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D. Lee Clayton

Partner


Practice Areas

AppellateBad Faith LitigationCatastrophic Injury & Wrongful DeathCommercial LitigationInsurance CoveragePremises LiabilityTrucking Litigation

Education

  • University of Georgia School of Law (J.D., 2006)
  • University of Georgia (B.A., 2003)

Biography

Lee Clayton is a member of the firm’s general civil litigation section. His practice focuses primarily on products liability, general civil litigation, bad faith insurance litigation, commercial litigation and insurance coverage defense. Mr. Clayton regularly represents clients in state and federal courts throughout Georgia and the Southeast. He has numerous reported cases granting, and affirming, Motions to Dismiss and Motions for Summary Judgment in state and federal courts. Mr. Clayton has also been involved in multiple jury trials resulting in defense verdicts. He has served as counsel for large corporate clients, individuals and insurers handling their litigation needs in Georgia. This includes pre-suit consultations, and defending matters through jury trial and appeal.

Representative Reported Cases:

Prevailed on a Motion to Dismiss in coverage case before United States District Court for Northern District of Georgia concerning payment by insured made to settle shareholder derivative suit. Affirmed by Eleventh Circuit after questions of law certified to Georgia Supreme Court.

  • Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 11 F. Supp. 3d 1184, 1186 (N.D. Ga. 2014) ; Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 297 Ga. 38 (2015); Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Speciality Ins. Co., 790 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. 2015)

Prevailed on summary judgment in coverage case before United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia concerning cooperation clause, voluntary payment, and suit action against insurance company. Affirmed by Eleventh Circuit.

  • State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. King Sports, Inc., 827 F. Supp. 2d 1364, 1368 (N.D. Ga. 2011); State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. King Sports, Inc., 489 F. App'x 306, 307 (11th Cir. 2012)

Prevailed on Motion for Summary Judgment in consumer finance litigation seeking $5,000,000 in damages in United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.

  • Houston v. Elan Fin. Servs., --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2015 WL 5634626, (S.D. Ga. Sept. 24, 2015)

Prevailed in reversing trial court’s ruling denying Motion to Dismiss concerning private right of action under Home Affordable Modification Program before Georgia Court of Appeals.

  • U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Phillips, 318 Ga. App. 819 (2012)


Litigated competing issue of medical liens in context of time limit demands in Georgia Court of Appeals and obtained ruling recognizing safe harbor from bad faith for insurance carriers.

  • S. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Wellstar Health Sys., Inc., 315 Ga. App. 26 (2012)

Obtained ruling from Georgia Supreme Court affirming partial summary judgment on issues of Georgia RICO, tortious interference with business relations, and defamation.

  • Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, Inc. v. Ichthus Cmty. Trust, 780 S.E.2d 311, 315 (Ga. 2015)


Litigated and prevailed on numerous Motions to Dismiss, Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings and Motions for Summary Judgment in all United States District Courts in Georgia in consumer financial cases alleging causes of action including wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, temporary restraining orders, declaratory judgments, violations of the Truth In Lending Act, violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, negligent loan servicing, infliction of emotional distress, trespass, violations of United States Department of Veterans Affairs regulations, violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations, Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. Examples include:

  • Hayduk v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. 1:13-CV-1113-RWS, 2013 WL 6795220 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 23, 2013)
  • King v. U.S. Bank Nat. Ass'n, No. 1:13-CV-229-TWT, 2013 WL 4718342 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 3, 2013)
  • Graham v. Chase Home Fin., No. 1:10-CV-2652-RWS, 2010 WL 5071592 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 6, 2010)


Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Clayton practiced with another Atlanta firm after serving as a law clerk for Judge Curtis L. Collier, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of tennessee. Mr. Clayton was named a Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine in 2013.


Lee Clayton received his B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 2003 and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2006. While in law school Mr. Clayton served as an Editorial Board Member and Articles Editor for the Georgia Law Review. He also received the Class of 1933 Torts Law Award for achieving the top grade in Torts. After graduating in the top ten percent of his law school class, Mr. Clayton was inducted into the Order of the Coif.


Memberships

  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Atlanta Lawyers Club
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of Georgia

Bar Admissions

Georgia


Awards & Recognitions

  • Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine (2013, 2016)
  • AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review

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