Court Opinions

Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Hillman v. Johnson, S15A0097
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/7/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Habeas Corpus, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Firearms Offense, Sentencing, Recidivist, Armed Robbery, Burglary, Aggravated Assault
The Court reversed the denial of the appellant's petition for habeas corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel, as he demonstrated that, but for his counsel's deficient performance in failing to raise an objection with respect to his recidivist sentence for his possession of a firearm by a convicted felon conviction, there was a reasonable probability that the trial court would have sentenced him to less than the maximum five years on that conviction because O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7 subsection (a) does not apply to the felon-in-possession statute.
Jones v. Boone, S15A0521
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/7/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Quo Warranto Action, Standing
The trial court properly granted a writ of quo warranto after determining that the mayor of the City of Gordon did not possess the power to appoint the appellant as city attorney.
Davis v. VCP S. LLC, S15A0142; S15X0143
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/7/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Civil Contempt
There was evidence to support the trial court's finding that the defendant was in both civil and criminal contempt of the order requiring her to take affirmative action to restore a company's Facebook page after she had the page deactivated during the course of a legal dispute with her late-husband's business partner over the ownership of the businesses and certain trademarks.
Marshall v. State, S15A0624
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/7/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, False Statement, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The defendant failed to prove his several ineffective assistance of counsel claims after he was convicted of murder and making false statements to law enforcement officers.
McLeod v. Clements, S14G1225
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/6/2015)
REAL PROPERTY: Covenant Appurtenant, Chain of Title
The Court affirmed the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment in a dispute over the appellant's entitlement to water from a well on the appellee's land at no cost pursuant to a purported covenant running with the land, as the appellee had no actual or constructive knowledge of a 1971 water agreement.
Stone v. Stone, S15F0064
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/6/2015)
FAMILY LAW: Child Custody, Divorce
The trial court erred in awarding joint legal custody of the child to the father and the maternal grandmother, as Georgia statutory law supports joint custody arrangements only between parents.
Phillips v. Harmon, S14G1868; S14G1893; S14G1895
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/6/2015)
TORTS: Medical Malpractice, Negligence
The medical malpractice plaintiffs were entitled to a new trial following a verdict in favor of the hospital defendants, because the trial court responded to a note from the jury during deliberations regarding their inability to reach a verdict without ever advising the parties or their counsel that the communication had taken place.
State v. Springer, S14G1539
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/6/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Mutually Exclusive Verdicts, Involuntary Manslaughter, Aggravated Assault, Intent
The Court overruled Jackson v. State and its progeny in holding that the defendant's convictions for aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter based on reckless conduct were not mutually exclusive.
Bharadia v. State, S14G1149
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Extraordinary Motion for New Trial, Burglary, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Sexual Battery
The trial court properly denied the defendant's extraordinary motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, since he failed to show the essential requirement that the delay in obtaining the DNA identification evidence from gloves used during the crimes was not caused by a lack of due diligence.
Dailey v. State, S15A0587
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Jury Charges
The trial judge's comments to defense counsel in the jury's presence, although unnecessary, in no way constituted the type of direct comment on the substance or weight of the evidence that runs afoul of O.C.G.A. § 17-8-57.
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