Litigation Section
December 2013
The Litigator Official Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association Litigation Section
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Mark your calendars for the following Litigation Section Event

Details are subject to change. Check your emails and the Atlanta Bar Association website for updates.

Joint Section Breakfast
(Litigation and Criminal Law Section)
Topic: "An Inside Look at Accountability Courts"
Date: January 10, 2014 (7:30 AM - 9:00 AM)
Location: Ansley Golf Club
Fall 2013 Litigation Breakfast Wrap-up

John Salter Speaks at First Meeting of 2013-2014
The Litigation Section was lucky to have John Salter of the Barnes Law Group speak at its first meeting of the 2013-2014 year. Mr. Salter focuses in the areas of personal injury and complex business litigation. He offered valuable insights on how to prove damages in business litigation cases, drawing upon his experiences which include a case in which he secured a $75 million verdict against a bank for the lost opportunity arising from the bank's refusal to lend to the developer. The take away from Mr. Salter's presentation is that there are often several different approaches to making a plaintiff whole in complex business cases, so the practitioner's job is to use some creativity in identifying all possible approaches and to not be afraid to pursue alternative theories in order to maximize the plaintiff's recovery.

Tommy Malone Addressed Qualified Protective Orders at the October Litigation Section Breakfast

Tommy Malone of the Malone Law Firm was the featured speaker at the Litigation Section Breakfast on October 11, 2013. The title of his presentation was "Qualified Protective Orders and Defense Attempts to Talk to a Plaintiffs' Treating Physician." Tommy provided an update about this evolving area of the law with practical tips on how best to navigate precedent while still protecting a client's right to privacy under HIPAA. He also spoke about the policy issues and conflicts inherent in allowing defense counsel unlimited and direct access to a client's treating physician.

B.J. Bernstein Speaks to the Litigation Section about Jury Selection and the Millenials

B.J. Bernstein of the Bernstein Firm spoke to the Litigation Section on November 8, 2013. The title of her seminar was "Jury Selection and the Millennials." B.J. shared lessons from her many jury trials and her experience with clients from this millennial generation. B.J. focused on this younger generation's embrace of technology and social media and how that impacts how they perceive jury trials. She advised attendees about the importance of understanding social media (even if they don't want to use it) to help understand how this generation thinks and processes information.

Simple Negligence and Economic Losses Don't Mix in Georgia
By Stacey A. Carroll, Carroll Law Firm, LLC

Every business litigator frequently confronts claims of economic losses, particularly lost profits. And every such claim is typically met with a standard arsenal of defenses: the profits alleged to have been lost are too speculative to be recovered, or the losses were caused by something other than the defendant's conduct. But there is one defense that, by its nature, can spell complete damnation for an economic loss recovery when it is premised on a claim of negligence-Georgia's economic loss rule. Although some form of the rule prevails in every state, Georgia courts have bestowed unusual austerity and breadth upon the doctrine, doing so in somewhat unpredictable fashion. This article briefly traces the evolution of the economic loss rule in Georgia, sets out the current state of the law, and concludes by addressing whether Georgia courts should reverse course and restrict the doctrine's application.


Insurance Coverage for Damages Arising from Defective Construction
By David R. Cook Jr., Autry, Cole, Hanrahan, Hall & Cook, LLP

One of the first considerations of most attorneys is whether insurance coverage is available to remedy their client's loss or potential loss. Yet many attorneys are unaware that commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies may provide coverage for property damage and personal injury arising from defective construction. And such coverage is not limited to losses incurred by property owners - it may be available for other contracting parties as well.

Perhaps the reluctance to consider CGL coverage arises from older cases - especially federal court cases - that narrowly interpreted CGL policies' coverage for losses arising from defective construction. Older cases of Georgia state courts provided conflicting and confusing guidance about such coverage. More recently, however, the Supreme Courts of several states, including Georgia, have begun a concerted effort to clarify the law in this area. While these cases are clearly favorable for litigants seeking coverage, the courts continue to emphasize that the analysis requires a careful consideration of the language of CGL policies and applicable endorsements.

In This Issue
2013-2014 Section Board of Directors

J. Matthew Maguire Jr.

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Leigh Martin May

Kevin P. Weimer

Stephen P. Cummings

Immediate Past Chair
John R. (Jake) Bielema

Christina M. Baugh
Terrence Lee Croft
Hon. Susan E. Edlein
Jonathan E. Hawkins
Robert S. Huestis
Edward Konieczny
Cindy Spindler Manning
J. Ben Shapiro

Emeritus Member
H. Lane Young, II
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