Mar 20, 2024

Diversity Jurisdiction, the Amount in Controversy, and Removal: A Defendant’s Burden

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In a lawsuit between parties located in different states, a plaintiff sometimes try to keep the case in the state court by being cagey about defining their damages to prevent the defendant from removing the case to federal court. Unless the defendant can show that the “amount in controversy” is at least $75,000, that defendant cannot invoke federal court jurisdiction where the parties have diverse citizenship. In Wal-Mart Stores East, LP v. Howell, Case No. A23A1198 (decided March 12, 2024), the Georgia Court of Appeals wrestled with a case where the plaintiff successfully stayed out of federal court despite recovering… Read more

Sep 19, 2023

Georgia Courts Continue to Look To Georgia Law When Enforcing Covenants Not Compete

Georgia courts have traditionally refused to uphold contractual covenants not to compete that did not meet exacting standards. In addition, Georgia courts have applied their own standards even when the contract specified that it was governed by the law of another state. In Motorsports of Conyers, LLC v. Burbach, Case No. S22G0854 (decided Sept. 6, 2023), the Georgia Supreme Court examined whether statutes adopted in 2011 designed to allow the more liberal enforcement of non-competition covenants altered the traditional approach to resolving choice of law issues. The Court concluded that it had not. Georgia courts will respect the choice of… Read more

Mar 22, 2022

Georgia Supreme Court Addresses Product Liability and User’s Intentional Misbehavior

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In Maynard v. Snapchat, Inc., Case No. S21G0555 (decided March 15, 2022), the Georgia Supreme Court examined whether an injured party could assert a product liability claim when the third-party user of the product had engaged in intentionally wrongful behavior.  The Georgia Supreme Court concluded that a complaint alleging such a claim could survive a motion to dismiss. Mr. Maynard suffered injury in a traffic accident.  The other party who hit Mr. Maynard’s vehicle was driving over 100 miles per hour while using the “Speed Filter” feature of Snapchat to record her speed and display it as part of a… Read more

Dec 20, 2021

Georgia Supreme Court Protects Arbitration Awards Against Court Review

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Arbitration provides a forum in which parties can resolve disputes without going to court. Both Federal and Georgia law promote arbitration by limiting the ability of parties to challenge arbitration awards in court. The extent of that protection under Georgia law was at issue before the Georgia Supreme Court in Adventure Motorsports Reinsurance, Ltd. v. Interstate National Dealer Services, Case No. S21G0008 (decided December 14, 2021). That case arose out of a set of agreements relating to the sale of motorsports vehicle service contracts. The parties disagreed about how funds were to be divided under the various agreements but agreed… Read more

Oct 5, 2021

The Georgia Supreme Court Stays the Course on Personal Jurisdiction Over Non-Resident Corporations

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In recent decisions, the United States Supreme Court has limited the scope of general personal jurisdiction— that is whether a non-resident corporation can be sued in a particular state on any cause of action, even those that do not arise out of events that occurred in that state. Most states, including Georgia, have statutes that allow non-resident corporations to register to do business in that state. If a corporation takes that step, has it consented to be sued in that state on any possible cause of action? The Georgia Supreme Court recently addressed that question in Cooper Tire & Rubber… Read more

Aug 12, 2021


An important aspect of Georgia’s Tort Reform Act of 2005 addressed the apportionment of fault among the responsible parties. Georgia law traditionally recognized joint and severally liability among parties liable for a plaintiff’s injuries—any defendant found liable could be required to pay 100 percent of the damages awarded. The Tort Reform Act of 2005 did away with some aspects of joint and several liability. But, how much really changed? In Alston & Bird, LLP v. Hatcher Management Holdings, LLC, Case No. S20G1419 (decided August 10, 2021), the Georgia Supreme Court limited the changes made by the Tort Reform Act. The… Read more

May 20, 2021

The Importance of Error Preservation

It breaks the heart of an appellate lawyer to read an opinion in which an appellate court notes that an error alleged on appeal was not properly preserved in the trial court. Properly preserving a claim of error is the first step to a successful appeal. The recent decision of the Georgia Supreme Court in Williams v. Harvey, Case No. S20G1121 (decided May 17, 2021), highlights the importance of knowing how to preserve errors for appeal. The case addressed the relationship between motions in limine and objections made during trial. A party can file a pre-trial motion in limine to… Read more

May 18, 2021

Georgia Looks at the Creation of a Contract Through a Phone App

Consumers increasingly conduct business on their phones. They create accounts and make purchases through apps on their phone. But when does a consumer create a binding contract when he conducts business on his phone? The Georgia Court of Appeals addressed that in Thornton v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Case No. A21A0131 (decided May 17, 2021). The issue in Thornton was the enforceability of an arbitration agreement contained in Uber’s terms of service. To use Uber, a consumer downloads an app onto his phone and uses the app to create an account. During the course of creating an account, a notice appears… Read more

Feb 2, 2021

Interesting Cert Grants From The Georgia Supreme Court

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On February 1, 2021, the Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases that may have wide significance to attorneys practicing in Georgia. In Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. McCall, Case No. S20G1368, Georgia Supreme Court will examine whether Georgia courts can exercise general personal jurisdiction over non-Georgia corporations that have registered to do business in Georgia. In the early 1990s, the Georgia Supreme Court held that Georgia law allowed a Georgia court to exercise general jurisdiction over a non-Georgia corporation that had registered to do business in Georgia. Under general personal jurisdiction, a company can be sued in… Read more

Nov 2, 2020



The case of Maynard v. Snapshot, Inc., Case No. A20A1218 (decided October 30, 2020), returned to the Georgia Court of Appeals. This time, the focus of the case was on an important issue of product liability law in Georgia. The case involved a role that the popular social media app Snapchat played in an automobile accident. The app contains a “speed filter” that allows you “snap” and post a photograph that shows the speed at which the user is moving. A driver was attempting to reach the speed of 100 mph so that she could capture that speed on a… Read more