Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Safari v. RES-MS Bayfront LLC, A15A0645
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/27/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Discovery
The trial court erred in excluding a defendant's testimony as to the value of properties that the defendants allegedly fraudulently transferred prior to the plaintiffs obtaining judgments against them, because the trial court's scheduling order requiring the defendants to identify expert witnesses by a certain date could not be construed as requiring the defendants to identify the defendant as an expert witness.
AAA Restoration Co. Inc. v. Peek, A15A0555
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/27/2015)
ADR: Arbitration
The arbitration clause in the parties' agreement was not unenforceable, despite the fact that the designated arbitral forum did not exist, because the selection of a particular forum was merely an "ancillary logistical concern" and the trial court was thus permitted to appoint a substitute arbitrator.
Day v. Floyd County Bd. of Educ., A15A0401; A15A0402
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/27/2015)
APPEALS: Jurisdiction, Right to Appeal
Because the teacher who was appealing the board of education's decision not to renew her employment contract was employed at a charter school, she was not entitled to the procedural rights and remedies afforded by the Fair Dismissal Act, as the charter system was exempt from the FDA and its administrative appeals process pursuant to the general waiver of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2065 subsection (a).
Johnson v. Bank of Am. NA, A15A0688
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/27/2015)
REAL PROPERTY: Quiet Title, Lis Pendens
The plaintiff had standing to bring his suit to quiet title against all the world to certain residential property and the trial court therefore erred in dismissing the suit and in cancelling a lis pendens.
Castle Point Homeowners Ass'n Inc. v. Simmons, A15A0396
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/26/2015)
REAL PROPERTY: Homeowners' Association, Restrictive Covenants
An issue of fact remained as to whether the defendant was bound by the homeowners' association covenants under the theory of implied covenants and the trial court thus erred in granting summary judgment to her in the association's lawsuit seeking to force her to comply with the recorded covenants.
Smith v. Williams, A15A0670
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/26/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Dissolution, Fee Dispute
In a dispute between former law partners stemming from the breakup of their law firm, the trial court properly found that certain workers' compensation cases were assets and the determination of the value of those assets was properly reserved until the main determination of the case; the trial court thus properly denied the appellant's motion for summary judgment.
Vidal v. Leavell, A15A0566
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/26/2015)
CIVIL RIGHTS: Qualified Immunity, Excessive Use of Force
Official immunity barred the plaintiff's claims against an off-duty officer who was providing security at a restaurant when he arrested the plaintiff, because there was no evidence to support a finding that the officer's actions were done with actual malice.
Stephens v. Zimmerman, A15A0297
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/26/2015)
TORTS: Immunity, False Imprisonment, False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution, Section 1983
The City of Savannah and a police officer were entitled to immunity in the plaintiff's lawsuit for false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution and a violation of 42 USC § 1983.
McCumber v. Petroleum Servs. Group LLC, A15A0055; A15A0056
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/25/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Collateral Estoppel
Collateral estoppel barred the plaintiffs' claims for fraud and negligence, even though the plaintiffs were not parties to the prior action, because they were the sole owners of the plaintiff-company in that suit and were therefore in privity with the plaintiff-company in the prior suit.
Whole Foods Mkt. Group Inc. v. Shepard, A15A0219
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/14/2015, 8/25/2015)
TORTS: Negligence Per Se, Proximate Cause
Because the defendant's deposition testimony and his later-filed affidavit conflicted, the trial court was authorized to disregard the portions of the conflicting testimony that were favorable to the defendant in deciding the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment pursuant to the Prophecy rule.
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