T. Bart Gary

Partner


D 770.818.1403
[email protected]

Education

  • J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude
  • B.A., Furman University, magna cum laude
Overview

Bart Gary is one of the founders of Freeman Mathis & Gary and is now retired from the actice practice of law.

Mr. Gary was recognized by Best Lawyers in America, named a Georgia "Super Lawyer," a Leading Business Lawyer and Construction Lawyer by Chambers USA, and a “Star Litigator” by Benchmark Litigation. He also was a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of Georgia. Mr. Gary had extensive arbitration, trial, and appellate experience and successfully represented clients in a number of multi-million dollar cases throughout the country.

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Bar Admissions

Georgia

Georgia Court of Appeals

Georgia Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia

U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia

Publications & Engagements
  • Georgia Construction Law Handbook, published annually by the Daily Report (an ALM publication).
  • Incorporation by Reference and Flow-Down Clauses, The Construction Lawyer, Vol. 10, No. 3, August 1990.  (A publication of the Forum on the Construction Industry of the ABA).
  • Eleventh Circuit Survey: “Trial Practice and Procedure,” 40 Mercer L. Rev. 1391.
  • Annual Survey of Georgia: Trial Practice and Procedure, 38 Mercer L. Rev. 383; 37 Mercer L. Rev.; 36 Mercer L. Rev. 347; 35 Mercer L. Rev. 299; 33 Mercer L. Rev. 275; 32 Mercer L. Rev. 225; 31 Mercer L. Rev. 253.
  • “Pitfalls in Competitive Bidding,” Georgia County Government Magazine.
  • “Hybrid Construction Transactions,” Construction Law Supplement to Fulton County Daily Report.
Representative Cases & Clients

Bart Gary represented a concrete subcontractor in an arbitration brought by a general contractor for a Hyatt Hotel and condominium in San Antonio, Texas. The general contractor wrongfully terminated the subcontractor to retain the contract balance and seize its equipment. Then, after eighteen days of hearing, the arbitrators awarded our client more than $6.5 million including, lost profits, overhead, and attorney’s fees. The judgment on the award was paid with interest after an appeal.
Reported decision: United Forming, Inc. v. FaulknerUSA, Inc., 350 Fed. Appx. 948, 2009 W.L. 3444285 (5th Cir.)

Mr. Gary and Mr. Neil Wilcove represented a landscape architect who was sued for professional negligence for its design services for a condominium building in Midtown Atlanta. The building periodically flooded from the overflow of the municipal combined storm and sanitary sewer system. At the conclusion of the evidence, the trial court directed a verdict for our client. The jury later returned a verdict of $5.6 million against another party.

Mr. Gary represented the manufacturer and designer of a geogrid safety net in two wrongful death lawsuits arising from the collapse of the parking lot into a massive sink hole at a hotel in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. The sink hole was the result of a defective storm water pipe under the property. Following a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the clients; however, the court granted a new trial and the case was retried with a plaintiffs verdict which was reversed on appeal and settlement occurred thereafter.
Reported decision: Tensar Earth Technologies, Inc. v. City of Atlanta, 267 Ga. App. 45, 598 S.E.2d 815.

Mr. Gary successfully defended a subcontractor accused of deficient work on a high rise office building and parking deck in Coral Gables, Florida. An arbitration panel award rejected the Owner/Contractors claims. The client recovered $1,150,000, including its attorney’s fees.

Mr. Gary successfully defended a roofing subcontractor in a four-week jury trial for an indemnity claim by a general contractor for $3.5 million claimed by the owner of a manufacturing plant based upon allegations that roof leaks damaged the manufactured products. Subsequently, the Georgia Court of Appeals rejected the general contractor’s claim against the client for over $250,000.00 in attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation under the indemnity agreement.
Reported decision: Citadel Corporation v. All-South Subcontractors, Inc., 217 Ga. App. 736, 458 S.E.2d 711.

In the federal district court in Memphis Tennessee, Mr. Gary represented an asbestos abatement contractor in claims against the Memphis City Schools to recover delay and disruption damages and remission of liquidated damages arising from the removal of asbestos at a high school.  The case was settled on the eve of trial for approximately $1.7 million paid to our client.

