Georgia Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Winter 2004), pp. 633-659


Georgia local government law not only encompasses a forbidding substantive expanse; it occupies a dominating presence before the Georgia appellate courts. Those courts are called to resolve all manner of litigation erupting from citizen exposure to government at its first level. The controversies feature issues both recurring and unique; they represent nothing less than the essence of law in daily life. An annual effort to chronicle those controversies over a good number of years reveals two (among many) distinct facets. First, local government liability has consistently dwarfed all other litigated issues; and second, this pervading characteristic emits no signs of abating. These facets, in turn, levy two requirements upon students of the subject. First, there is the obvious need for a substantive knowledge of local government liability law. Additionally, students must acquire a perception of liability's historic context, an awareness of the subject's litigational tenacity. It is the latter necessity that prompts this brief effort at descriptive analysis: a focus upon the number of liability cases historically before the courts, the precise issues presented, material distinctions between municipal and county liability litigation, and the decisional results.