NEW Litigation Section News Banner

The Litigator: A Litigation Section Publication

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Take Your Adversary to Lunch
Practical Tips for Creating and Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege
Invocation of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in Civil Cases
Bobby Lee Cook
Goodman and Schaeffer
Emmet Bondurant
Quick Links
April 2010
Editor: Kevin P. Weimer
Litigation Section Board of Directors
ChairJohn W. Harbin 
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: James D. Blitch IV
Secretary: Stephen T. LaBriola
Treasurer: John R. "Jake" Bielema, Jr.
Immediate Past Chair: Rita A. Sheffey

Lee Ann Anand
Stephen P. Cummings
Halima Horton
Caroline C. Kresky
J. Matthew Maguire, Jr.
Michael J. Rust
David A. Webster
Kevin P. Weimer

Emeritus Member
H. Lane Young, II

Thank you to our Section Sponsors
Upcoming Events
2010 calendar blue
Mark your calendars
for these upcoming
Section Meetings!
2010 Bench and Bar Reception and Presentation of the Logan E. Bleckley Award for Judicial Excellence
Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Award Recpient: The Honorable Edward H. Johnson,
Court of Appeals of Georgia

Introduction by: John A. Chandler, King & Spalding LLP
Please register online or return the registration form

Atlanta Bar Association Joint Sections Social with the Georgia Society of CPA's
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
at Park Tavern
Sponsored by the Bankruptcy, Business & Finance, Construction Law, Environmental & Toxic Tort, Estate Planning and Probate, Litigation, Real Estate and Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Sections of the Atlanta Bar Association 
Please register online or return the registration form 

May Section Breakfast
Friday, May 14, 2010 - 7:30 am to 9:00 am
at the Colonnade Restaurant
"What's New Under the Gold Dome"

Representative Stacey Y. Abrams, 84th House District
Representative Edward H. Lindsey, Jr., 54th House District
Please register online or return the registration form
2010 Take Your Adversary to Lunch Winners
 boxing blue and gold
Congratulations to the 2010
 Take Your Adversary to Lunch Winners!
David Hughes and Cheryl Legare - (Heavyweight - $200)
Ben Fink and Rick Mitchell- (Welterweight - $150)
Mike Hostsetter and Chuck Dalziel- (Featherweight - $100)
Chuck Van Horn and Susan Shaw- (Lightweight - $50)

Practical Tips for Creating and Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege during and after Investigations
by Halima Horton, McGuireWoods LLP
halima horton picRecently, I went to China, India and Sweden to teach a client's managers how to conduct effective ethics and compliance investigations. A two-fold benefit of having an attorney investigate matters is that the client can obtain legal advice and, thus, can trigger the attorney-client privilege over certain communications exchanged during the investigation. The Supreme Court recently held that orders ruling against claims of attorney-client privilege are not immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine.  Thus, it is vital to create and protect the privilege from the outset so that it will survive initial attack. So, what are the best strategies to create and preserve the privilege?
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Invocation of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in Civil Cases
by Aaron M. Danzig and Edward A. Marshall,
Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
danzig marshallThe Fifth Amendment is one of the bedrock principles of the American criminal justice system. It prevents an accused from being forced to provide evidence against himself in a criminal prosecution and also prevents the prosecution from commenting on the accused's refusal to testify. The Fifth Amendment's impact on the judicial process, however, extends beyond the purely criminal proceeding.
In a civil suit, a witness or party may refuse to answer questions posed at trial or in discovery by invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment "not only protects the individual against being involuntarily called as a witness against himself in a criminal prosecution but also privileges him not to answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings." Invocation of the Fifth Amendment in civil proceedings, however, is not without its adverse consequences. Indeed, there are very real ramifications for a civil litigant who elects to exercise that right.
Bobby Lee Cook Speaks at the January 15th Breakfast
by Stephen P. Cummings, King & Spalding 

lit photo


The January 15, 2010 Litigation Section Breakfast featured Bobby Lee Cook of Cook & Connelly, located in Summerville, Georgia.  The ABA Journal recently named Bobby Lee among the "Lions of the Trial Bar."  Bobby Lee spoke to the Section about how the practice of law has changed in the more than 60 years that he has been practicing in Georgia and throughout the United States.  He discussed the developments that he has witnessed first-hand, from the Civil Rights era through the current "War on Terrorism."  He emphasized the important role that attorneys have played in upholding Constitutional rights for all citizens and ensuring personal freedom, even when doing so was unpopular or contrary to the tide of public opinion.  He also challenged the next generation of attorneys to take up the fight to ensure that future generations will have the same personal liberties and freedoms that are enjoyed by all today.  Bobby Lee's remarks were well received by the sold-out crowd.


Goodman and Schaeffer Speak at the February 12th Breakfast
by J. Matthew Maguire, Jr., Balch & Bingham LLP

litigation breakfast photo

At the February 12, 2010 Litigation Section Breakfast, William S. Goodman of Henning Mediation and Arbitration and David N.  Schaeffer of Holland Schaeffer Roddenbery Blitch, LLP offered their insights on mediation from the perspective of both neutral and advocate.  Bill analyzed a handful of the 2,000 cases he has mediated to demonstrate how various mediation techniques, such as the use of settlement brackets, affected the offers, counteroffers, and final settlement amounts.  David offered the group several practical tips to ensure that they obtain the best possible settlement for their clients at mediation.  Thank you to Bill and David for giving a great presentation on a topic that many practitioners seem to overlook notwithstanding the fact that some 95 percent of all civil cases are resolved through settlement.

Emmet Bondurant Speaks at the March 19th Section Breakfast
by David Webster, Solo Practitioner and General Counsel
to Atlanta Legal Aid
bondurantEmmet J. Bondurant passionately extolled the personal satisfactions to be found in pro bono legal work at the Section's breakfast meeting on March 19.  Bondurant singled out making a meaningful contribution to clients' lives; leveraging individual cases into sweeping victories; and, especially for young lawyers, gaining experience and exposure to experienced bar leaders.  Addressing the current dearth of resources for criminal defendants, Bondurant urged that lawyers offer their services only for habeas corpus cases.  As to other cases, Bondurant opined that the state, not the private bar, has a constitutional responsibility to provide an adequate defense. 
The Litigator is Looking for Articles of Interest
typewriter news
The Litigator is looking for articles of interest to Atlanta trial attorneys.  If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact the editor, Kevin Weimer, at or