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Full-Text Articles in Law

Labor And Employment Law, W. Jonathan Martin Ii, Alyssa K. Peters, Patricia-Anne Brownback, David S. Cromer Dec 2022

Labor And Employment Law, W. Jonathan Martin Ii, Alyssa K. Peters, Patricia-Anne Brownback, David S. Cromer

Mercer Law Review

This Article surveys revisions to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) and decisions interpreting Georgia law from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, that affect labor and employment relations for Georgia employers.


Zoning And Land Use, Newton M. Galloway, Steven L. Jones, Joshua Williams Dec 2022

Zoning And Land Use, Newton M. Galloway, Steven L. Jones, Joshua Williams

Mercer Law Review

Since 2017, this Georgia Survey of zoning law has annually chronicled judicial decisions transforming legislative zoning decisions into quasi-judicial actions, starting with City of Cumming v. Flowers, which held that a local government decision on a variance is quasi-judicial and may only be appealed by writ of certiorari. Subsequently, the Georgia Court of Appeals in York v. Athens College of Ministry held that consideration of a special/conditional use permit is also a quasi-judicial decision, thus extending the holding of City of Cumming. Though the appeal of a zoning decision has traditionally been de novo, York prohibited parties from …


“The Times They Are A-Changin’:” A Dedication To The Past, Present, And Future Of Mercer Law Review, Cathy Cox Dec 2022

“The Times They Are A-Changin’:” A Dedication To The Past, Present, And Future Of Mercer Law Review, Cathy Cox

Mercer Law Review

Longtime readers of Mercer Law Review’s Annual Survey of Georgia Law likely know that Mercer Law School is steeped in history. It is the first American Bar Association-accredited law school in the state of Georgia, having earned that distinction in 1925—more than fifty years after the law school was actually founded in 1873. In the same vein, the Mercer Law Review was founded in 1949 and remains the oldest continuously-published law journal in Georgia.

When I became a student at Mercer Law School, I knew little about Mercer Law’s history or heritage, or for that matter, about lawyers or law …


Real Property, Erica L. Burchell Dec 2022

Real Property, Erica L. Burchell

Mercer Law Review

This Article surveys developments in Georgia real property law between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022. The 2021 Calendar year saw interest rates on a fixed-rate thirty-year mortgage hover at or around roughly 3%—oftentimes actually being below 3%. Since the beginning of 2022, those rates have continued on a nearly steady climb, with the average rate for a thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week of May 26, 2022, clocking in at over 5%, a staggering difference from the year before. Rising interest rates have likely cooled demand for refinances. Nationally, while 2022 is showing a decline in new purchase …


Wills, Trusts, Guardianships, And Fiduciary Administration, Mary F. Radford Dec 2022

Wills, Trusts, Guardianships, And Fiduciary Administration, Mary F. Radford

Mercer Law Review

This Article discusses significant cases decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals during the period of June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022, and significant Georgia legislation enacted in that same period relating to Georgia probate and trust law, guardianship, and estate planning.


You Can’T Simply Say “No!” Almighty Ceo: Georgia’S View On The Apex Doctrine And Discovery Abuse, W. Warren Hedgepeth Dec 2022

You Can’T Simply Say “No!” Almighty Ceo: Georgia’S View On The Apex Doctrine And Discovery Abuse, W. Warren Hedgepeth

Mercer Law Review

Discovery is the process that allows litigants to gather information from the opposing party in a civil lawsuit. Discovery practices differ among states, and each state’s discovery laws generally determine (1) the scope and limits of what information can be gathered, (2) how it is gathered, and (3) when it is gathered. Depositions are included in discovery methods and allow parties to ask the deponent questions relating to the case. Depositions are not only expensive but can be disruptive, especially to high-level corporate executives whose time and dedication to their companies should be their primary focus. In some jurisdictions, corporate …


Commercial Transportation, Madeline E. Mcneeley, Joshua H. Dorminy, Spencer P. Mead, Caitlyn B. Clark, Stephn G. Lowry Dec 2022

Commercial Transportation, Madeline E. Mcneeley, Joshua H. Dorminy, Spencer P. Mead, Caitlyn B. Clark, Stephn G. Lowry

Mercer Law Review

Commercial transportation involves all the significant forms of passenger and freight transportation across the United States. This Article surveys significant judicial, regulatory, and legislative developments in Georgia commercial transportation law from June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022.


