November 2016
President's Corner

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website:  This new website will allow for an improved user experience at a drastically reduced cost to the GCBA.  

The new website loads quicker, streamlines membership applications, and allows for helpful calendar and photo updates.  Best of all, we are now managing the site internally.  This has allowed the Bar to save approximately $15,000 in estimated expenses over the next year.  

Over the past two months, the GCBA Board has faced many difficult decisions concerning the website.  Members of the Board collaborated to make the best of a difficult situation, and we hope that you are happy with the result.  If you have any ideas or recommendations for further improvements, please feel free to contact me at  

November Bar Luncheon

Speaker: The Honorable Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia
Judge of the Month: The Honorable Pamela D. South, Chief Judge of the State Court of Gwinnett County

Join us for the November Luncheon with The Honorable Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia.  We are very honored to have Chief Judge Thrash attend the GCBA luncheon.  Seating is limited, so please register now.  

Our November Judge of the Month is The Honorable Pamela D. South, Chief Judge of the State Court of Gwinnett County.  

We look forward to seeing you in November!
King v. State, A16A1144
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/6/2016, 10/17/2016) 
by Margaret Gettle Washburn, Senior Contributing Editor

Court of Appeals, Judge Carla Wong McMillian for the Court, affirmed Jeffrey King's conviction for DUI-less safe, holding that the trial court, Henry County State Court, did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of King's statement to police that he had a prior DUI. Before trial, the Defendant's attorney made a motion in limine to redact the video of the traffic stop to remove the portion in which the Defendant King mentioned his prior DUI, arguing that the statement would constitute improper character evidence since the State indicated that it did not intend to introduce evidence of the prior DUI. The trial court denied the defense motion, finding that the statement was voluntary, not the product of custodial interrogation and that it was relevant to the case because it showed that King understood the implied consent notice. The officer testified and the actual video was shown to the jury.

The Defendant appealed the denial of his motion for new trial after a jury convicted him of one count of driving under the influence ("DUI") to the extent that it was less safe to drive and asserted that the trial court erred in admitting his statement to police that he had a prior DUI into evidence.  The Defendant argued that the probative value was substantially outweighed by its unfair prejudice. Click here to continue reading

Reception Honoring Gwinnett County's Asian Pacific American Judges

On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, there was a Reception at The 1818 Club celebrating the two Judges with Gwinnett County Magistrate Court for their respective appointments to the bench. The celebration was of particular significance because Judge Ruth Rocker McMullin is the first Vietnamese Attorney appointed to the Bench in Gwinnett County. Judge DJ Jeyaram is the first South Asian Attorney appointed in Gwinnett County as well. These two trailblazing Judges were introduced by Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum and closing celebratory remarks were given by Chairman Charlotte Nash to an audience of nearly 100 registered guests.  Both Judges spoke about their paths to the bench and were able to share their moment with their respective families that were in attendance. 
(Board members pictured above)
It was great to see so many GCBA Members in attendance, as well as Judge Melodie Connor, Judge Kathryn Schrader, Judge Shawn Bratton, Judge Laura Tate, and State House Rep. BJ Pak.
The reception was sponsored by the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Gwinnett County Bar Association, the Korean American Bar Association of Georgia, the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia, and the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Georgia.

Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing
by Aleksandra O'Kane, Klob & Larrison Attorneys

A hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge is the last and most important phase of the Social Security Disability application process. At this point, most applicants have waited two years, if not longer, since their initial application for disability benefits. Once a hearing has been scheduled, it is still not too late to hire an attorney, however, the more time you give the representative to prepare, the better your chances of winning. Hiring an experienced attorney, especially one who frequently attends disability hearings in your area and is thus familiar with the local judges, will highly increase your chances of winning. Because each judge has his or her unique way of evaluating and weighing the evidence, an attorney familiar with these differing approaches will be in the best position to prepare you for the a favorable outcome. 
Don't Miss the Run for Justice!

