Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
In the Matter of Neville T. Francis, S15Y1117
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Discipline, Review Panel Reprimand, Law Office Records
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and ordered a Review Panel reprimand for the attorney's improper use of his trust account.
In the Matter of Charles B. Merrill Jr., S15Y1102
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Surrender of License
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for the voluntary surrender of his license to practice law after he was convicted of a felony.
In the Matter of William F. Heitmann III, S15Y0968
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Discipline, Public Reprimand
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and ordered a public reprimand in connection with unsolicited contacts an independent contractor at the attorney's law practice made to car accident victims.
In the Matter of David P. Rachel, S15Y0830
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Voluntary Suspension
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for the voluntary suspension of his license to practice law pending the outcome of his appeal from his criminal convictions.
Trimble v. State, S15A0040
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Statement, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Grand Jury
Following its grant of a new trial, the trial court properly declined to conduct a second Jackson-Denno hearing to consider anew the admissibility of the defendant's custodial statement, since O.C.G.A. § 5-5-48 does not require de novo reconsideration of rulings made prior to the first trial.
State v. Easter, S14G1628
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Aggravated Assault, Jury Charges, Indictment
The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' judgment, holding that the trial court did not charge the jury on aggravated assault in a manner not alleged in the indictment.
State v. Jones, S14G1061
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
EVIDENCE: Prior Crimes, Prior Bad Acts, Relevance
Evidence of a prior conviction may be relevant under O.C.G.A. § 24-4-404 subsection (b), without regard to whether the charged crime is one requiring a specific or general intent, when it is offered for the permissible purpose of showing a criminal defendant's intent and knowledge.
In the Matter of Eric C. Lang, S13Y0736; S14Y0892
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/3/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Reinstatement
The Supreme Court reinstated an attorney to the practice of law following his suspension.
Bickerstaff v. SunTrust Bank, A14A1780; A14A1781
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (3/30/2015, 6/2/2015)
ADR: Arbitration
The plaintiff effectively exercised his right to opt out of arbitration, pursuant to the opt-out provision in a deposit accounts agreement, when he filed suit against the bank alleging he was charged usurious bank card overdraft fees.
State v. Kazmierczak, A14A2046
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (3/30/2015, 6/2/2015)
EVIDENCE: Search Warrant
The presence of an odor of marijuana emanating from a specified location may be the sole basis for the issuance of a search warrant if the affidavit for the warrant contains sufficient information for a magistrate to determine that the officer who detected the odor is qualified to recognize the odor as marijuana.
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