Construction Law, Peter M. Crofton, David R. Cook, C. Jackson Parker Dec 2022

Construction Law, Peter M. Crofton, David R. Cook, C. Jackson Parker

Mercer Law Review

In addition to common issues of construction law, cases from this year’s Survey period address novel issues such as the interplay of construction law and constitutional law and mandatory COVID-19 vaccines. As predicted in last year’s survey article, cases covered this year address the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, while construction projects resumed, the industry faced normal problems as well as unprecedented supply-chain difficulties.


Criminal Law, J. Scottt Key Dec 2022

Criminal Law, J. Scottt Key

Mercer Law Review

This Article reviews some of the most important opinions impacting the practice of criminal law delivered by the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Georgia covering the period from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, as well as legislation adopted by the Georgia General Assembly during the 2021 session. This Article is designed to be a mere overview to both prosecutors and defense attorneys of decisions and new statutes and serves as a broad guideline to how these decisions will affect the practices.


Administrative Law, Moses M. Tincher, Chelsea J. Harris Dec 2022

Administrative Law, Moses M. Tincher, Chelsea J. Harris

Mercer Law Review

This Article surveys cases from the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Georgia Court of Appeals from June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022, in which principles of administrative law were a central focus of the case. Review of decisions by administrative agencies will be the first topic discussed, followed by cases discussing discretionary appeals, followed by cases discussing procedural requirements, with scope of authority to follow. The Article will conclude with cases discussing statutory construction.


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Dec 2022

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. The Article discusses developments with respect to attorney discipline, bar admission, malpractice and other civil claims, ineffective assistance of counsel, disqualification of counsel, contempt, prosecutorial misconduct, judicial conduct, amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, and formal advisory opinions of the State Bar of Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion Board.


Domestic Relations, Charles V. Crowe Dec 2022

Domestic Relations, Charles V. Crowe

Mercer Law Review

This Article addresses noteworthy appellate decisions and legislative updates relevant to Georgia domestic relations law during the Survey period from June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022.


Insurance, Myrece Johnson, Maren R. Cave, Thomas D. Martin Dec 2022

Insurance, Myrece Johnson, Maren R. Cave, Thomas D. Martin

Mercer Law Review

During this Survey period, the courts in Georgia were somewhat quiet in the area of insurance following fairly active survey periods during the pandemic. In the three areas of insurance that typically dominate this annual update—automobile, liability, and property insurance—there were only a few cases in each area that seemed to break new ground or offer useful insights to practitioners of insurance law. This Survey period saw very few cases in the area of Georgia uninsured/underinsured (UM) law, which is typically the most active area of insurance decisions year after year. In fact, in this Survey period, legislative changes seemed …


Liberty And Justice For Y’All: Allowing Legal Paraprofessionals To Practice Law To Reduce The Effects Of Legal Deserts In Rural Georgia, Amanda Claxton Dec 2022

Liberty And Justice For Y’All: Allowing Legal Paraprofessionals To Practice Law To Reduce The Effects Of Legal Deserts In Rural Georgia, Amanda Claxton

Mercer Law Review

The lack of attorneys in rural America is not merely a social or cultural problem—it is a legal problem that officers of the courts cannot continue to ignore. Legal deserts are geographical areas where legal services are widely unavailable. Particularly in rural Georgia, legal deserts are a substantial issue. Attorneys and nonprofit organizations have attempted to ease the detrimental effects of legal deserts in a variety of ways; for various reasons, those efforts have been insufficient, and rural counties struggle to attract lawyers. Still, there is one method of resolving legal deserts that Georgia has yet to attempt: creating an …


Workers' Compensation, H. Michael Bagley, J. Benson Ward Dec 2022

Workers' Compensation, H. Michael Bagley, J. Benson Ward

Mercer Law Review

The Survey period featured limited legislation. House Bill 1409 increased the maximum rate of temporary total disability benefits from $675 to $725 and increased the maximum rate of temporary partial disability benefits from $450 to $483. Similarly, the maximum amount of death benefits payable to a sole surviving spouse was increased correspondingly from $270,000 to $290,000.