Don't miss one of the last great outdoor events before the holidays! The Atlanta Legal Aid Society will hold its 26th Run for Justice in Oakhurst on November 12th, 2016 at 9:00 AM The event will benefit the general operating fund of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Participants in the Run for Justice will enjoy a beautiful a 5K course beginning and ending at One Step at A Time, 650 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030. Others can enjoy the crisp autumn day with the 5k walk, great for families and children. Jogging strollers, kids and pets are welcome! Awards will be presented to the top 5-k finishers and teams in a variety of categories, including pets, children and strollers. Families, corporate, church, school and community teams are welcome. We always need volunteers, too. Each participant will receive a lovely dri-weave t-shirt; XXL and above are an additonal $3. Children's sizes are available in white cotton. Email Angie at to find out more.

Regular registration is $25 in advance. The race and walk starts at 9:00 AM so participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 8:30 AM. Register here by clicking below or at or Click here to Register Now!!

Volunteer slots are open! Let us know if you or your group want to volunteer!

The Run for Justice is a fun, easy way to show your support for Atlanta Legal Aid and the great work we do! We provide civil legal services to persons with very low incomes in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Cobb counties.  Last year, Legal Aid attorneys assisted over 50,000 people and handled over 24,000 cases, primarily involving housing, family, and senior citizens issues. Begun in 1924 by 17 prominent local attorneys, Atlanta Legal Aid has meant access to justice for countless individuals, who would otherwise be shut out of an increasingly complex legal system because they do not have the money to hire a lawyer. Check out what we are doing today at

Birchfield, et. al and Warrantless Breath and Blood Cases in Georgia

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings in 3 separate cases which could impact blood and breath test cases for DUI cases in Georgia, especially in light of Lance Tyler's Williams  case. "Warrantless blood test in DUI case involves 4th Amendment issues, regardless of the Implied Consent Notice. The Court must look at the totality of the circumstances to determine valid consent" Williams v. The State, 296 Ga 817 (2015).

Birchfield v. ND was decided by the US Supreme Court on June 23, 2016, along with two other cases: Bernard v. Minnesota and Beylund v. Levi.  All of the cases involved the issue of warrantless chemical tests after a DUI arrest.  Unlike Georgia, both North Dakota and Minnesota have Implied Consent laws making a refusal to submit to a state chemical test a separate crime.  Birchfield was arrested for DUI in North Dakota, was read Implied Consent, and then refused to take a blood test.  Bernard was arrested for DUI in Minnesota, was read Implied Consent, and refused to take a breath test.  Beylund was arrested for DUI in Minnesota, was read Implied Consent, and consented to a blood test; however, his license was administratively suspended, which he appealed on grounds that he was coerced into giving his blood because a refusal is considered a separate crime under North Dakota law. Click here to continue reading

News & Events

GCBA Scholarship Recipient at GGC Says Thanks
The Gwinnett County Bar Association has a scholarship at Georgia Gwinnett College.  The purpose of the Fund is to provide an award (or awards) for students who have taken Legal Studies courses through the GGC School of Business and who intend to pursue a career as an attorney or in a related legal field.  Preference is given to students who have the highest grade point average in the Legal Studies course. 
Recently, the Gwinnett County Bar Association received a thank you note from this year's recipient of the scholarship, Ms. Lynette Escalante.

Consumer Law & Probate Clinic Volunteers Needed!

Mass Swearing In for New Attorneys

The Assisting Practitioner's Project Gwinnett Mass Swearing In for new attorneys will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2016 beginning at 10:00 am.  The Mass Swearing in is conducted by the Assisting Practitioner's Project, a partnership between the State Bar of Georgia TILLP, the Gwinnett County Bar Association, and the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project.  As part of the ceremony, Superior Court Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner will swear in the new attorneys.  New attorneys do not need to have a sponsor, and are welcome to bring their families.  Please join us for a free lunch reception at 12:00 on December 1, 2016 to congratulate the new attorneys on their admission to the bar.  The lunch reception will be followed by two one hour CLEs, which are free for the new attorneys.  For current members of the Bar, we will distribute self-reporting certificates.  
If you know anyone that recently passed the bar and would like to attend the mass swearing in ceremony, please have them contact Michelle West at or  Dodie Sachs at  New attorneys must RSVP by November 28, 2016 to Michelle West via e-mail with the subject line "Gwinnett Swearing In" and attach a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility.  The Assisting Practitioner's Project Gwinnett Mass Swearing In is sponsored by: Westlaw and Lexis. 

Sponsors Needed for Law Day 2017!

