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Full-Text Articles in Law

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr May 2024

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s 2023 class-action decisions continued to grapple with Article III standing requirements while also demonstrating, in two decisions, the court’s longstanding generally permissive posture toward approval of class-action settlements. A significant deviation from the latter tendency is the court’s increasingly isolated position on payment of incentive awards to class representatives. Alone among the circuits, the court prohibits such payments, creating an inter-circuit conflict that seems inevitably headed to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, within the circuit, class counsel face a unique hurdle in crafting settlements and dealing with class representatives.


Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun: Supreme Court Of Georgia Expands The Possible Remedies For A Confidential Breach Of Fiduciary Relationship And Analyzed Certified Questions Of Law, Olivia M. Sanders Apr 2024

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun: Supreme Court Of Georgia Expands The Possible Remedies For A Confidential Breach Of Fiduciary Relationship And Analyzed Certified Questions Of Law, Olivia M. Sanders

Mercer Law Review

The crux of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s decision in King v. King revolved around one theme: the consequences for a party that fails to disclose information in a confidential and fiduciary relationship. In King, the plaintiff’s difficult circumstances began over three decades earlier when his father died in a plane crash and a wrongful death suit was filed on his behalf. Though the plaintiff became entitled to settlement funds as a result of the wrongful death suit, the plaintiff never received the funds and filed a suit accordingly, alleging that the defendant breached his fiduciary duties and converted the …


The Real World: Iqbal/Twombly The Plausibility Pleading Standard’S Effect On Federal Court Civil Practice, Matthew Cook, Kate Cook, Nathan Nicholson, Joshua Bearden Apr 2024

The Real World: Iqbal/Twombly The Plausibility Pleading Standard’S Effect On Federal Court Civil Practice, Matthew Cook, Kate Cook, Nathan Nicholson, Joshua Bearden

Mercer Law Review

Several publications already exist detailing the evolution of American civil pleading standards, the personalities involved throughout, as well as the differing iterations’ theoretical and philosophical underpinnings. This Article is written not from the viewpoint of a scholar, but a practitioner. It is the practitioner who drafts, files, and defends against these pleadings. It is the practitioner who provides the “boots on the ground” execution of legislative and judicial directives. It is the practitioner who experiences the aspects of litigation that are not ultimately published in a reporter. And it is the practitioner who must explain to his or her clients …


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Leesa M. Guarnotta, Grace B. Callanan Jun 2023

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Leesa M. Guarnotta, Grace B. Callanan

Mercer Law Review

The 2022 Survey period yielded decisions involving issues of first impression relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. This Article analyzes recent trial practice developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of consumer debt collections, arbitration, copyrights, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54, and a rule change regarding party disclosures.


Game, Set, …Tie? The Eleventh Circuit Gives Courts Discretion To Refrain From Choosing A Prevailing Party, Tessa Sizemore Jun 2023

Game, Set, …Tie? The Eleventh Circuit Gives Courts Discretion To Refrain From Choosing A Prevailing Party, Tessa Sizemore

Mercer Law Review

During the National Football League’s (NFL) 2022 opening week, the Houston Texans game versus the Indianapolis Colts ended in a tie after an impressive fourth-quarter comeback by the Colts. This is only the nineteenth opening week tie in NFL history. Much like that Texans-Colts game, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit hosted a legal dispute which ended in a tie this year. While the American legal system is no game, it is certainly a surprise when our adversarial system produces a legal result with no winner.


For Whom The Church Bells Toll: The Supreme Court Of Georgia Resolves The Issue Of Whether Fraud Can Toll The Statute Of Limitations For Sexual Abuse Claims, Sydney Thompson Jun 2023

For Whom The Church Bells Toll: The Supreme Court Of Georgia Resolves The Issue Of Whether Fraud Can Toll The Statute Of Limitations For Sexual Abuse Claims, Sydney Thompson

Mercer Law Review

In January of 2002, the Boston Globe published an article detailing widespread allegations of child sexual abuse by serial pedophiles and a sophisticated coverup that implicated high ranking clergy members. In the aftermath of the article, thousands of men and women from across the United States came forward with their own allegations, which revealed patterns of abuse and deception in dioceses around the country. The wave of litigation that followed raised compelling questions about statutes of limitations, discovery rules, and the long term effects of childhood sexual abuse.

