At Schklar & Heim, LLC, our goal is to achieve a successful outcome for each client based upon each client’s unique objectives. The following are a few examples of cases we have handled.
- We won a complete defense verdict in favor of a multi-level marketing company against a French distributor who claimed damages of $3.5 million. In addition, we won approximately $50,000 on a counterclaim.
- We achieved a beneficial settlement on behalf of a foreign sovereign government in complex business litigation arising from the dissolution of a joint venture in Georgia.
- We successfully defended a Georgia peanut blanching company in a contractual dispute with Conagra in which Conagra sought several million dollars from our client. The case was dismissed in a complete victory for our client.
- We won a judgment after a bench trial in favor of an individual whose employer wrongly terminated him in breach of an employment contract for $245,465.50, which included his compensatory damages, prejudgment interest, and costs. We also won an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses of litigation against the defendants and their attorneys for $176,484.80.
- We represented a large oil and gas company in Texas in a contractual dispute relating to ownership of a natural gas processing plant, which resulted in a total victory for our client.
- We represented one of America’s largest retailers in several actions as a part of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
- We represented an Atlanta based company against a software manufacturer for allegedly defective software, which greatly damaged our client by scrambling data relating to the customers of our client. After the court denied the software manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment, our client received a very favorable settlement.
- On behalf of a company that had been assigned a series of promissory notes as compensation in a business transaction, we collected several million dollars from debtors who had defaulted on the notes.
- We successfully represented some of America’s largest companies in a legal malpractice action against a large, international law firm. Our clients asserted that the attorneys wrongly drafted a provision in a complex financial document that harmed their former clients’ investment and caused their former clients to pay several million dollars to fix the error. We achieved many victories on behalf of our clients in the trial court that were affirmed in a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, such as the grant of partial summary judgment against the law firm, eliminating most of its defenses, the defeat of the law firm’s motion for summary judgment, and the disqualification and exclusion of the opinions of the law firm’s key expert witnesses. See Alston & Bird LLP v. Mellon Ventures II, L.P., 307 Ga. App. 640, 706 S.E. 2d 652 (2010) . The Court of Appeals decision is also the first in Georgia specifically upholding the inherent authority of a trial court to appoint a private attorney as special master to issue reports and recommendations to the court as to the disposition of substantive and evidentiary issues.
- We represented a decedent’s children and others in a legal malpractice action alleging that an attorney wrongly drafted a Will for the decedent pursuant only to the instructions of the decedent’s second wife. The second wife allegedly took advantage of the decedent’s diminished condition during the last days of his life. The attorney allowed the Will to be executed while the decedent was incompetent. Our clients received a very favorable settlement after the defendant attorney lost a motion for summary judgment.
Estate & Trust Litigation
- We won a caveat of a Will and had the Will invalidated on behalf of the decedent’s family in a case where our clients asserted that the decedent’s second wife took advantage of his diminished condition during the last days of his life. Our victory with the jury was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of Georgia. See Sullivan v. Sullivan, 273 Ga. 130, 539 S.E. 2d 120 (2000) . The trial judge stated that it was the only caveat he had ever known to be successful where the Will was drafted by an attorney and the attorney was present during the signing of the Will.
- We successfully defended the executrix of an estate against allegations of fraud and mismanagement. All claims against the executrix were dismissed.
- We represented a company that was one of many victims of an alleged conspiracy by the defendants to defraud and manipulate the market in the securities of a number of United States companies to which the defendants provided “toxic convertible” or “death spiral” financing. We uncovered the multi-tiered offshore structure used by the defendants to conduct their death spiral scheme, which was designed to conceal the identities of the persons and entities actually providing the financing and conducting the market manipulation. The defendants that did not reside in Georgia attempted to avoid liability by asserting that Georgia courts did not have personal jurisdiction over them. The Court of Appeals of Georgia held that the nonresident defendants were subject to jurisdiction in Georgia because they engaged in a conspiracy with the Georgia defendants and conducted the financing transaction in Georgia. See Hyperdynamics Corp. v. Southridge Capital Management, LLC, 305 Ga. App. 283, 699 S.E. 2d 456 (2010) . The Court of Appeals victory resulted in an advantageous settlement for our client.