While not an amendment directly to the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), it is noteworthy that House Bill 389 amends the definition of “employment” applicable to the “Employment Security Law.” This definition now includes services performed for wages unless the Department of Labor makes …


When The Dust Has Settled: Fallout From The 2020 Presidential Election And S.B. 202 Placed Georgia’S Election Code In The Nation’S Crosshairs, William L. Wheeler Dec 2022

When The Dust Has Settled: Fallout From The 2020 Presidential Election And S.B. 202 Placed Georgia’S Election Code In The Nation’S Crosshairs, William L. Wheeler

Mercer Law Review

Long regarded as a “safe” red territory, Georgia was thrust into the center of a national debate on federal and state elections when President Joe Biden flipped the state blue in the 2020 presidential election. In the wee hours of the morning on November 4, 2020, as the final votes were tallied and the electorate results became clear, the Peach State became the ignition point for a fiery, and often hyper-partisan, national debate over federal elections and how states conduct such contests. Due in part to the contrived rhetoric espoused by acolytes of the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) party, …


Evidence, John E. Hall Jr., W. Scott Henwood, Krysta Grimes Dec 2022

Evidence, John E. Hall Jr., W. Scott Henwood, Krysta Grimes

Mercer Law Review

Georgia’s judicial system has continued to grapple with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for more than two years since the Honorable Harold D. Melton, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia,
first issued the Order Declaring Statewide Judicial Emergency on March 14, 2020. That order was extended fifteen times before finally terminating on June 30, 2021.

Seemingly in response to the world of uncertainties created by COVID-19, Georgia appellate courts took the opportunity to provide some additional interpretation and explanation to various aspects of Georgia’s new Evidence Code. This Article highlights some of the continuing interpretations of Georgia’s evidence …


Torts, David Hricik Dec 2022

Torts, David Hricik

Mercer Law Review

The Supreme Court of Georgia’s decisions from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, ran the gamut in terms of both significance and subjects. Among the major decisions affecting Georgia tort law were the court’s decisions addressing apportionment, personal jurisdiction, defamation, products liability, and intellectual property.


Trial Practice And Procedure, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel Dec 2022

Trial Practice And Procedure, Joseph M. Colwell, Christopher B. Mcdaniel

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.


Business Associations: Veil Piercing In Georgia, Judd F. Sneirson Dec 2022

Business Associations: Veil Piercing In Georgia, Judd F. Sneirson

Mercer Law Review

This year saw few developments in Georgia corporate law. The one reported case on the topic involved veil piercing and related doctrines—nothing novel, but an opportunity to review and clarify this important area of Georgia law.


Local Government, Russell A. Britt, Jennifer D. Herzog, Nick Kinsley, Jacob Stalvey O'Neal, Pearson K. Cunningham, Stuart Sumner, Rebekah Ditto, Philip E. Friduss Dec 2022

Local Government, Russell A. Britt, Jennifer D. Herzog, Nick Kinsley, Jacob Stalvey O'Neal, Pearson K. Cunningham, Stuart Sumner, Rebekah Ditto, Philip E. Friduss

Mercer Law Review

No abstract provided.


Commercial Transportation, Madeline E. Mcneeley, Sarah L. Adle, Joshua H. Dorminy, Elizabeth M. Brooks, Stephen G. Lowry May 2022

Commercial Transportation, Madeline E. Mcneeley, Sarah L. Adle, Joshua H. Dorminy, Elizabeth M. Brooks, Stephen G. Lowry

Mercer Law Review

Commercial transportation involves all the significant forms of passenger and freight transportation across the United States. This Article surveys significant judicial, regulatory, and legislative developments in federal commercial transportation law affecting Georgia, Florida, and Alabama during the period from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. The first three areas discussed here are subject to heavy federal regulation due to their far-reaching effects on interstate commerce: aviation, trucking and other commercial motor vehicles, and railroads. The remaining subjects covered in this Article— autonomous-vehicle technology, shareable electric bicycles, and shareable scooters—remain regulated primarily at the state and local levels but are …


Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr May 2022

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s 2021 class-action work featured an important decision on the existence of an independent ascertainability requirement for class certification. In an abrupt reversal of two unpublished opinions acknowledging the existence of such a requirement, the court aligned itself with most circuits that have addressed the question in demoting the ascertainability of class membership to a factor to be considered in establishing the manageability of a class action, rather than an independent requirement. The court’s other significant cases concerned class settlements and standing.