GCBA is seeking sponsors for Law Day 2017! Sponsorship funds will be used to provide cash gifts and prizes to the Law Day award recipients; to provide scholarships to deserving Gwinnett County students; and to provide gifts to the Judges at the Judicial Reception.

Sponsors who contribute $500 (Amicus Level) will receive 4 complimentary tickets to the Law Day Banquet and will be recognized on all promotional materials for Law Day. Sponsors who contribute $1,000 or more (Advocate Level) will receive a reserved table for eight people and a recognition plaque at the Law Day Banquet and will also be recognized on all promotional materials for Law Day.

Any contributions are appreciated and all sponsors will receive recognition in the Law Day Banquet program! If your firm or company is interested in donating, please contact Danielle Britt Mays at or 770-271-2991.


Milich Minute

In a contract dispute, plaintiff offers a hard copy of the URL for a Bloomberg website that lists certain interest rates during the time in question.  Plaintiff testifies that he relies on this website in the course of his business.

Defense objects that the website is not authenticated and is hearsay.
Which is the best answer?
  1. Overruled.  Adequate foundation for both authentication and the hearsay exception for market reports.
  2. Overruled.  Interest rates are a matter of public knowledge.
  3. Sustained.  Need an expert to verify the website.
  4. Sustained.  What does the former May of New York know about interest rates?
Click here for the answer!

12 Milich

Click to purchase his book here!
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Criminal Defense Update

The criminal defense section did not hold a regular monthly meeting in November.  Instead, the section encouraged its members to attend the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Fall Seminar at the Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA being held on November 4th and 5th. 
Beginning what we hope to be an annual tradition and benefit to our members, this year the section raffled a scholarship to one member attending the seminar.  The scholarship covered the room accommodations for the winning section member.  Also, the section will have a social hotspot at the seminar where our members can gather together to interact over refreshments. 

Next Event Dates:
December 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m., Annual Toy Raiser at La Cazuela Mexican Restaurant in Lawrenceville.  This is our biggest event of the year, headed up by Christine Koehler of Koehler and Riddick in Lawrenceville.  Bring an unwrapped toy or make a $20 donation (or more) that will benefit patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Egleston Hospital.  Come have lunch paid for (with donation) by GCCDB with many Gwinnett Judges and prosecutors for a great cause.  For more information, including how to donate if you can't attend the toy raiser, contact Katie Huckaby at  
Interested in joining the section or need more information? Please contact Constancia Carter at

Estate Planning and Probate Update: 
Save the Date and CLE Announcement

Please save the date for the following EPPS lunch meetings at 12:00pm (speaker and location details to follow):
January 10, 2017
March 14, 2017
May 9, 2017
July 11, 2017

Note that you do not have to be a member of the section to attend the meetings and no need to RSVP, but if you are interested in joining the section, or simply being added to the section email list, please contact Melody Glouton or Lindsey Cambardella
On Tuesday, November 8, the EPPS welcomed not one but two guest speakers - Ashley Willcott, Executive Director of the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children, and Richard Highsmith, Special Assistant Attorney.  The presentation was titled "The Intersection of Probate Court and Juvenile Court Guardianships: Who, What, When, Where and Why" and was an overview of the use and usefulness of Guardianships in Probate Courts vs. Juvenile Courts and the legal, practice and policy considerations of each. The lunch was held at 12:00 noon at Dominick's on the Square in Lawrenceville.  

Please contact Elizabeth Strupe if you are interested in participating in the Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic that occurs on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30pm - 4:30pm at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Family Law Section Update: 
Next Meeting Information

The Family Law Section of the Gwinnett Bar will have the next meeting in December of 2016.   The date will be announced as it will be moved up due to the holidays.  The location and time will remain the 12:00 noon at La Cazuela Mexican Restaurant, 179 West Crogan Street, located at in downtown, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046.

Upcoming Events:  (The last Wednesday of every other month - even months)
In This Issue
November Bar Meeting Details

Friday, November 18th
from 12pm - 1pm 
at the 1818 Club
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway


Duluth, GA 30097

Gwinnett County Bar Association | | |

P.O.Box 576

Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Gwinnett County Bar Association | P.O.Box 576 | Lawrenceville | GA | 30046