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Forthcoming Opinion

January 4, 2013

In addition to returning for oral argument, the Supreme Court of Georgia will release opinions 24 cases on Monday, only one of which is within the scope of our coverage. A brief summary is below and we will update on Monday morning with a summary of the opinion.

S12G0369. MCDOWELL et al. v. HARTZOG et al.

This case began with a vehicle wreck in Dalton in 2005. McDowell was driving through an intersection when another vehicle crossed in front of him, causing McDowell to attempt to steer clear of a wreck but instead hitting Hartzog’s vehicle. Hartzog sued and the jury found in favor of Hartzog. McDowell appealed.

The Court of Appeals (Mikell, Smith, Dillard) unanimously affirmed the trial court decision. The Court of Appeals determined that McDowell’s attorney did not adequately object to a jury charge on failure to obey a stop light because an objection at a charge conference was insufficient, and that other evidence had been appropriately admitted and elicited by McDowell.

On May 30, 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously granted the petition for certiorari to consider the following issue:

  1. Did the Court of Appeals err in its determination that McDowell failed to preserve his contention that the trial court improperly charged the jury on McDowell’s failure to obey a stop light?

The case was heard on September 11, 2012.

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