Shareholder Disputes, Attorney Malpractice, and Other Civil Litigation
In addition to his divorce and estate litigation work, Harmon has handled a number of large shareholder disputes, attorney malpractice cases, real estate litigation matters, condemnations, and other civil litigation, including:
He represented David West in the West v. West Case (United States District Court; Northern District of Georgia; Case No. 1-88-cv-1577-JOF) which at the time was one of the largest minority shareholder disputes in the state. After almost 4 years of litigation which included testimony by the foremost expert on minority shareholder rights, Hodge O’Neil, who testified for David, the case was settled on the eve of trial with David receiving a staggering award for his minority interest in West Lumber Company and associated companies.
He tried the Hatcher Management Holdings LLC v. Alston & Bird, LLP (Case No. 2012cv214764; Fulton Superior Court) legal malpractice case to a Fulton County jury for three weeks in 2018. The case received extensive publicity in legal circles. His client, Hatcher Holdings, LLC, received a substantial verdict. The Court of Appeals affirmed, and the matter is presently on appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Jeff Kneller v. Fidelity National Bank (194 Ga.App. 55)
Harmon represented Atlanta attorney Jeff Kneller in this highly-publicized case against Fidelity Bank which had improperly dishonored checks written on Jeff’s trust account. The jury awarded damages, interest, attorneys fees and punitive damages.
Douglas R Coe, et al. v. Caterpillar, Inc.; Eaton Electrical, Inc.; and Intelligent Switchgear Organization, LLC (Case No. 2007EV002701G; Fulton Superior Court)
Harmon represented Doug Coe against Eaton Electric in another highly-publicized case which involved multiple breaches of contracts and accounting fraud. The case was tried to a jury and settled on very favorable terms for his client after three weeks of trial.
NCR v. Gatins (180 Ga.App. 595)
Harmon represented NCR in this case involving the enforceability of a covenant not to compete. He won the case in the trial court, and then in the Georgia Court of Appeals. It was for many years the leading case in Georgia on the subject of covenants not to complete and was cited by Courts and other litigants over and over again.
Harmon represented Frank Gesner in a lawsuit seeking damages for fraud in the sale of a painting alleged to have been the work of famed artist, Martin Johnson Heade. The week-long trial included testimony by Theodore Stebbins, the expert on Martin Johnson Heade and Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Frank which included damages, attorneys fees, interest and punitive damages. Franklin Gesner Fine Paintings, Inc. v. Ketcham (259 Ga. 3).
FDIC v. McCloud, Flake & Wilder; United States District court, Northern District of Georgia; File No. C79-315A
He represented the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in a lawsuit which alleged a massive fraud on the part of several land developers in Gwinnett County, recovering for the FDIC the full value of its loss.
Atty’s Title Guaranty Fund v. Marjorie N. Lovinggood; Cobb Superior Court
He represented Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund in a real property adverse possession case against Marjorie N. Lovingood. Mrs. Lovingood claimed title by adverse possession through her deceased husband’s family of a 10-acre shopping center which had been developed subsequent to the family’s alleged ownership. The case was tried to a Cobb County jury for 5 days. The evidence included the first time use of aerial photographs from the 1940’s and ‘50s to pinpoint the location of the property that Mrs. Lovingood actually owned. The jury decided the case in favor of Harmon’s client, Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund.
Harmon has also handled a number of large condemnation cases, including cases for DeKalb County, Georgia and cases representing condemnees whose property was being taken. One such example was his representation of the owners of all four corners of the intersection where Cobb County’s planned east-west connector crossed Austell Road. Three of the four condemnations were tried to juries and the owners received extraordinary awards for the portion of the property taken. The fourth was settled because the County did not want another sizeable verdict against it.
These are only highlights of matters which Harmon has handled. In any complex civil litigation, Harmon and his team at Caldwell, Carlson, Elliott & DeLoach have the experience, skill and resources to achieve the very best result possible for their client.