Client Alerts


Failure to Award Attorney’s Fees Following Defense Verdict After Defense “Offer of Settlement” Affirmed by Court of Appeals
February 9, 2012
On December 1, 2011, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling by a local trial court denying attorney’s fees to defendants following a defense verdict, despite the defendant making an “offer of settlement” pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-68. See Great West Ca. Co. v. Bloomfield, Case No. A11A1454 (Ga. Ct. App., Dec. 1, 2011). In so finding, the Court held a $25,000 pre-trial offer of settlement was not made in “good faith” and, therefore, held it could deny an award of attorney’s fees under the statute. Read More
McRae v. Arby's
February 8, 2012
On December 1, 2011, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in McRae v. Arby’s placing some significant restrictions on ex parte communications by the employer and employer’s counsel with the employee’s treating physician.

Click Here to view the opinion. Read More
Courts Now Require Attorneys to Sign Garnishment Answers
February 8, 2012
As you may know, on September 12, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court adopted Advisory Opinion No. 2010-1 finding that a non-lawyer may not file an Answer in a garnishment action for anyone other than himself. The opinion reasoned that a non-lawyer filing such an Answer was engaged in the unlicensed practice of law. As a result, court clerks are rejecting and returning garnishment answers that do not contain an attorney’s signature and bar number. Read More
Georgia Supreme Court Holds Unanticipated Damages to Other Property Resulting from Faulty Workmanship Constitute a Covered Occurrence" Under CGL Policies"
February 8, 2012
Last week the Georgia Supreme Court decided a case addressing the definition of “occurrence” in a CGL policy. Click here for a copy of the decision of American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Hathaway Development Co. Until this decision, Georgia appellate and federal courts have been unclear on the interpretation of “occurrence” in construction defect cases. Federal courts have decided that faulty workmanship is an intended act, even though the damages may not have been intended or expected, and therefore such faulty workmanship is not an “occurrence.” Read More
New Commissioner Withdraws Oxendine Directive
January 24, 2011
On January 10, 2011, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens issued Directive 11-EX-1 (http://www.oci.ga.gov/Other/Directive.aspx?ID=385&I=133098&G=60BA4C0E) withdrawing former Commissioner Oxendine’s earlier Directive (10-EX-1 from April 2010) applying diminution in value to commercial property claims. We addressed Oxendine’s controversial directive in our Fall edition of the First Party Report (http://www.swiftcurrie.com/uploads//FPR_Fall2010.pdf ). Subsequently, Federal District Court Judge Robert L. Vining rejected a commercial property claim for diminution in value in a summary judgment order he issued on December 2, 2010, in the matter Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Company. We alerted you to Judge Vining’s order in an Alert sent on December 10. Read More
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