Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Rintoul, et al. v. Tolbert, et al., A17A0424
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/13/2017, 7/3/2017)
EMPLOYMENT:
The trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff's claim of constructive discharge under Georgia's Whistleblower Act based on its finding that res judicata barred the claim because the cause of action in the prior lawsuit was not identical to the cause of action in the instant suit. 
Gosline v. The State, A17A0618
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/13/2017, 7/3/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly denied defendant's plea in bar based on speedy-trial grounds because he was incarcerated in a different sovereign and thus was not available for trial.
Bailey v. The State, A17A0529
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/13/2017, 6/30/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Defendant could not show that the trial court's failure to instruct the jury as to knowledge in his trial for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute affected the outcome of the trial court proceedings and the Court, therefore, declined to find that the trial court committed plain error in failing to charge the jury that State had to prove defendant's knowledge of his possession of cocaine beyond a reasonable doubt.
Latta v. The State, A17A0562
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/13/2017, 6/30/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court affirmed defendant's conviction for child molestation, as the evidence supported it, the trial court did not err in admitting other acts evidence, the trial court did not commit plain error in admitting evidence under the child hearsay statute and defendant failed to prove that his trial counsel was deficient. 
Walker et al. v. Oglethorpe Power Corporation et al., A17A0384
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/9/2017, 6/30/2017)
PUBLIC UTILITIES:
The trial court properly dismissed two class-action lawsuits brought on behalf of former and current members of various electric-membership corporations based, at least in part, on their assertion that they were entitled to refunds from defendant EMCs of "patronage capital."
Porter v. The State, A17A0046
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/8/2017, 6/30/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's armed robbery conviction; the trial court did not err in admitting defendant's custodial statement because she did not unequivocally assert her right to counsel before she made the statement; and the trial court did not err in admitting evidence of the victims' show-up identification of defendant as one of the participants in the armed robbery, as defendant failed to show that there was a substantial likelihood of misidentification.
Slosberg v. Giller et al., A17A0091
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/6/2017, 6/29/2017)
TRUSTS AND ESTATES:
In a dispute between siblings arising after their elderly father revoked an existing power of attorney, executed a new power of attorney and made changes to certain financial accounts relating to his estate-planning strategy, the trial court usurped the role of the finder of fact when it discredited plaintiff's evidence bearing upon the issue of undue influence and limited its consideration of the evidence to the facts and circumstances that existed at or near the time the father signed the documents.
State v. Holtzclaw, A17A0148
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/8/2017, 6/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly granted defendant's motion to suppress evidence police seized during a search of her house, because the third party who initially gave police permission to enter the house did not have authority over, and other sufficient relationship to, the premises sought to be inspected such that he could consent to a search and defendant's subsequent consent to a search was the product of the earlier illegal search and, therefore, not voluntary.
Stevens et al. v. Food Lion, LLC, A17A0153
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/8/2017, 6/29/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
Although the trial court entered its order amending the judgment in a negligence action outside the term of court in which the judgment was entered, defendant filed its motion to amend during the same term of court as the original judgment; accordingly, the trial court had inherent power to amend the judgment and the Court thus affirmed the grant of the motion to amend. 
Wallace v. The State, A17A0051
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/6/2017, 6/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for new trial following his convictions on three counts of felony theft by shoplifting based on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims, because defendant failed to show both that his trial counsel performed deficiently and that he was prejudiced as a result of that deficiency. 
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