Significant Cases

Metro Magazine
APPELLATE – Supreme Court of Georgia

  • The life beneficiaries of a will sued a bank which was trustee of the will, claiming that the will was invalid because it created a trust which would continue for several generations and violated the Rule Against Perpetuities.  The plaintiffs asked the Superior Court to order  immediate distribution of the trust property to the life beneficiaries.  The court agreed and ordered distribution.  The bank appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia.  In a seminal case, the Supreme Court held that the will was invalid because it violated the Rule Against Perpetuities, an English common law rule established in the Duke of Norfolk’s case (1682).  The beneficiaries received immediate distribution of the estate.  Converse Bright represented the beneficiaries.  Thomas v. Citizens and Southern Nat. Bank, 224 Ga. 572 (1968).
  • A group of property owners sued to declare their county tax digest unconstitutional.  The basis for their claim was that property in the county was not fairly appraised and that real estate and personal property were unequally valued.  The trial court dismissed their complaint.  The Supreme Court reversed the trial court and held that the tax digest was unconstitutional.  The county was prevented from collecting ad valorem taxes until the error was corrected.  In so ruling the Supreme Court reversed several of its previous decisions.  The taxpayers were represented by Converse Bright.  Register v. Langdale, 226 Ga. 82 (1970).

 

CIVIL

  • Converse Bright obtained the only plaintiff’s verdict in a libel suit against a newspaper in Lowndes County. He represented the wife of a bank officer who had been the subject of a libelous publication by the newspaper.
  • A business man from Michigan was killed through the negligence of electric company employees in a vehicular crash on Interstate 75 in Lowndes County.  In the United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia the man’s son was awarded $705,000.00 in the wrongful death action brought against the electric company.  Converse Bright represented the plaintiff.
  • The widow of a retired Air Force sergeant sued a county and deputy sheriff because of an automobile wreck which killed the plaintiff’s husband.  The deputy was driving 70mph in a 45mph zone with no emergency lights or siren.  The defense was that he was responding to a call to make a drug arrest.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $907,160.00.  Converse Bright represented the plaintiff.
  • A city and an animal rendering plant were each enjoined from polluting the Ochlockonee River in a suit by neighboring residents in the first environmental suit in the Southern Circuit. Converse Bright represented the residents-plaintiffs.

 

CRIMINAL

  • A public official was indicted for fifty (50) counts of embezzlement and was acquitted on all counts.  Converse Bright represented the public official.
  • A business man was indicted for attempted murder of his wife after she was shot by an assailant.  The defendant was acquitted.  Converse Bright represented the defendant.
  • An airman at Moody Air Force Base was indicted for murder of his girlfriend, who was shot between the eyes by a 9mm pistol. The defense was accident. The defendant was acquitted.
  • A woman was indicted for murder when she shot her live- in boyfriend six (6) times with a Saturday night special.  Her defense was self-defense.  She was acquitted.  Converse Bright represented the defendant.
  • A woman, represented by another lawyer, was convicted of murder upon an indictment charging her with burning her mother to death.  The case was reversed and sent back for new trial.  Converse Bright represented the woman in the second trial.  She was found not guilty.  The case was a subject of several articles, a book ,“Burned” by Jana Cone, and was featured on 48 Hours and Forensic Files.