The  Georgia Court of Appeals decided a question of first impression and held that the Georgia’s eight-year statute of repose for improvements to real property barred a developer’s third-party complaint for contribution and indemnity against a civil engineer for a personal injury claim alleged to arise from defective design of the Gwinnett Place Mall.  Summary judgment in favor of the client was affirmed.
Reported decision: Gwinnett Place Associates v. Pharr Engineering, Inc., 215 Ga. App. 53, 449 S.E.2d 889.

Mr. Gary successfully represented a subcontractor in an arbitration arising from construction of a facility at Auburn University. He obtained an arbitration award for delay damages and contract balance in favor of the client, including an award of attorney’s fees to the client. The district court held that attorney’s fees could be awarded to the prevailing party in an arbitration proceeding.
Reported decision: Ceco Concrete Construction v. J. T. Schrimsher Construction Co., Inc, 792 F. Supp. 109 (N.D. Ga.).

Mr. Gary represented a county where the court held that a contractor has no protected constitutional right to remain on the county’s bidder’s list for public works contracts.
Reported decision: Ruby-Collins, Inc. v. Cobb County, 237 Ga. App. 517, 515 S.E.2d 187.

Mr. Gary assisted in the defense of structural engineer against the claim by a paraplegic construction worker for negligent review of shop drawings for the roof system on a shopping mall.  The jury trial in Tennessee lasted approximately three weeks resulting in a defense verdict which was appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which affirmed the judgment.
Reported decision: Weathers v. Bennett & Pless, Inc., 1986 W.L. 13963 (Tenn. Ct. App.)

Other Reported Decisions:

Hubert Properties, LLP v. Cobb County, 799 S.E.2d 373 (Ga. App.)

Automated Solutions Enterprises, Inc. v. Clearview Software, Inc., 255 Ga. App. 884, 567 S.E.2d 335.

Morris v. Douglas County Board of Health, 274 Ga. 898, 561 S.E.2d 393.

Savage v. KGE Associates, L.P., 260 Ga. App. 770, 580 S.E.2d 591.

Branchville Machinery Co., Inc. v. AGCO Corporation, 252 F. Supp. 307 (E.D.Va.).

Carey Station Village Home Owners Association v. Carey Station Village, Inc., 268 Ga. App. 461, 602 S.E.2d 233.

House v. AGCO Corporation, 2006 W.L. 3692769 (W.D. La.).

Affiliations
  • Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution; Registered Mediator
  • American Bar Association
  • Member, Construction Industry Forum Committee
  • Atlanta Bar Association; Construction Law Section (Past-Chair)
Awards and Recognition
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America®, 2021 Edition in the fields of Construction Law and Litigation – Construction
  • Georgia Super Lawyers 2014
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • “Law of Engineering Malpractice,” Georgia Engineering Law Seminar (January 2015)
  • A”ssessment of Building Settlement and the Litigation Process — A Case Study,” American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), San Francisco, California with Ming Zhu of Geosyntec Consultants (November 2012)
  • “Managing Practice Risks in a Hostile Economic Environment,” Georgia Chapter of the AIA, Athens, Georgia (October 2011)
  • “Construction Law for the General Practitioner: A Primer on Surety Bonds and Surety Claims,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar in Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Successful Handling of Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia,” Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Proving Damages in the Construction Case,” Construction on Trial seminar for the Atlanta Bar Association Construction Law Section; Atlanta, Georgia
  • “New Rules and Issues Affecting Georgia Construction Litigation,” seminar for Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Residential Warranties: Making the Kitchen Sink Work, presented to Institute for Continuing Legal Education.”  Real Property Law Institute, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • “Georgia Law for Design Professionals,” Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Construction Liens, Construction Litigation and Ethics,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education program on Construction Liens, Atlanta, Georgia
  • “Construction Surety Bonds in Georgia,” Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • “Recent Legal Developments,” American Association of Cost Engineers International, Atlanta Area Section, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • “Current Construction and Development Issues Affecting Local Governments,” 41st Annual Institute for City and County Attorneys, Athens, Georgia
  • “Remedies for Collection: Alternatives to Mechanic’s Liens and Bond Claims,” American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry and TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee meeting, New York, New York
  • Defective Construction: Avoiding Liability and Spreading the Risk,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education program on “Construction Law, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • “Surety Bond Requirements for Public Works Contracting in Georgia,” Association County Commissioners of Georgia Conference, Atlanta, Georgia