Archive for the 'Attorneys Fees' Category


The Abusive Litigaiton Seminar is Coming February 4

The Georgia ICLE Abusive Litigation Seminar will be held against this year at the State Bar of Georgia, downtown Atlanta at 104 Marietta St. NW, on February 4, 2015.  This is one of the better attended CLE events, and it boasts one of the longest running, in tact, faculty going.

This seminar covers all aspects of abusive litigation in Georgia.

For over a decade, this seminar has boasted a core group of speakers that include Frank J. Beltran, Kim M. Jackson, James W. Penland, Christine L. Mast, and Hugh C. Wood.  The written materials have been used and updated for over a decade, and could be marketed as its own treatise.  The written materials are essentially a hornbook on Georgia attorney fee and abusive litigation law.

In addition, the seminar attracts some of the best and brightest judges in Georgia each year.  This year, the participating judges include Hon. David E. Nahmias, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, a Court of Appeals panel consisting of judges Hon. Sara L. Doyle, Christopher J. McFadden, Elizabeth L. Branch, and J.D. Smith, and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Hon. Christopher S. Brasher.

It starts early (8:10) and ends early (3:00).  The schedule is here.

The seminar is presided by Frank J. Beltran and Kim M. Jackson.

If you litigate civil cases, this is a seminar you want to attend.


The Abusive Litigation Seminar is coming – with new management

The sad news for the Atlanta professional liability bar is that Charlotte Perrell has left Georgia to practice law on a tropical island (seriously).  Charlotte was co-chair of the Georgia ICLE professional liability seminar and the abusive litigation seminar.  As a result, Kim M. Jackson has joined Frank Beltran to co-host the Abusive Litigation seminar this year.  The seminar will take place on February 5, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.  The seminar is very useful for all civil litigation attorneys, as it covers O.C.G.A. 9-15-14, 13-6-11, 51-7-80 and 9-11-68, as well as the rules of the appellate courts.  Each of the speakers on these statutes have spoken at this seminar for many years and are experts on their subjects.  Don’t miss this one!


The Abusive Litigation Seminar Is Coming

Expenses of litigation - the toll for justice

Various trends have made the risk of losing in litigation more than mere disappointment.  Litigation is more expensive than ever, litigants are seeking more ways to recover their payment of litigation expenses, and legislation has provided additional methods of recovering attorney fees for frivolous litigation (among other theories).  Thus, litigators have an increasing need to stay abreast of such rules. 

In early February, attorneys all over Georgia anxiously await the annual Abusive Litigation Seminar

The speakers includes well known attorneys in the professional liability bar, including the Presiding Frank Beltran and Charlotte Perrell, and HPTY attorneys Christine Mast (OCGA 9-15-14) and Kim Jackson (OCGA 51-7-80).  The speakers also includes many repeat speakers, with all of the attorney speakers spending at least 10 years speaking in this CLE program, including the aforementioned and James Penland and his outstanding program on OCGA 13-6-11 and Hugh C. Wood who addresses various fee shifting rules.

The program includes presentations by Robert Benham, Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court; J. D. Smith, Justice of the Georgia Court of Appeals; and T. Bedford Jackson, Judge of the Fulton County Superior Court.

Another large turnout is expected at this popular CLE program.  If you have not seen this CLE, or if you need a refresher course, sign up now here.



Abusive Litigation Seminar 2011 – HPTY Provides Two Speakers Again

Successful oral argument

One of the best litigation seminars offered by the State Bar of Georgia is the Abusive Litigation seminar held each year in early February.  This year it will be on February 4 at the State Bar of Georgia.

As with each of the last eight years, the speakers will include Christine L. Mast and Kim M. Jackson of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, LLP. 

Christine Mast will speak about motions for attorney fees pursuant to OCGA 9-15-14.

Kim Jackson will speak about claims made for attorney fees and additional damages for the tort of abusive litigation pursuant to OCGA 51-7-80 et seq.

Other subjects include invaluable information about OCGA 13-6-11, OCGA 9-11-68, the type of evidence necessary to recover attorney fees under any law in Georgia, and the types of sanctions available for frivolous appeals.  The seminar does not cover attorney fees recoveries in the family law context.

This seminar is valuable to all civil litigators, especially those outside of the family law arena.


Attorneys Fees Upheld Thanks To Good Record Keeping

Jumping For Joy

In Abrams v. Putney, (10A1054), the Georgia Court of Appeal upheld two awards of attorneys’ fees for a plaintiff’s attorney that sued his former client for fees after he was discharged and the case was settled with another attorney.  The fee agreement provided for a contingency award, but if the attorney was terminated prior to resolution, the attorney was entitled to an hourly rate for his work on the case.  According to the opinion, the attorney maintained good records of his time spent on the case which supported the trial court’s award in the attorney’s favor.   

The attorney also recovered attorneys’ fees for the fee dispute itself.  Again, the Court of Appeals identified a solid evidentiary record in support of the trial court’s award.  

This case stands for lesson that all attorneys handling litigation should maintain reasonably specific billing records, even if they are operating under a contingency fee agreement.  There are several reasons why this is a good idea.  (1)  If the claim includes a claim for attorneys’ fees pursuant to OCGA 13-6-11 or 9-15-14 (or some other provision), the reasonableness of the fees needs to be supported by billing records.  (2) If the attorney is terminated, as in this case, the billing records supports the claim for quantum meruit or an alternative hourly rate recovery.  (3)  If a claim is made against the attorney sounding in malpractice, the fees may be helpful evidence in support of a defense that would otherwise lack sufficient documentation.   

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In another OCGA 13-6-11 opinion, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed an award of summary judgment for attorney fees for the claimant.  The Court held that since “both the liability for and the amount of attorney fees pursuant to OCGA 13-6-11 are solely for the jury’s determination, a trial court is not authorized to grant summary judgment in favor of a claimant therefor.”  See Covington Square Assocs., LLC v. Ingles Markets, Inc.  

The Supreme Court could not have made this pronouncement more clearly.  An award under OCGA 13-6-11, which may be awarded if the defendant acted in bad faith, was stubbornly litigious, or caused the plaintiff unnecessary trouble and expense, may only be found by the trier of fact.

Kim Jackson Cleans Up The Mess

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