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News & Updates About MFL Law

July 2021 – Partner Andy Meyer is representing the City of Dunwoody on selling medical facility properties for more than $7 million.

July 2021 – Partner Arthur J. Park has joined the Amicus Committee of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA).  The committee drafts amicus curiae briefs as a “friend of the court” on key civil issues pending in Georgia’s appellate courts.

June 2021 – Jay Rawls and Richard Bruno obtained summary judgment in the defense of a construction general contractor in Fulton County State Court.  The case involved a personal injury claim brought by a temporary employee of one of its subcontractors.  The trial court judge ruled the injured employee was engaged in the subject matter of the GC’s work and, therefore, the GC was immune from suit under the Georgia Worker’s Compensation Act’s exclusive remedy provision.  The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and the Supreme Court denied appellant’s petition for certiorari. The Court of Appeal opinion may be viewed at Brack v. CPPI of Ga., LLC, 357 Ga. App. 744 (2020) (cert denied June 21, 2021).

May 2021 – Partner Arthur J. Park obtained the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate issued by the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. The course discussed the essential practices and tools designed to increase employee diversity and to create a business model that embraces equity and inclusion. The seven-week program, created in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil, focused on ways for organizations to create diverse workplaces, address equity issues, and foster inclusivity. Participants in the certificate program completed modules on (1) Emotional Intelligence, (2) Stereotypes & Biases, (3) Understand Your Organization, (4) Future of Your Organization through Diversity & Inclusion, (5) Recruitment & Retention, (6) Community Outreach, and (7) Sustainable Business Model.

May 2021 – Wayne Taylor has been elected as the next President of the American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), the country’s leading honorary organization for practicing insurance coverage and bad-faith attorneys. The ACCC exists to improve the quality and practice of insurance law. The ACCC focuses on the creative, ethical, and efficient adjudication of disputes between policyholders and insurers over insurance coverage and extracontractual damages, a form of punitive damages awarded against an insurer, and claims alleging bad faith. The ACCC’s mission includes educating various sectors on insurance coverage disputes, including the judiciary, legal and insurance professionals, and businesses on critical topics such as best practices in policy formation and claims handling, as well as bad faith.

May 2021 – Wayne Taylor has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Board. The American Jewish Committee is a global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and the advancement of democratic values. The American Jewish Committee is dedicated to building bridges of understanding between the Jewish Community and other ethnic and faith communities, as well as the diplomatic corps representing numerous international governments.

May 2021 – Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification Course and the Umpire Re-Certification Course at the 2021 Windstorm Insurance Network’s Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

April 2021 – Wayne Taylor served as a panelist during a presentation entitled “Navigating Together Expert Panel” at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group’s JM Summit held virtually.

February 2021 – Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification Course and the Umpire Re-Certification Course at the 2021 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 22 nd Annual WIND Conference held virtually.

January 2021 – Wayne Taylor has been elected the Secretary of the Windstorm Insurance Network. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

December 2020 – Mozley Finlayson & Loggins is proud to announce that the firm has been included in the Metropolitan Tier 1 list of 2021 Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for Insurance Law in Atlanta. Mozley Finlayson & Loggins was given this distinction for outstanding work in Insurance Law following Wayne D. Taylor’s recognition to the 2021 list of Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law. Best Law Firms exhibit the highest levels of client service and legal excellence and are chosen by recommendations of clients and legal professionals. A firm must have at least one attorney who is recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers in a “Best Law Firms” ranked practice area to be eligible for the ranking.

November 2020 – Arthur J. Park was a panelist in the CLE entitled “Perspectives on Insuring Against Low Risk, High-Cost Events.”  The CLE was sponsored by the University of Wisconsin and covered the intersection of COVID-19, insurance policies, and government response.  Other panelists included a Federal Reserve policy economist and a University of Pennsylvania law professor.  Mr. Park discussed how the reasonable expectations of the insured doctrine might impact future COVID-19 lawsuits.