Twenty years after the Globe’s article, the Supreme Court of Georgia decided …


“Hey, Google, What Are The Elements Of Homicide By Vehicle In The First Degree?”: The Supreme Court Of Georgia Reinforces The Prohibition On Extrajudicial Information Considered By A Jury In Criminal Trials, Savannah Hall Mar 2023

“Hey, Google, What Are The Elements Of Homicide By Vehicle In The First Degree?”: The Supreme Court Of Georgia Reinforces The Prohibition On Extrajudicial Information Considered By A Jury In Criminal Trials, Savannah Hall

Mercer Law Review

In a criminal trial, the presentation of evidence and the instruction of law to the jury are of crucial importance to ensure that a person is only convicted based upon sound understandings of the factual and legal framework under which they were charged. The complexities surrounding the rules of evidence are in place so that jurors are only allowed to consider the facts and testimony permissible under the rules of evidence, meaning it is of utmost importance for the jury to consider solely those things which a judge deems admissible, relevant, and helpful to understanding the case. However, given the …


Why Standing Matters, Jeffrey G. Casurella Mar 2023

Why Standing Matters, Jeffrey G. Casurella

Mercer Law Review

On December 12, 2020, Donald Trump tweeted:

The Supreme Court had ZERO interest in the merits of the greatest voter fraud ever perpetrated on the United States of America. All they were interested in is “standing[,]” which makes it very difficult for the President to present a case on the merits. 75,000,000 votes

President Trump’s outburst du jour came on the heels of a Supreme Court of the United States case filed in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. That case was brought by the State of Texas against four defendants—the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the States of Georgia, …


No More “Heads Defendants Win, Tails Plaintiffs Lose”: How The Georgia Supreme Court’S Relation Back Decision In Cannon Rebalances Pleading Power, Jordan Lipp May 2022

No More “Heads Defendants Win, Tails Plaintiffs Lose”: How The Georgia Supreme Court’S Relation Back Decision In Cannon Rebalances Pleading Power, Jordan Lipp

Mercer Law Review

Imagine your daughter dying in a high-speed police chase—when she was not even the driver that evaded police or caused the crash. You want to hold someone accountable, but you do not know who the right person is if you sue: the deputy, the sheriff in his personal capacity, the sheriff in his official capacity, the county, the sheriff’s office, the county commissioners, the insurer of the police car? You sue the wrong one, and it is too late. Now what?

Thankfully for you, Georgia has forgiving pleading standards. Relation back is a legal fiction that assumes a claim was …


Creating A Civil Remedy In Georgia For Survivors Of Out-Of-State Childhood Sexual Abuse, Alexandra H. Bradley May 2022

Creating A Civil Remedy In Georgia For Survivors Of Out-Of-State Childhood Sexual Abuse, Alexandra H. Bradley

Mercer Law Review

Sexual abuse casts long shadows and causes long-lasting effects on its survivors, particularly children. Especially tragic, most abused children are abused by an adult whom that child knows and trusts. This abuse by anyone, especially by a child’s parents or close family friend, often causes lifelong emotional damage. Survivors generally do not recognize the extent of their abuse until many years later.

This late onset or delayed discovery has made it difficult for courts to provide redress. Although technically children could sue their abuser when the abuse occurs, children generally do not know they have a cause of action, nor …


So Help Me, God, Decide This Case: The Eleventh Circuit’S New Standard For Dismissing Religious Jurors During Deliberations, Amanda Claxton May 2022

So Help Me, God, Decide This Case: The Eleventh Circuit’S New Standard For Dismissing Religious Jurors During Deliberations, Amanda Claxton

Mercer Law Review

You are on trial for a crime. Maybe you did precisely what the government claims, though perhaps not. However, a judge will not decide your fate because you exercised your constitutional right to a jury trial. During deliberations, you hear that a juror practices a religion condemning those who commit the crime you are accused of. You feel the juror would unfairly prejudice your chances of walking away freely. To your dismay, the judge refuses to dismiss the juror. You ask whether allowing this prejudicial juror to determine your fate is legal. After United States v. Brown, it is. …


How Class Action Fees Work In The Eleventh Circuit, Jeffrey G. Casurella Apr 2022

How Class Action Fees Work In The Eleventh Circuit, Jeffrey G. Casurella

Mercer Law Review

Litigating the reasonableness of attorney’s fees in a Federal Rule 23 class action is no picnic. Usually, payment of legal fees is set from a contractual arrangement between attorney and client. That is often quick and easy. Conversely, payment of class action legal fees is set by a district court. That process can be drawn out and labor intensive. In this latter situation, a district court must be persuaded, ultimately, that the amount of the award is reasonable. But what does “reasonable” mean? It is a tricky question—class action math always is—and litigating it can become contact sport.

