Archive for February, 2012


HPTY Adds To SuperLawyers

The tights of justice are a bit tingly.

Numerous Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, LLP attorneys were added to the Georgia SuperLawyers for 2012.  Named specifically in the Professional Liability Defense category were Kim M. Jackson and Christine L. Mast

Other HPTY attorneys that belong in the Attorney Defender category who were named SuperLawyers (but primarily identified in other categories) were H. Lane Young, IIT. Ryan Mock, Jr. and Michael J. Goldman

SuperLawyers also named multiple HPTY attorneys as Rising Stars, including Attorney Defenders Matthew F. Barr and M. Elizabeth O’Neill.

Kim M. Jackson was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia.

Christine L. Mast was  named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Georgia.

H. Lane Young, II and Christine L. Mast were also named to the Best Lawyers In America, 2012 in the categories of Professional Malpractice Law and Legal Malpractice Law, respectively.  They were two of fourteen HPTY attorneys named to Best Lawyers in America, 2012.


Garnishment Answers are no longer the “practice of law” – A Traverse still requires attorney

Business Entities Again Allowed to File Answers in Garnishment Actions in Georgia Without Need For Georgia Attorney

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that the filing of an answer in a garnishment action was the practice of law requiring an attorney.  Last week, Georgia Governor Deal signed a bill which reversed that decision. The bill may be read here.

Effective immediately, any authorized officer or employee of a business entity of any type, other than a natural person, is authorized to execute and file a garnishment answer. Such actions are no longer considered the unauthorized practice of law.  However, if a traverse or claim is filed against the Answer in a court of record, an attorney is required to represent the entity in further garnishment proceedings.

Some practice tips to remember:


It will no longer require an attorney to respond to garnishment.

–    You must always file an Answer – even if you have no money subject to the garnishment and even if the employee is no longer or never was employed by your company;

 –    Orders for continuing garnishment are in effect for 179 days after service of the summons. During this time, you are required to file an Answer every 30-45 day until the debt is extinguished, up to the 179 day period;

 –    If an employer fails to answer a summons of garnishment for any reason, it risks being responsible for the full amount of the Defendant’s debt, notwithstanding whether or not the garnishee has any funds owing the Defendant that could be subject to garnishment;

–    If a Traverse or Claim is filed against your Answer, a Georgia Licensed Attorney is required to represent the business entity in further garnishment proceedings;

 –    If you receive an Order of Default, contact outside counsel as soon as possible, as you have only sixty (60) days to open the default and file an Answer to limit the Company’s liability for the debt.

If you have any questions, a great person to contact for further guidance on this issue is Robert S. Thompson at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, LLC.


innocent insured issues

The ABA Journal Magazine published an informative article by Ian T. Matyjewicz and David A. Grossbaum on coverage issues for innocent insureds when other attorneys in the firm are excluded wrongdoers.  Without repeating the issues here, there can be serious coverage concerns for innocent partners who are sued as a result of intention misconduct by other partners.  Although insurers often provide coverage for “innocent insureds,” coverage can still disappear under certain scenarios depending on the policy or the law of the state.  Among the concerns can be policy rescission which voids the policy, thus eliminating even the innocent insured coverage.

You cannot always escape bad partners. (tm/c) The Walking Dead/AMC

If you have partners or are in charge of your firm’s coverage decisions, the article provides important considerations.  A good broker or coverage counsel can help you analyze the various policy language options that will provide the maximum coverage.


Evidence CLE

Having evidence only helps if you know how to use it!

National Business Institute (NBI) is providing an outstanding CLE on March 23, 2012 called Applying the Rules of Evidence:  What Every Attorney Needs to Know.  The seminar will take place at Cobb Galleria Centre, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30339. 

The outstanding faculty includes Attorney Defender’s own Kim M. Jackson.  Mr. Jackson will provide the ethics hour of the program.  The other speakers include Simon Bloom, Chalmer (Chuck) Detling and David Root.

This should be a solid CLE program for all litigation attorneys.

Sign up for this seminar here.

Kim Jackson Cleans Up The Mess

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