An Atlanta attorney accused of attempting to extort “$24 million within two business days” from a real estate developer client has reached a hurdle in his latest attempt to challenge a $3.7 million arbitration judgment against him.

Appellant John Da Grosa Smith sought clarification from the Supreme Court of Georgia about “whether the broad power of trial courts to order disputed funds to be paid into the registry of the court pending resolution of the dispute includes an equally broad power to disburse funds from the registry before the dispute has been resolved.”