A New Look at an Old Problem – Spoliation of Evidence

Spoliation.  A lawyer’s four letter word.  Spoliation occurs when evidence that is necessary to contemplated or pending litigation is either destroyed or otherwise of not preserved.   Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Inc. v. Barbour, 333 Ga App. 620, 629-30, 774 S.E.2d 822 (2015).  And it is then presumed that the lost evidence would be harmful to the “losing” party.

For a long time, this standard was acknowledged to be that a party was under an obligation to preserve evidence once they were on notice that there would be or was active litigation.  This was frequently believed to require actual notice, i.e., a written demand letter or physical receipt of a Complaint. Continue reading

How to Not Dissolve an LLC Without Trying

Sometimes common sense makes too much sense, even if the plaintiff “drove and parked erratically while wearing indecent attire, fed numerous stray cats and raccoons, and ‘danc[ed] backward in a Michael Jackson moon-walking manner along the streets of Vick’s, wearing a belly dancer costume, in an inappropriate and bizarre manner’.”

For instance, can asking for something automatically equal getting what you ask for? In Crumpton v. Vick’s Mobile Homes, LLC et al., 779 S.E.2d 136 (Ga. App. 2015), Ms. Crumpton filed a petition to dissolve various LLCs. Her brother (why does it seem like these are always family disputes?) argued that Ms. Crumpton was no longer a member of the LLCs because she filed a petition to dissolve the LLCs. The brother cited O.C.G.A. § 14-11-601.1(b)(4)(D), which provides that a member ceases to be a member of an LLC if the member “fil[ed] a petition . . . seeking for the member any reorganization, . . ., dissolution, or similar relief under any statute, law, or regulation.”

Kind of a chicken or the egg argument, right?

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Yet Another Reason Why Employee Handbooks Matter

Although this blog is not intended to address the many statutory protections that govern the workplace (there are many other blogs that do that quite well), a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit reiterates the importance of following employee handbooks during the disciplinary process.

In Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, No 14-14596, 2016 WL 158820 (11th Cir. Jan. 14, 2016), a transgender employee – whose employment had been nominally terminated for sleeping on the job – asserted Title VII claims against her employer. Continue reading