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Category Archives: Georgia Court of Appeals

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The Judge as 13th Juror: Thoughts on the Fayette Rape Controversy

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Motion for New Trial, News

Last week, a motion for new trial made news when Hon. Christopher J. McFadden granted a new trial after finding that the verdict was “strongly against the weight of the evidence.” The State’s reaction was three-fold. First, it appealed the decision. Secondly, the State made comments in the press. Third, the State moved to recuse… Continue Reading

Ct. of Appeals Judge Carla McMillian’s Ten Tips on Practice

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

Judge Carla McMillian’s campaign for re-election is in full swing. The Augusta press ran a full interview last month. And Judge McMillian took some time out to speak to the Appellate Practice Section’s monthly luncheon, where she reflected on a year on the Court and shared her top ten lessons and tips from her time as… Continue Reading

New Field Sobriety/Miranda Case Important at Several Levels

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Opinions and Analysis, Uncategorized

The Court of Appeals, with a panel made up of Judges Dillard, Ellington, and Phipps, has reversed an order granting a motion to suppress from the State Court of Fayette County. I write about this case because it further develops the law in the area of Miranda and field sobriety testing and because it illustrates… Continue Reading

How to Defeat the State’s New Pre-trial Appellate Rights

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

HB 349 has been the subject of much discussion for its sentencing innovations. However, nestled within it are some significant changes to the appellate code. This post will familiarize you with the appellate provisions of HB 349 and provide some tips to get around them. Pre-HB 349 Under the soon to be old law, any… Continue Reading

Congratulations Justice Blackwell

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

Governor Deal has announced that Judge Keith Blackwell will be the Supreme Court’s newest Justice. He will fill the vacancy created by Chief Justice Carley’s retirement. I have gotten to know Judge Blackwell through my work on the Appellate Practice Section. He will be a great addition to the Georgia Supreme Court.

An Update to the Typography Post

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Writing

This week, I received an email from Don Roch at Bowers & Roch in Canton, Georgia, in response to a post on a CLE talk I gave on typography. He took issue with my claim that, in Georgia appellate courts, you are stuck with Courier New 12 or Times New Roman 14. Don did a… Continue Reading

My Controversial Talk on Typography (No Kidding)

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized, Writing

If you read this blog regularly, it is no secret that I am a recent convert and evangelist for Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. I have a long way to go in my legal writing before I reach a point of mastery, but I am happy to be paying attention. One of the chairs for… Continue Reading

Lessons I Learned from This Month’s Appellate Losses

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized

It’s been a bad month for my most recent crop of Supreme Court cases, both in terms of cases where I represent the party and in cases where I am amicus counsel. But I try to learn from them all. And here’s my takeaway from the month. To have and cite a case is not… Continue Reading

How Much Longer Before The Georgia Appellate Court Rules?

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Georgia Court of Appeals, Oral Argument, Supreme Court of Georgia

As a father of three children (one still in a car seat and one in a booster) and as an appeals lawyer in Georgia, I get two recurring and related questions. From the children, on car trips, I frequently hear, “Are we there yet?” From my clients and their families, I frequently hear, “when will… Continue Reading

Lessons I Learned About Doing Appeals from the Georgia Appellate Practice Seminar

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Writing

Every now and again, I attend a CLE that does more than satisfy the hours requirement. Occasionally, there is a seminar where I walk out of the room with a new set of tools to become a better lawyer. Such was the case with the Georgia Appellate Practice Seminar sponsored by the Appellate Practice Section… Continue Reading

Georgia Appeals Court Rules “Mandate Ugliness”

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Writing

In his blog yesterday, Kendall Gray referenced the Rules of the Georgia Court of Appeals, citing it as “a jurisdiction with rule-mandated ugliness.” Kendall’s blog post comes at a time when I am reading Typography for Lawyers by William Butterick. I’ve learned a great deal about fonts and layout and was all excited about using… Continue Reading

Nahmias and McFadden Win Election to Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