The parties …


Service By Publication: A Modern Alternative, Darrell L. Sutton, Samuel M. Lyon Apr 2022

Service By Publication: A Modern Alternative, Darrell L. Sutton, Samuel M. Lyon

Mercer Law Review

Service is perhaps the most basic practice of law imaginable. All plaintiffs must serve, and all defendants must be served, for a case to proceed forward. Without service, there is no case to settle—no legal battle to wage.

According to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law[.]” Colloquially known as the Due Process Clause, this phrase has significant implications for the pendency of actions against defendants, and in particular, how those defendants are served. While “traditional” service methods, such as personal service, assure …


Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Daniel E. Philyaw, L'Zandra V. Jones Dec 2021

Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Daniel E. Philyaw, L'Zandra V. Jones

Mercer Law Review

This Article addresses selected opinions and legislation of interest to the Georgia civil trial practitioner issued during the Survey period of this publication.


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Kevin R. Stone Jul 2021

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Kevin R. Stone

Mercer Law Review

The 2020 survey period yielded noteworthy decisions relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, several of which involved issues of first impression. This Article analyzes recent developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of statutory interpretation, subject matter jurisdiction, civil procedure, class actions, and other issues of interest to the trial practitioner.


Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Ramsey B. Prather, Michael F. Williford Jan 2020

Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Ramsey B. Prather, Michael F. Williford

Mercer Law Review

This Article addresses several significant opinions and legislation of interest to the Georgia civil trial practitioner issued during the survey period of this publication.

  • Appeals
  • Apportionment
  • Attorney's Fees
  • Damages
  • Discovery, Evidence, and Sanctions
  • Dismissal and Renewal
  • Jurisdiction and Venue
  • Jury Instructions
  • Offers of Judgment
  • Statutes of Limitations


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Tala Amirfazli, Adelyn B. Boleman Jul 2018

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Tala Amirfazli, Adelyn B. Boleman

Mercer Law Review

The 2017 survey period yielded noteworthy decisions relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, several of which involved issues of first impression. This Article analyzes recent developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of civil procedure, statutory interpretation, and federal subject-matter jurisdiction.


Getting Schooled: The United States Court Of Appeals For The Eleventh Circuit Holds That The Federal Government Need Not Show "Good Cause" Before Settling And Dismissing A Pending Qui Tam Action Against College, Laura Leigh Fox Jul 2018

Getting Schooled: The United States Court Of Appeals For The Eleventh Circuit Holds That The Federal Government Need Not Show "Good Cause" Before Settling And Dismissing A Pending Qui Tam Action Against College, Laura Leigh Fox

Mercer Law Review

In United States v. Everglades College, Inc., a case of first impression in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the court interpreted the good cause intervention requirement of § 3730(c)(3) of Title 31 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). The court was asked to determine whether the United States needed to show "good cause" for intervening in a qui tam action brought by two private individuals under the False Claims Act (FCA). The government, after originally declining to proceed with the FCA action itself, eventually decided to "intervene" while the action was pending on the …


Georgia's Unconstitutional Business Venue Provision: A Kingdom With Impermissible Borders, Lucas Bradley Mar 2018

Georgia's Unconstitutional Business Venue Provision: A Kingdom With Impermissible Borders, Lucas Bradley

Mercer Law Review

A sub-clause of Georgia's business venue statute, as construed in October 2016, violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. That statute, section 14-2-510(b) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), provides four venues (counties) in which a company can be sued for an act or omission, depending on the kind of act or omission at issue. The first three venue options apply equally to in-state and out-of-state companies. The fourth venue option does not. This fourth option grants in-state companies an unwarranted advantage compared to out-of-state companies and as a result, runs afoul of the Constitution's Dormant …


Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Tedra L. Cannella, Robert H. Snyder, David T. Rohwedder, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Ramsey B. Prather Dec 2017

Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, Tedra L. Cannella, Robert H. Snyder, David T. Rohwedder, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel, Rory A. Weeks, Ramsey B. Prather

Mercer Law Review

This Article addresses several significant opinions and legislation of interest to the Georgia civil trial practitioner issued during the June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017 survey period.


Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr Jul 2017

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

The past year saw a mix of results in class-action litigation in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. with both plaintiffs and defendants notching victories in class certification controversies. Of significance to class-action practice was the court's first foray into applying the challenging new Article III standing decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. The court also continued to address arbitration issues arising in putative class actions, while the prospects for curbing the availability of arbitration as an alternative to class litigation appeared to fade with the changing political …


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby K. Fox, Tala Amirfazli Jul 2017

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby K. Fox, Tala Amirfazli

Mercer Law Review

The 2016 survey period yielded noteworthy decisions relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit,I several of which involved issues of first impression. This Article analyzes recent developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of statutory interpretation and class actions.


The End Of Low-Value Consumer Class Action Lawsuits?: The Federal Circuit Split On The Ascertainability Requirement For Class Certification, Kyle Harris Timmons Jul 2017

The End Of Low-Value Consumer Class Action Lawsuits?: The Federal Circuit Split On The Ascertainability Requirement For Class Certification, Kyle Harris Timmons

Mercer Law Review

This Comment seeks to address the growing circuit split on the ascertainability requirement of class action lawsuits. The split centers around what Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure' explicitly states are the requirements for class certification and what some courts have read into Rule 23. Under the high standard, creating a plan or proposing a method with which to identify purported class members is not enough to satisfy the ascertainability requirement. Instead, a class must show that evidentiary means exist and are readily obtainable to support the proposed method of identifying the case. Conversely, under the low …


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby K. Fox, Tala Amirfazli Jul 2014

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby K. Fox, Tala Amirfazli

Mercer Law Review

The 2013 survey period yielded noteworthy decisions relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, several of which involved issues of first impression. This Article analyzes recent developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of statutory interpretation, subject matter jurisdiction, arbitration, and civil procedure.


Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, John C. Morrison Iii, Tedra C. Hobson, Mary K. Weeks, Jeb Butler, Anna W. Howard, Morgan E. Duncan Dec 2013

Trial Practice And Procedure, Brandon L. Peak, John C. Morrison Iii, Tedra C. Hobson, Mary K. Weeks, Jeb Butler, Anna W. Howard, Morgan E. Duncan

Mercer Law Review

This Article addresses several significant cases and legislation of interest to the Georgia civil trial practitioner occurring during the survey period of this publication.


Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr Jul 2013

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

This year saw the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit set the ground rules for collateral attacks on class settlements and elaborate on the predominance requirements for class certification. The court also considered the enforceability of a, variety of arbitration provisions in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and examined standing issues common in data security breach class actions.


Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Permissive Counterclaims And Set Offs: A Misconception, Douglas D. Mcfarland Mar 2013

Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Permissive Counterclaims And Set Offs: A Misconception, Douglas D. Mcfarland

Mercer Law Review

In the years prior to 1990, courts extended federal jurisdiction over joined claims and parties in an orderly system. Pendent jurisdiction allowed a plaintiff to join a state law theory of recovery to a federal question theory in the complaint when both arose from a "common nucleus of operative fact."Ancillary jurisdiction allowed a defendant to join a state law claim to a federal claim in a civil action when both arose from the same "transaction or occurrence." Since a compulsory counterclaim arose from the same "transaction or occurrence" and a permissive counterclaim did not, courts had no difficulty in holding …


Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr Jul 2012

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

The United States Supreme Court's landmark recalibration of class certification requirements in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, together with its broad approbation of class action waivers in arbitration agreements in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, establishes 2011 as a watershed year in class action practice. During the year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit only began to deal with the ramifications of Dukes but addressed Concepcion's impact directly.


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby L. Kent Jul 2010

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Ashby L. Kent

Mercer Law Review

The 2009 survey period yielded several noteworthy decisions relating to federal trial practice and procedure in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, several of which involved issues of first impression. This Article analyzes several recent developments in the Eleventh Circuit, including significant rulings in the areas of civil procedure, subject matter jurisdiction, arbitration, and statutory interpretation.


Ashcroft In A Defendant's Wonderland: Redefined Pleading Standards In Ashcroft V. Iqbal, Cassidy M. Flake May 2010

Ashcroft In A Defendant's Wonderland: Redefined Pleading Standards In Ashcroft V. Iqbal, Cassidy M. Flake

Mercer Law Review

The United States Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal is the Court's awaited clarification of its earlier decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. In the wake of Twombly, courts and commentators debated its application to cases other than antitrust disputes. The Court announced in Iqbal that the Twombly complaint requirement of facial plausibility applies to all civil actions filed in federal court, not just antitrust cases. Accordingly, Iqbal currently governs the standards by which all plaintiffs in federal court must draft complaints to state a legally sufficient claim for relief and survive a defendant's motion to …