Jul 20, 2020

The East River Divide

NY Litigation

Litigation is not mathematics. There is not always a universally accepted equation or answer. Outcomes are often dependent upon the experience-based tendencies of the trial court, or the composition of a jury or appellate court panel. Many considerations go into filing a lawsuit, such as the various theories of liability to be prosecuted, the nature of the relief sought, and the cost-benefit analysis based upon the anticipated expense of litigation. But occasionally, in a suit to be pursued in New York City, an important threshold consideration is in which of the five counties the proceeding should be filed. New York… Read more


Dec 10, 2019

What to Expect from Georgia’s New State-wide Business Court

On July 15, Governor Brian Kemp appointed Judge Walter W. Davis, an experienced commercial litigator, to serve as the first state-wide business court judge. Less than a month later, he was unanimously confirmed to serve as the first business court judge by the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. This was one of the last major steps in making the Georgia State-wide Business Court a reality. The business court was approved by Georgia voters in the November 2018 election and codified with bipartisan support in the 2019 legislative session. O.C.G.A. § 15-5A-1 et seq. Although opponents voiced concerns over the… Read more


May 2, 2019

But Only God Can Make a Tree (Joyce Kilmer, 1914)

Tree on neighboring property line

Ironically, despite their divine origin, disputes between neighbors over trees often arise and, as a recent case illustrates, become the subject of hard-fought litigation. Shafi Ahmed and Nusrat Ahmed filed a Small Claims proceeding against their Middletown, New York neighbor,. Allen H. Zoghby. Both Parties appeared without attorneys. The Ahmeds alleged that roots from a tree, purportedly on the property next door owned by  Zoghby (73 Beattie Avenue), damaged the pavement and driveway located at the front of the house on their property (75 Beattie Avenue).  The Ahmeds also alleged that the tree’s roots were slowly moving under the foundation of… Read more


Apr 5, 2018

Casual Use of “Efforts” Language in Contracts Increases Litigation Risk

Contract Negotiation

Take the Time to Negotiate What Is Expected When parties negotiate ongoing obligations in a contract, the parties typically make reference to a particular standard of effort. A number of different terms or phrases are used, such as “best efforts,”  “reasonable efforts,” “commercially reasonable efforts,” “commercially reasonable best efforts,” and “diligent efforts.” But what exactly do these phrases mean, and how are they different from each other? In the push to get contracts negotiated and signed, the use of these terms, without properly defining them, is common. Also common in reviewing legacy contracts is that the same contract can use… Read more


Jul 31, 2017

Commercial Litigation Versus Other Civil Litigation, and Emerging Commercial Litigation Trends

Judge's Bench

Introducing the Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s Litigation Blog The litigation attorneys of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP are proud to announce the launch of the firm’s Litigation Blog, which covers trending news and hot topics in the area of commercial litigation. The firm’s litigators have handled commercial disputes and trials for decades, and we are excited to share our experience, insight and thought leadership on a wide range of timely litigation issues that impact businesses. To kick things off, the first post on the Litigation Blog offers an overview of commercial litigation versus other types of civil litigation, and emerging commercial… Read more