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FMG Law Blog Line

Archive for the ‘E-Alert’ Category

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Eleventh Amendment Immunity For Sheriff

Posted on: May 18th, 2012

By Ben Mathis and Bill Buechner

The Eleventh Circuit has issued an unpublished decision holding that a Georgia sheriff is not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity with respect to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims arising out of his termination decisions.  In Keene v. Prine, Docket No. 11-13274 (11th Cir. May 15, 2012), the court held that the sheriff was not acting as an “arm of the state” when he terminated three employees.  (more…)

HB 397 Dramatically Changes the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts

Posted on: April 20th, 2012

By Robert Baker

Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 397 this week after two years of intensive negotiations and debate regarding Attorney General Sam Olen’s efforts to reform Georgia’s Open Meetings and Open Records Acts.  The dramatic changes contained in HB 397 will clarify and enhance public access to government meetings and records, and create new obligations for state and local governments. (more…)

Georgia Utility Update –- April 2012

Posted on: April 11th, 2012

By Robert Baker

Georgia Power Files Fuel Case

Georgia Power Company filed a fuel cost case which will reduce fuel costs to all consumers.  The average residential consumer’s bill will decrease by 6% or $8.00 a month.  In its filing the Company stated that it expects the under recovered balance to be fully recovered by March 31, 2012.  In August 2006 the under recovered fuel balance peaked at $995 million.  According to the Company’s pre-filed testimony, “[t]he Company’s fuel costs have declined significantly, primarily driven by decreases in the cost of natural gas and decreases in demand for electricity, coupled with recent mild weather.” [The Recession and natural gas fracking] (more…)

Hospital Lien and Apportionment Issues Decided by Georgia Courts

Posted on: March 26th, 2012

By Matt Stone

The Georgia appellate courts handed down two important decisions last week.  On March 20, 2012, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that an insurer can create a “safe harbor” where a plaintiff who sends a time-limited settlement demand trying to set-up a bad faith claim unreasonably refuses to assure satisfaction of hospital liens.  Southern Gen. Ins. Co. v. Wellstar Health Sys., Inc., No. A11A2065, 2012 WL 917604 (Ga. Ct. App., Mar. 20, 2012).  On March 23, 2012, the Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding the Tort Reform Act of 2005’s amendment of O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, requiring apportionment among multiple tortfeasors, even where a plaintiff bears no fault, and eliminating a co-defendant’s right of contribution or set-off. McReynolds v. Krebs, No. S11G0638 (Ga. Sup. Ct., Mar. 23, 2012). (more…)

Court Invalidates Portions of NLRB Notice Posting Rule

Posted on: March 19th, 2012

By Ben Mathis and La’Vonda McLean

After several postponements, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) was moving forward with its posting requirements (“Notification of Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act”), regarding employee union rights with a compliance date of April 30, 2012. (more…)