Criminal Law, Thomas D. Church, Kate Forrest May 2022

Criminal Law, Thomas D. Church, Kate Forrest

Mercer Law Review

This Article provides a comprehensive review of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s most noteworthy criminal law opinions from 2021. Section II of this Article addresses substantive criminal offenses, such as economic crimes, drug offenses, and firearm offenses, while Section III covers criminal procedure and constitutional issues arising in criminal prosecutions. Section IV deals with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (the Guidelines) and other sentencing issues, and Section V provides a limited review of the court’s decisions in post-conviction proceedings.


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 …


Healthcare Law, Kathryn Dunnam Harden May 2022

Healthcare Law, Kathryn Dunnam Harden

Mercer Law Review

This Article serves as a review of significant healthcare developments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit during this past Survey period. Specifically, this Article will cover cases, legislation, and trends involving COVID-19, healthcare fraud, and reproductive rights.


Evidence, W. Randall Bassett, Val Leppert, Lauren Newman Smith May 2022

Evidence, W. Randall Bassett, Val Leppert, Lauren Newman Smith

Mercer Law Review

In its 2021 term, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued several important and precedential opinions on a number of evidentiary topics. For example, in two opinions, the court considered the totality of the evidence to determine whether admission of testimonial hearsay implicated the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause or was instead harmless error. The court also twice addressed whether a suggestion to the jury that a defendant’s silence was substantive evidence of his guilt violated the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights.

Additionally, the Eleventh Circuit issued several opinions concerning lay witness and expert testimony. In two opinions …


Immigration Law, Bianca N. Dibella, Hannah Couch May 2022

Immigration Law, Bianca N. Dibella, Hannah Couch

Mercer Law Review

This Article surveys cases from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, in which immigration law was a central focus of the case. The Article begins with a discussion of asylum relief, followed by summaries of cases disposed on procedural or jurisdictional grounds. It then discusses the standard of review the Eleventh Circuit applies to cases decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Immigration Court. It then describes the Eleventh Circuit’s recent jurisprudence around issues of habeas corpus law.


Prisoners, Punitive Damages, And Precedent, Oh My! The Eleventh Circuit In Hoever Overrules Prior Interpretation Of The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Tatiana Dobretsova May 2022

Prisoners, Punitive Damages, And Precedent, Oh My! The Eleventh Circuit In Hoever Overrules Prior Interpretation Of The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Tatiana Dobretsova

Mercer Law Review

Imagine you are a prisoner at Dooly State Prison in Unadilla, Georgia. A squad of about thirty officers march into the prison one day, dressed in riot gear, chanting, “kill, kill, kill.” The officers begin cursing and ordering inmates to get out of their cells, even yanking some by their shirts if they are not moving quickly enough. As you and the other inmates rush out of your cells, you are subjected to body cavity searches—you are ordered to strip naked, squat and cough, turn around, and bend over, all in the presence of several officers. An officer hands you …


Ding Dong! The Count Is Dead, Or Is It?: Criminal Defendants May Not Directly Appeal Convictions If Unresolved Counts Are On The Dead Docket, Lilly B. Nickels May 2022

Ding Dong! The Count Is Dead, Or Is It?: Criminal Defendants May Not Directly Appeal Convictions If Unresolved Counts Are On The Dead Docket, Lilly B. Nickels

Mercer Law Review

A defendant is indicted on two criminal counts, is found guilty on one of those counts, and is sentenced to time in prison. However, the jury could not come to a decision on the other count, so the trial court judge places the count on the court’s dead docket where the count could remain for an indefinite period of time, deeming the defendant’s case pending in the trial court. Due to the defendant’s case being classified as pending, the defendant does not have the right to a direct appeal. The defendant must helplessly serve prison time without any idea as …