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Buckley Christopher P.C. provides exceptional service to its clients in Georgia and nationally, with emphasis on: constitutional and governmental matters; casualty, transportation and products cases; and employment matters including workers' compensation claims.

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Judge Declares County Correctly Calculated the Salaries of its Constitutional Officers

April 21, 2021

In the Superior Court of Newton County, Eric O’Brien and Tim Buckley obtained a declaration from the court ruling that Newton County properly applied its local legislation in calculating the salaries of its constitutional officers.  The Court also denied a claim for writ of mandamus against the county by two officials, which claimed that the officers were owed additional longevity, local supplements, and cost of living adjustments (“COLAs”).  Specifically, the local legislation provides that the Commission Chairman and four constitutional officers, shall receive an annual base salary which shall be equal to the highest minimum annual salary established by any general law for any county officer of Newton County. The highest minimum salary was calculated based on population tables found in the general law. The local legislation also provided that COLAs and respective individual longevity increases are added after the initial calculation of the highest minimum annual salary. Local supplements are then added to each respective individual county officer’s salary. The officials claimed that longevity, local supplements, and COLAs should be included in the initial calculation of highest minimum salary and then added again based on the local legislation.  The court found that Newton County correctly interpreted the local legislation, the constitutional officers’ salaries were not deficient, and denied the claim for writ of mandamus and other relief. 

Buckley Christopher Obtains Dismissal on Claims Against Sheriff and Deputy

March 8, 2021

 In the Northern District of Georgia, Kelly Christopher and Tim Buckley secured dismissal of claims against a sheriff and deputy where the plaintiff failed to prosecute his case and failed to comply with the Court’s order to attend his deposition, pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 41.3.  Defense counsel attempted to secure the plaintiff’s deposition for seven months, but the plaintiff would not appear for his deposition.  The court ordered the plaintiff to sit for his deposition, but the plaintiff failed to appear again.  The district court found that “Plaintiff has both defied an Order of this Court and failed to prosecute his claims in this case and has failed to provide any explanation for his lack of participation.”  The court noted that although it is sensitive to hardships posed by the coronavirus pandemic, discovery was originally set to end in January of 2020, before the pandemic became a widespread issue in this country. The court further found that “Plaintiff brought this action and is responsible for participating in it. Defendants’ counsel has been diligent in attempting to move this case forward, but without Plaintiff’s participation, that is an impossible task.”  The court dismissed the action with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) and the Court’s Local Rules. 

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