Justice David Nahmias and Judge-Elect Christopher McFadden have been elected respectively to the Supreme Court of Georgia and Georgia Court of Appeals. Both won by wide margins. Georgia votes made the right choice in both elections. Justice Nahmias is likely to continue to do excellent work on the Court. I look forward to his well-reasoned… Continue Reading

Georgia Appeals Election Day

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

If you haven’t already done so, please vote in today’s election. Polls close at 7:00 p.m. this evening. I voted at 8:00 a.m. this morning, and the woman at my precinct told me that I was only the fifth voter to darken their doors. This is a very important election, and much is at stake…. Continue Reading

So, About the Rest of My Ballot for Georgia Appeals Seats

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

I recently wrote about my decision to vote for Justice Nahmias over challenger Tammy Lynn Adkins. That post was picked up by Aly Palmer on the ATL Law Blog, the blog of the Fulton Daily Report. The post has generated thoughtful emails to me about the election. I hope that you’ll research the candidates yourselves… Continue Reading

The Curious Way the Media is Covering Georgia Judicial Run-Offs

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are two run-offs for Georgia appellate seats — one for the Georgia Court of Appeals and one for the Supreme Court of Georgia. According to the Atlanta Law Blog, the Blog for the Fulton Daily Report, there are many judicial seats that will be decided by a… Continue Reading

Two Georgia Appeals Seats Headed to a Runoff

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

There will be two run-offs for Georgia appellate seats. Justice David Nahmias, who was appointed to finish the term of Justice Leah Sears, won 48.2% of the votes. He will be in a run-off against Tammy Lynn Adkins, who achieved 35.2% of the vote in spite of the fact that she did not run a… Continue Reading

New Appointee to Georgia Court of Appeals: “Stare Decisis is fo’ Suckas”

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals

The Georgia governor appointed two new members of the Georgia Court of Appeals. Keith Blackwell is a native of Cherokee County, Georgia, a former assistant district attorney in Cobb County, Georgia, and a fomer clerk to Judge J.L. Edmondson of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. His term will last through 2012. Also appointed was… Continue Reading

Why Appellate Judges Should be Appointed and Not Elected

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

Linda Greenhouse’s post on the Opinionator Blog at the New York Times website is disturbing. She cites a recent Pew Research Center poll where people were asked the current chief justice of the United States. To make the result even more disquiting, the test was multiple choice. And here were the choices: John Roberts Thurgood… Continue Reading

E-filing in the Georgia Court of Appeals versus the Supreme Court

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia

I have been E-filing in the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court since both courts started offering it. I can’t tell you enough about how great it is to be able to upload a pdf rather than do all of the other archaic stuff that is involved in paper filing a brief…. Continue Reading

Georgia Court of Appeals to Tack on “Convenience Fee” for E-filing

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

Yesterday, I E-filed two briefs in the Georgia Court of Appeals. At the log in screen I was greeted by a message from the clerk’s office indicating that they are going to tack on a $15.00 “convenience fee” for every case you e-file in the Georgia Court of Appeals, effective September 6. The explanation offered… Continue Reading

Kemp Investigating Qualifications of Georgia Court of Appeals Candidate

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

According to a post by Alyson Palmer at ATLAW Blog, the Secretary of State’s Office is picking up where Atlanta Lawyer Justin Chaney left off. A month ago, Mr. Chaney challenged Adrienne Hunter-Strothers’s candidacy arguing that she had not been a member of the State Bar of Georgia long enough to be a candidate for… Continue Reading

Ceremony for Clerk of Georgia Court of Appeals Offers Glimpse into Political Climate

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

These have been difficult days for the judiciary and for the Court of Appeals in particular. There are three openings on the Court and two branches of government that seem to view the court system as an inconvenient hurdle standing in the way of law enforcement. Add to the mix the fact that yesterday was… Continue Reading

Honorable Debra Bernes Dies at 54

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

The Honorable Debra Bernes has died of cancer at the age of 54. Bill Rankin at the Atlanta Journal Constitution has posted an article on her passing and her career. Judge Bernes will be remembered for many things including her illustrious, albeit too short career on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Before beginning her service on the Georgia… Continue Reading