Court Opinions

Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Huff v. State, A15A1031
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/27/2015, 11/24/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Armed Robbery, Possession of a Knife, New Trial
The defendant was entitled to a new trial after the trial court violated O.C.G.A. § 17-8-57 by impermissibly commenting on the similarity and probative value of similar transaction evidence admitted at trial.
Dowdell v. Fitzgibbon, A15A1613
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/23/2015, 11/24/2015)
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: Administrative Review
The Court reversed the superior court's reversal of the Fulton County Personnel Board's decision to suspend an employee rather than terminate him, finding that the superior court erred in basing its decision on certain county personnel regulations the employee allegedly violated when copies of those regulations were not properly before the court.
Carroll Management Group LLC v. A Carpet & Paint LLC, A15A1298
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/27/2015, 11/24/2015)
CONTRACTS: Agency, Breach of Contract
The property management company had a duty to disclose its agency relationship with the complex owner to the vendor performing work at the complex in order to avoid liability for the payment of invoices for that work, and because the management company failed to disclose its agency status, it was liable for the expenses.
Riggs v. Highland Hills Apartments LLC, A15A1089
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/26/2015, 11/24/2015)
TORTS: Premises Liability, Trip & Fall
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the defendant landlord in the plaintiff's premises liability action arising after he tripped and fell in a common area at the apartment complex where he lived, as factual disputes remained with regard to causation and the landlord's superior knowledge.
Walker v. Tensor Machinery Ltd., S15Q1222
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (11/16/2015, 11/23/2015)
APPEALS: Certified Question
Under the apportionment statute, the jury could assess a percentage of fault to the non-party employer of the plaintiff who sued a product manufacturer and seller for failure to warn after the plaintiff was injured on the job, even though the non-party employer had immunity under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-11, the Workers' Compensation Act.
State v. Lewis, S15G0666
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (11/16/2015, 11/23/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Plea Bargain, Sentencing
Although it was the trial court's responsibility—not the State's—to determine whether the defendant breached a negotiated plea agreement by not testifying truthfully in his co-defendants' trials, the trial court failed to make an express finding on the issue when it declined to sentence the defendant in accordance with the State's recommendation, and the Court therefore vacated the sentence and remanded the case.
Wright v. State, S15A1589
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (11/16/2015, 11/23/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Guilty Plea, Jurisdiction
The defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea to felony murder was untimely and the trial court properly found that it was without jurisdiction to allow the withdrawal.
Hayes v. State, S15A0764
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (11/16/2015, 11/23/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Armed Robbery, Firearms Offense, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The defendant failed to prove his ineffective assistance of counsel claims following his convictions for malice murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Dodson v. Dodson, S15A1334
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (11/16/2015, 11/20/2015)
FAMILY LAW: Prenuptial Agreement, Divorce
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the prenuptial agreement unenforceable on the basis that the husband failed to establish that he made a full and fair disclosure of his financial condition.
Daniels v. State, S15A1428
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (11/16/2015, 11/20/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Rape, Merger, Sentencing
Although the evidence supported the defendant's malice murder conviction, the trial court erred with regard to its merger of certain counts.
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