Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Munye v. The State, A17A1188
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (8/1/2017, 8/14/2017)
APPEALS:
The Court of Appeals dismissed defendants' appeals arising out of their convictions for misdemeanor traffic offenses in the now-defunct Recorder's Court of DeKalb County because defendants' motions to vacate their sentences were not the proper procedural vehicles for challenging the subject matter jurisdiction of the DeKalb Recorder's Court over misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Lyman et al. v. Cellchem International, LLC, A15A1282
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/31/2017, 8/14/2017)
TORTS:
Because it was unclear, given the general verdict form, whether the jury based its punitive damages award in any part on a now-defunct tortious interference claim or on the surviving breach of fiduciary duty verdict or both, the Court of Appeals reversed the award of $5.1 million in punitive damages and remanded the matter to the trial court for a new trial on the issue of punitive damages.
In the Matter of David R. Sicay-Perrow, s17y1439
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/30/2017, 8/11/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
As reciprocal discipline, the Supreme Court suspend an attorney from the practice of law in Georgia for a period of five years or until such time as he is reinstated to practice in Tennessee, whichever event occurs earlier, and ordered that his reinstatement be conditioned on satisfactory proof that he has complied with his obligations under the Tennessee Order of Enforcement. 
Schumacher et al. v. City Of Roswell, s16g1703
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/30/2017, 8/10/2017)
APPEALS:
The Court of Appeals erred in dismissing plaintiffs' direct appeal in their action challenging City's approval of a new zoning ordinance and map that rezoned their respective properties because the Court of Appeals erroneously found that plaintiffs were required to file a discretionary appeal, as plaintiffs' action was not "zoning case" requiring an application for discretionary appeal under O.C.G.A. § 5-6-35.
Clayton County v. City Of College Park et al., s17a0076
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/30/2017, 8/9/2017)
TAXATION:
Because the trial court did not address, and parties did not adequately brief, the threshold question of whether sovereign immunity applies in suits between political subdivisions of the same sovereign in City and County's dispute about taxation of alcoholic beverages at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Court remanded for the trial court to address that question, with the benefit of full briefing. 
The State v. Andrade, A15A0092
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/30/2017, 8/8/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The record did not support the trial court's finding that defendant unambiguously and unequivocally invoked his right to remain silent before an officer continued questioning him, eventually eliciting incriminating statements, and the Court thus reversed the partial grant of defendant's motion to suppress his incriminating statements in his trial for rape and first-degree burglary. 
Gay v. The State, A17A0060
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/30/2017, 8/8/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion to withdraw his non-negotiated guilty plea after misstating, in defendant's favor, the range of possible sentences he faced, leading trial counsel to speculate later with his client that the trial court may have been indicating that he was not inclined to impose life imprisonment. 
In The Matter Of John Michael Spain, s17y1287
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/30/2017, 8/7/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and imposed a 1-year suspension with reinstatement conditioned upon proof of termination of probation after he pleaded nolo contendere to misdemeanor stalking and harassing communications in violation of Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 subsection (a) (3).
In The Matter Of Richard Allen Hunt, s17y1073
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/30/2017, 8/7/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
The Supreme Court rejected an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline in which he sought a suspension of between six and 12 months for his admitted violation of Rule 1.15 (II) (b) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.
Scott v. The State, A17A1344
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (7/20/2017, 8/4/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for hijacking a motor vehicle and two counts of aggravated assault, notwithstanding the fact that one of the two victims failed to identify defendant as one of the perpetrators. 
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