Parks Chesin & Walbert | Business/Government Litigation
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PCW Attorneys Win Court Order Requiring Special Election

Macon and Bibb County, Georgia were slated to elect a new consolidated Board of Commissioners on July 16, 2013. Because the Department of Justice did not timely pre-clear the statute under the Voting Rights Act, the Bibb County Board of Elections suspended the election. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, PCW attorneys Lee Parks and David Walbert filed an action on behalf of a local voter and candidate to require that the election be held at the earliest practicable, legal date.


PCW Attorneys Win Landmark Ruling for Disabled Plaintiffs

Advocates for the disabled cheered a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision that gives injured persons new rights to appear in court.  Kesterson v. Jarrett, 291 Ga. 380 (2012).   PCW attorney David Walbert represented Kyla Kesterson and her parents in the case, which involved claims of severe birth injuries and cerebral palsy caused by a delayed C-section and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.  The trial court had ruled that Kyla could not be in court during the liability portion of her trial because her condition might elicit sympathy from the jury.  The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed.


UPDATE: Federal Judge Orders Georgia to Provide Deaf With Equal Access to Public Health

Georgia’s institutional discrimination against mentally disabled deaf citizens is coming to a close in a class action lawsuit brought against the State under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Story issued a final remedial order on June 18, 2013, in the case of Renita Belton et al. v. State of Georgia, case #1:10-cv-0583-RWS.  The decision brings us one step closer to ending a long-running fight to end the State’s discrimination against Georgia’s Deaf citizens by failing to provide them with equal access to publicly-funded mental health care.


Supreme Court Invalidates Key Provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held unconstitutional a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Shelby County v. Holder, ____ U.S. _____ (2013).   Since the Voting Rights Act was first adopted by Congress, it has had a “preclearance” requirement under which “covered jurisdictions” must obtain prior approval – either from the United States Attorney General or a district court of the District of Columbia – that any proposed election change is non-discriminatory.  In Shelby County, the Supreme Court held unconstitutional the formula that determined which states and counties were covered by the preclearance requirement.  The rationale of the 5-justice majority of the Court was that the formula, originally adopted in 1965, was unconstitutional because it was no longer based on facts that were pertinent to voting and racial discrimination today.  “The formula [from 1965] can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.”

$1.6 Million Awarded In Race Discrimination Case

A federal court awarded over $1.6 million in damages and fees in a race discrimination case against Fulton County.  Some long overdue justice was delivered after a five day jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia. In a case handled by Parks, Chesin & Walbert attorneys, a federal court entered judgment totaling just over $1,650,000 for the plaintiff in the case of Douglas Carl v. Fulton County and Thomas Andrews (former County Manager).  The jury found that Mr. Carl had been passed over for a promotion because he is a white male, in violation of Title VII and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Judge rules Pike County Can’t Balance Budget by Slashing Salaries, Staff of County Magistrates

Greg Land,, Special to the Fulton County Daily ReportPARKS_pcw14_parks_5523_b

“A little case with big implications,” said Parks, Chesin & Walbert partner Lee Parks in describing a Superior Court judge’s ruling that the Pike County Commission illegally slashed the salary, staff and budget of Pike County Chief Magistrate Marcia Callaway-Ingram shortly after she was appointed to fill the position in 2010.