Georgia Appeals Court Asked To Allow Immediate Appeal of “Civil Death Penalty” Sanction

Shook Partners Phil Goldberg and Leonard Searcy have filed an amici brief in the Georgia Court of Appeals urging the court to reconsider its dismissal of a vehicle manufacturer’s request for immediate appellate review of a trial court’s sanction effectively stripping the manufacturer of its defenses. Goldberg is Managing Partner of Shook's Washington, D.C. office and Co-Chair of the Public Policy group. Searcy is in the firm's Kansas City office, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property. 

The brief, filed on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, explains that Georgia law requires immediate appellate review of this type of punitive, outcome-determinative sanction, rather than force the manufacturer to sit through a damages-only trial and appeal the order once that trial ended in a final verdict. The court initially agreed to hear the immediate appeal, but a second panel reversed that decision and dismissed the appeal without reaching the merits of the underlying claims.

The case is Hill v. Ford Motor Co., No. A19A1055 (Ga. App. Ct.).