Litigation

WMO has represented clients in nearly all aspects of commercial litigation. The clients WMO has represented in these litigation matters are both existing corporate and real estate clients, as well as new referrals. WMO offers these clients extensive experience in all stages of litigation, as well as various forms of alternative dispute resolution, in, among other legal areas, business torts, employment issues, shareholder disputes, contract disputes, real estate litigation, including landlord/tenant disputes, and insolvency and bankruptcy.

Appellate Practice

We have handled numerous significant and precedent-setting cases in the appellate courts. Our attorneys have argued before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Georgia Courts of Appeals, and other appellate courts.

Our appellate lawyers perform a range of services relating to appeals and accompanying legal issues, including:

  • briefing significant legal issues at the trial court level;
  • advising clients on appellate issues during and after trial;
  • briefing and arguing appeals on the merits; and
  • preparing and opposing petitions for review in the Georgia Supreme Court.

Mr. McQuade argued one of the seminal cases in Georgia regarding application of restrictive covenants in employment agreements in the case of W.R. Grace & Co. v. Mouyal. In that case, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question to the Georgia Supreme Court concerning the enforceability of a non-solicitation of customers clause lacking an explicit geographical limitation contained in an employment agreement. W.R. Grace & Co., Dearborn Div.–Conn. v. Mouyal, 959 F.2d 219 (11th Cir. 1992) certified question answered sub nom. W.R. Grace & Co., Dearborn Div. v. Mouyal, 262 Ga. 464, 422 S.E.2d 529 (1992). Ultimately, the Eleventh Circuit held (based on the Georgia Supreme Court’s answer to the certified question) that “a non-solicitation clause is enforceable if the restriction is limited to the employer’s customers which the former employee contacted while in the service of the employer.” W.R. Grace & Co., Dearborn Div. Conn. v. Mouyal, 982 F.2d 480 (11th Cir. 1993).

Recent Representative Appellate Experience:

  • ASC Const. Equip. USA, Inc. v. City Commercial Real Estate, Inc., 303 Ga. App. 309, 693 S.E.2d 559 (2010) (while the stranger doctrine prohibited commercial real estate broker’s tortious interference with contractual and business relations claim against former client, broker’s claim for fraud should have been decided by jury and would not be limited by economic loss rule)
  • White v. Shamrock Bldg. Sys., Inc., 294 Ga. App. 340, 669 S.E.2d 168 (2008) (corporation and its sole shareholder may be held liable for conspiring with each other because they are two distinct persons under Georgia law)
  • ULQ, LLC v. Meder, 293 Ga. App. 176, 666 S.E.2d 713 (2008) (trial court properly granted former officer of company summary judgment on company’s claim for tortious interference with business and contractual relations due to application of stranger doctrine and on company’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty under the rule that members of a limited liability company owe no fiduciary duties to the company)
  • Morgan v. Richard Bowers & Co., 280 Ga. App. 533, 634 S.E.2d 415 (2006) (real estate agent did not breach employment contract by receiving renewal commissions after departure from broker, and broker was not entitled to renewal commission on deal that was not active at time of agent’s separation from employment)

Business Contracts & Torts

We represent small and midsize businesses in Georgia courts for all matters relating to business contract and tort disputes.

Our lawyers perform a range of services relating to business contracts and tort litigation and we protect your interests in contract and tort disputes. We handle a broad range of contract dispute cases, including those involving:

  • purchase and sale agreements
  • lease agreements
  • employment contracts
  • non-compete agreements
  • indemnification
  • insurance contracts
  • shareholder agreements

We also have experience handling various types of tort litigation, including fraud, tortious interference with contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Real Estate & Landlord-Tenant Disputes

We have experience litigating a wide variety of real estate issues and disputes. Some of the issues we have litigated include:

  • commercial lease and guaranty disputes
  • land title disputes
  • zoning and land use
  • acquisition and disposition disputes
  • disputes with government entities
  • restrictive covenants
  • environmental issues

We also routinely represent commercial landlords and tenants in dispossessory cases in Georgia courts.

Bankruptcy

We represent creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, primarily in the Northern District of Georgia Bankruptcy Court.

WMO has experience representing secured lenders, commercial landlords, equipment lessors, and other creditors in all aspects of bankruptcy litigation, including:

  • administrative, priority, secured, and unsecured claims
  • assignment of executory contracts or unexpired leases
  • adversary proceedings involving contract disputes, preference payments, and fraudulent transfers
  • protecting creditor’s rights in Chapter 11 cases, including debtor-in-possession financing, litigating adequate protection and cash collateral motions, and negotiating debt restructures
  • recovery of rents and assumption or rejection of leases and the recovery of leased or financed property

Arbitration & Mediation

We represent our clients in arbitrations and mediations, which can sometimes be effective alternatives to litigation within the court system or required by contract.

Mediation can sometimes allow the parties to reach a result that might not be possible by going to trial. Mediation provides an impartial and neutral mediator who facilitates discussions between the parties and allows the parties to explore all of the available options. In some cases, a judge will require the parties to go to mediation before the case is set for trial. Mediation puts more control in the parties’ hands by allowing them to construct their own settlement; but if the parties do not come to a resolution at mediation, the parties are not stopped from litigating their dispute.

Arbitration is different from mediation, as it takes on the form of a trial with the presentation of evidence and witnesses. Arbitration allows the parties to choose the arbitrator(s), so, if the dispute concerns a difficult or complex topic, the parties can choose an arbitrator with specialized knowledge or experience regarding the topic. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding. If the arbitration is binding, the parties give up their rights to have their case heard by a judge or jury. Some contracts and other agreements entered into by the parties contain arbitration clauses which require the parties to go to arbitration to resolve disputes in lieu of litigating. Arbitration can be more cost effective than litigation.

Our lawyers have experience mediating and arbitrating most types of civil litigation matters, including:

  • commercial and contract disputes
  • personal injury disputes
  • commercial lease disputes
  • real estate and landlord-tenant disputes