 5/2/2016)
EVIDENCE: Hearsay, Gang Activity
A federal indictment involving parties unrelated to the defendants was not admissible in the defendants' trial because the indictment was mere hearsay.
Gray v. State, S16A0278
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (4/26/2016, 4/29/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Juror Qualification
The evidence was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of murder and several other crimes related to the killing of a rival drug dealer.
In the Matter of Mary E. Franklin, S16Y0777
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (4/26/2016, 4/29/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Suspension, Unauthorized Practice of Law
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and imposed a 3-month suspension after the attorney, seemingly unknowingly, allowed her husband, whose license to practice law had been suspended, to have interactions with a client in their law office.
Lewis v. State, S16A0389
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (4/26/2016, 4/29/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Armed Robbery, Burglary, False Imprisonment, Aggravated Assault, Statement, Effective Assistance of Counsel
There was nothing to indicate that the defendant's confession to police was not the product of rational intellect and free will, even if he was under the influence of drugs when he confessed, and the trial court properly denied the defendant's motion to suppress the confession.
Carter v. State, S16A0673
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (4/26/2016, 4/29/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Burglary, Armed Robbery, Sentencing, Merger
The jury was authorized to reject the defendant's claim that he shot the victim in self-defense during a drug transaction.
In the Matter of Gayle S. Graziano, S16Y0838
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (4/26/2016, 4/29/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Suspension, Leave of Absence, Attorney-Client Relationship
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and imposed a 6-month suspension with conditions for her admitted negligence in failing to protect a client's interests while she was on a medical leave of absence and her failure to act with reasonable diligence in the client's legal matter.
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