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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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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. 

Georgia Voters Approve Ballot Measure for Sovereign Immunity Waiver

November 16, 2020

 While much of the media coverage of the election has been on the race for the presidency, a significant ballot measure, Georgia Amendment 2, passed in Georgia by a 3 to 1 margin. This measure waives part of the state's sovereign immunity, thereby allowing residents to seek declaratory relief through the superior courts from state or local laws that are found to violate the U.S. Constitution, state Constitution, or state law. Under the amendment, a court cannot award damages, attorney's fees, or other costs of litigation unless authorized by the state legislature. After granting declaratory judgment, a court would be able to enjoin (block) the law or act in question. The state's waiver of sovereign immunity applies to acts occurring on or after January 1, 2021.

The measure was placed on the ballot in response to a number of cases in recent years disallowing certain court level challenges to local, state and federal laws where the law did not include an express waiver of the state’s sovereign immunity in the area.  Legislative efforts to include a post hoc declaration of waiver as to specific and future laws were met with a veto.  This enactment, being an amendment to the Georgia Constitution is not subject to veto powers or court challenges.  How and to what extent the amendment’s passage will impact the volume of cases filed remains to be seen.

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