Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Blackmon v. The State, S17A0993
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/25/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Defendant failed to prove his several ineffective assistance of counsel claims following his convictions for felony murder and other crimes arising out of a drug deal gone wrong.
Hampton v. The State, S17A0984
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/25/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and related crimes after he fatally shot a man at a bar where defendant sometimes worked as a security guard. 
Moran v. The State, S17A0967
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/25/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and related crimes and the trial court did not err in admitting photographs of text messages on defendant's cell phone, as defendant had executed a Fourth Amendment waiver as a condition of her probation for other crimes and there was reasonable suspicion that defendant was involved in a murder.
Davis v. The State, S17A0949
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/24/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and defendant failed to prove his several ineffective assistance of counsel claims. 
The State v. Wilkins, S17A0873
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/24/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting defendant's pretrial motion in limine to exclude incriminating statements his co-defendant made with regard to a double murder, as the evidence supported the trial court's conclusion that the co-defendant did not make the challenged statements "in furtherance of the conspiracy" and the statements, therefore, did not fall within the exception to the hearsay rule provided by O.C.G.A. § 24-8-801 subsection (d) (2) (E).
Williams v. The State, S17A0764
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/24/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's conviction for the malice murder of his wife and any error in the trial court's decisions to admit evidence of defendant's prior bad acts and allow State to perform a demonstration was harmless in light of the overwhelming evidence of guilt. 
Deloney v. The State, S17A0700
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/23/2017)
APPEALS:
Defendant was not entitled to an out-of-time appeal following his guilty plea to the felony murder of his 6-year-old daughter and numerous other crimes and the trial court was thus not required to hold an evidentiary hearing on his motion.
Provenzano v. Jones, S17A0688
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/2/2017, 10/23/2017)
FAMILY LAW:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing husband's alimony obligation pursuant to Georgia's "live-in lover" law, O.C.G.A. § 19-6-19 subsection (b), because wife voluntarily cohabited in "a meretricious relationship with a third party."
Spencer v. The State, S16G1751
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/2/2017, 10/23/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the trial court properly admitted a police officer's testimony correlating the results of a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test with a numeric blood alcohol content; accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision affirming defendant's DUI-less safe conviction. 
Zelda Enterprises, LLLP et al. v. Guarino et al., A16A1437
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/4/2017, 10/20/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
In granting appellees' motion to disqualify appellants' counsel, the trial court failed to first assess whether appellees waived the opportunity to move for disqualification of counsel before granting the motion; accordingly, the Court vacated the order granting the motion and remanded for further proceedings. 
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