Georgia Supreme Court to hear three cases at the University of Georgia


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Marc Galvin, 706/542-0335, magalvin@uga.edu Richard Diguette, 404/651-9385, diguette@gasupreme.us

Georgia Supreme Court to hear three cases at the University of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. - The Supreme Court of Georgia will hear three cases at the University of Georgia School of Law Friday, Oct. 8 in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom. Arguments in each case, to consist of approximately 50 minutes, will be held at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The hearings are open to the public but, due to limited seating in the courtroom, registration is required for attendance with priority given to law school students. To register please contact the law school’s Office of the Registrar at (706) 542-5182 or lawreg@uga.edu.

Although the justices normally hear oral arguments at the State Judicial Building in downtown Atlanta, they try to hold one or two special sessions outside the state’s capital each year. This is the fifth time since 1984 that the court has sat en banc at Georgia Law, the last time was in 1998.

Georgia Law Interim Dean Rebecca H. White said the opportunity to see the Supreme Court in action is of tremendous value to law students. “They get to observe how attorneys and judges interact in one of the most important legal venues.”

Georgia Law alumni, including former Gov. Roy E. Barnes, will be arguing in all three of the high-profile cases. Thurbert E. Baker, Georgia’s attorney general, will also be representing the state in a case. A summary of each case can be found below.

At 9:30 a.m., Carnett’s, Inc. v. Michelle Hammond Hammond was the recipient of an unsolicited fax advertising Carnett’s, Inc., a company which operates car washes in Atlanta. In September 2002, she filed a law suit in Gwinnett County Superior Court against Carnett’s, alleging that it had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. She sought class certification for the 73,500 persons in the Atlanta area who received the unsolicited advertisement on their facsimile machines. After the trial court denied class certification, Hammond appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. Carnett’s, Inc., then applied for certiorari to the Supreme Court. On June 29, 2004, this court granted certiorari in order to determine if the Court of Appeals erred when it reversed the trial court’s denial of class certification.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., Aundra Germaine Grant v. The State Grant has been indicted in Clayton County for murder and the state intends to seek the death penalty. Grant filed an application for interlocutory appeal with the Supreme Court, which the court granted on May 5, 2004, to determine the following: whether the trial court erred in removing defendant’s lead counsel from the case, and whether the trial court erred in refusing to allow the defendant to be represented by co-counsel preferred both by himself and his lead counsel?

At approximately 11:30 a.m., CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Williams, Admrx., et al. and CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Leverett, Extr., et al. The issue underlying the question certified by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in these cases concerns recovery for asbestos-related lung disease. The Supreme Court has been asked to determine the following question of Georgia law: “Whether Georgia negligence law imposes a duty on an employer to a third-party, non-employee, who comes into contact with its employee’s asbestos-tainted work clothing at locations away from the workplace, such as the employee’s home?”


NOTE TO EDITORS: There are strict guidelines for media desiring to cover the Supreme Court of Georgia proceedings. You will need to contact the law school’s Heidi Murphy at 706-542-5172 if you plan to cover the event so that arrangements can be made to accommodate your attendance in compliance with the guidelines.