Georgia Supreme Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Legal Malpractice Case

Kim Jackson, Rob Gilbreath and Matt McLaughlin argued for and won dismissal of professional malpractice claims against their clients

June 28, 2010

The Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed the summary judgment of legal malpractice claims granted to the clients of Kim M. Jackson, Robert B. Gilbreath and Matthew G. McLaughlin.  Plaintiffs had failed to comply with OCGA 9-11-9.1 which requires a plaintiff in Georgia to file an expert affidavit in support of any professional liability negligence claim.  When Jackson filed a motion to dismiss the legal malpractice claim, Plaintiffs contended that they were indigent and that OCGA 9-11-9.1 was unconstitutional because they were unable to afford the costs of an expert to provide a supporting affidavit.  Plaintiffs claimed that the statute violated equal protection, due process, access to the courts, was an improper special law and violated separation of powers.  The briefing in the lower court was done by Jackson and McLaughlin, and the hearing was handled by Jackson.  The lower court granted the motion and dismissed the professional malpractice claims.  Plaintiffs appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court briefing was performed by Jackson and Gilbreath, and Jackson handled the oral argument.

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