Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Robinson v. State, S15A1912
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/12/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Attempted Robbery, Attempt to Elude an Officer, Obstructing an Officer, False Statement, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Proximate Cause, Party to Crime, Jury Charges
The evidence was sufficient to prove that the defendant was a party to the crime of attempted robbery and that his actions were a proximate cause of his accomplice's death during that attempted robbery.
Williams v. State, S15A1857
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/12/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Firearms Offense, Effective Assistance of Counsel, New Trial
The defendant was not entitled to raise an ineffective assistance of appellate counsel claim, because the record clearly showed that shortly after appellate counsel was appointed, the defendant made a knowing waiver of his right to counsel and elected to proceed pro se on his motion for new trial and on appeal.
Finley v. State, S15A1595
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/12/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Conspiracy, Statement
Evidence of the defendant's gang involvement was relevant to show the affiliation between the four perpetrators and to explain the motive for committing the murder and conspiring to commit armed robbery.
Marquez v. State, S15A1459
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/11/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Firearms Offense, Severance
The defendant failed to show that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to sever his murder trial from that of his co-defendant.
Otis v. State, S15A1717
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/11/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Double Jeopardy, Mistrial, Murder, Insanity
Double jeopardy barred retrial after the trial court erroneously sua sponte declared a mistrial when the murder defendant failed to provide notice before trial of his intent to present evidence of mental illness solely through lay witnesses.
Tarpley v. State, S15A1457
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/11/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Justification, Jury Charges, Discovery, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow the defendant to introduce evidence of the victim's prior acts of violence, as the defendant failed to establish a prima facie case of justification.
Scudder v. State, S15A1312
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/11/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Firearms Offense, Sentencing, Merger, Right to Be Present at Trial, Jury Charges, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The trial court erroneously concluded that the defendant's convictions on two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony merged with the other crimes for which he was sentenced, since the unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime is a crime distinct from the predicate felony.
State v. Andrade, S15G0866
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (2/8/2016, 2/10/2016)
APPEALS: Dismissal, State's Appeal, Notice of Appeal, Jurisdiction
The State timely filed its appeal from the trial court's order granting the defendant's motion to suppress his incriminating statements to law enforcement within 30 days of the entry of the order pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 5-7-1 subsection (a) (4).
In the Matter of Robert B. Eddleman, S16Y0125
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (2/8/2016, 2/10/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Public Reprimand, Attorney-Client Relationship, Conflict of Interest, Fee Dispute, Professionalism
A divided Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and imposed a public reprimand for his admitted violations of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7 and 5.3.
In the Matter of Stephen B. Taylor, S15Y1766; S15Y1767
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (2/8/2016, 2/10/2016)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Disbarment
The Supreme Court disbarred an attorney for his violations of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.16 and 9.3 arising from his abandonment of two clients' criminal matters.
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