Georgia Supreme Court building in downtown Atlanta. (Jason R. Bennitt)
The Georgia Supreme Court will hear three cases on Monday, including a reprise of arguments over liability for failed banks.
The first case in Monday’s 10 a.m. session asks the justices whether officers and directors of failed Georgia banks can be held individually liable under Georgia law if they are shown to have been ordinarily negligent or breached a fiduciary duty. The question was certified to the court by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which said two decisions by the Georgia Court of Appeals, which arguably shield bank directors and officers from liability except in cases of fraud or bad faith, may contradict the language of the relevant Georgia statute.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash of Atlanta also asked the state Supreme Court to address the issue in another case, heard by the Supreme Court last month. The stakes are high, with the FDIC seeking to recover millions of dollars in each of the cases.
Justice David Nahmias will sit out Monday’s arguments in the FDIC case, presumably because the defense team includes lawyers at King & Spalding, where Nahmias’ wife is a partner. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Dillard will fill in.
As detailed in summaries prepared by the court’s public information officer, the Supreme Court on Monday also will hear a Walker County death penalty case and Lowndes County’s appeal of a lower court decision that declined to enforce an ordinance that allows for an exclusive franchise for trash collection.
Arguments will be held in the state Judicial Building. Video of the arguments will be streamed on the court’s website.