- We represented shareholders of a company that was also an alleged victim of a “death spiral” financing conspiracy. The defendants allegedly manipulated the company’s stock using a multi-tiered offshore structure, took over the company, took valuable assets from the company through a series of self-dealing transactions, and left the company insolvent. Our clients obtained a favorable settlement.
- In a large case involving construction defects with more than one hundred witnesses and several thousand exhibits, we won a judgment of $2.5 million, which compensated our client for all of its damages and litigation expenses. See Fulton Federal Savings & Loan Association of Atlanta v. American Insurance Co., 143 F.R.D. 292 (N.D. Ga. 1991).
- In a professional malpractice case against an architectural firm that committed many errors and omissions in the planning, design, and supervision of the construction of a large public facility, we obtained a settlement on behalf of the developer for the entire amount of the architectural firm’s liability insurance policy.
- In an arbitration proceeding, we successfully defended homeowners against the company they hired to perform major landscaping and renovation work. The homeowners were absolved from paying the balance of their contract, the mechanic’s lien on their home was cancelled, and the arbitrator awarded our clients additional compensatory damages for the defective work and their attorney fees. Subsequently, the homeowners won an additional award of attorney fees after the landscape company attempted to thwart collection of the award. The homeowners collected the entire judgment and post-judgment interest from the sale of real property owned by the company’s owner.
- We have represented an Atlanta construction company in several actions relating to many different construction projects.
Domestic Relations Disputes
- A husband in a pending divorce and child custody action hired us after his former attorney allowed his case to languish for years while his family lived in a state of uncertainty. Within a few months, we concluded a successful trial. Our client got the child custody arrangement he wanted, the parties’ assets were divided fairly, the children’s college account was preserved for college, our client’s spouse was obligated to pay off the debt she had needlessly incurred after the divorce action was filed, and our client was required to pay less alimony and for a shorter duration than he had offered to pay before trial.
- In a child custody proceeding, we represented two minor children who were over the age of 14 and had the right under Georgia law to state a selection of the parent or parents with whom they wished to live. The court adopted our clients’ selection and our proposed custodial schedule.
- We represented the wife of one of Atlanta’s wealthiest individuals in a divorce action. As a result of the nature of our client’s accusations and the media attention that such a case would generate, we were able to obtain a complete settlement of all issues prior to even filing the divorce action. Consequently, by the time the divorce action became public, the case was already settled.
- We salvaged the divorce action of a wife whose former attorney completely failed to seek discovery of her husband’s closely held business and hidden assets. Although we had to try the case in a bench trial without the information we needed from the husband, our client won an advantageous judgment in which she kept the marital home, her pension, and several other marital assets.
- We achieved a valuable settlement for a husband in a divorce action that allowed him to realize his goal of living the remainder of his retirement years in his family’s coastal home, which would then belong to his children upon his death.
Intellectual Property Disputes
- We represented an Atlanta software company in an action regarding alleged copyright infringement of computer source code. Our client’s source code was successfully protected.
- We successfully defended a large manufacturer based in South Carolina against allegations that our client had stolen trade secrets from another large manufacturer and had wrongfully obtained a key employee in violation of a non-compete agreement. We achieved complete success for our client, and the case was dismissed.
- We represented a large international manufacturer of rugs regarding accusations that trademark and trade dress rights were violated. The case was amicably resolved.
Real Property Disputes
- We represented some of Atlanta’s wealthiest families who were neighbors. Our clients owned an easement, which was violated and blocked by another homeowner in their neighborhood. The court ordered the offending homeowner to remove the barricade and to honor the easement rights of our clients.
- We represented plaintiffs in a consumer class action lawsuit against a national cellular phone company that our clients alleged had intentionally overcharged its customers. We prevailed against the cellular phone company’s motion for summary judgment, which paved the way for a jury trial. See Sharple v. AirTouch Cellular of Ga., Inc., 250 Ga. App. 216, 551 S.E. 2d 87 (2001) . Thereafter, our clients’ claims were resolved in a favorable settlement.
- We successfully defended a savings and loan association in a statewide class action regarding interest rates by securing the decertification of the class and dismissal of the case.
Our prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome in other cases. Each case depends upon the facts of that case.