September 2020 – Wayne Taylor, along with three other attorneys from San Francisco, California, Miami, Florida and Naples, Florida, co-instructed a presentation titled “Impartiality in the Appraisal Process” at the American College of Coverage Counsel’s (“ACCC”) Annual Conference that was held virtually. Wayne currently serves as the President-Elect of the ACCC. The ACCC exists to improve the quality of the practice of insurance law. The ACCC focuses on the creative, ethical, and efficient adjudication of disputes between policyholders and insurers over insurance coverage and extracontractual damages, a form of punitive damages awarded against an insured, and claims alleging bad faith. The ACCC’s mission includes educating various sectors in insurance coverage disputes, including the judiciary, legal and insurance professionals, and businesses on critical topics such as best practices in policy formation and claims handling, and bad faith.

September 2020 – Fidelity National Title Georgia Agency awarded Dee Thomas and 2 other recipients the KOKO (Keep On, Keepin’ On) Award. The agency asked for nominees who have gone above and beyond during these challenging times and Dee was selected. Kim presented her with the award on Friday. Congratulations Dee!!!!

August 2020 – Wayne Taylor once again has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Litigation. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.
May 2020 – Wayne Taylor was elected President-Elect of the American College of Coverage Counsel (“ACCC”). The ACCC exists to improve the quality of the practice of insurance law. The ACCC focuses on the creative, ethical, and efficient adjudication of disputes between policyholders and insurers over insurance coverage and extracontractual damages, a form of punitive damages awarded against an insurer, and claims alleging bad faith. The ACCC’s mission includes educating various sectors in insurance coverage disputes, including the judiciary, legal and insurance professionals, and businesses on critical topics such as best practices in policy formation and claims handling, as well as bad faith.

May 12, 2020 – MF&L partner Bridgette Eckerson participated in Chatham County State Court’s first video
conference oral argument last week.  She and two other defendants’ counsel argued motions for summary judgment before the Honorable Gregory V. Sapp, State Court of Chatham County.  Ms. Eckerson, along with MF&L partner John McKinley, represent a property owner and manager in a premises liability action.  The attorneys were located at their respective offices or homes in Atlanta, Savannah, and Covington, Georgia, as well as Los Angeles, California.

To follow is an article about the argument (and a link to the argument itself), which was a successful test case for court hearings by videoconference during the pandemic.
https://www.savannahnow.com/news/20200512/chatham-county-state-court-tests-video-conferencing-to-handle-caseload-during-coronavirus-pandemic-future

March 2020 – The firm is pleased to announce the promotion of Arthur J. Park to equity partner.  After practicing in Virginia and West Virginia for two years, Mr. Park joined the firm as an associate in 2012.  He then became a non-equity partner in 2018.  Mr. Park practices in the areas of aviation litigation, subrogation, civil litigation, and insurance coverage.”

January 2020 – Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification Course and the Umpire Re-Certification Course at the 2020 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 2l5t Annual WIND Conference in Orlando, Florida.

December 2019 – Wayne Taylor, along with the Consuls General of Israel, India, Ireland Germany, Japan, and the Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the American Jewish Committee (“AJC”), participated in the lighting of the Chanukah Menorah during the Indo-Jewish Chanukah Celebration held at the Consulate of India in Atlanta. Wayne is a Vice President on the AJC’s Atlanta Regional Executive Board over International Relations.

December 2019 Partner Arthur J. Park was one of the panelists at the Atlanta Bar Association CLE entitled Life of a Trial 2.0 – The Litigator’s Toolbox Series: Rule 30(b)(6) Witness Strategy.

Arthur J. Park was one of the panelists at the Atlanta Bar Association CLE

September 2019 – Mickey Bresee and Arthur Park won a six-day jury trial in Greensboro, North Carolina involving a $1.8 million dispute between two insurance companies.  The firm represented an excess carrier pursuing an equitable subrogation claim for bad faith refusal to settle against the primary carrier.  With prejudgment interest and costs, the final judgment was just under $2 million in favor of the firm’s client.

August 2019 Wayne Taylor again has been selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Litigation. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

August 2019 Partner Arthur J. Park’s article entitled Do’s and Don’ts When Handling a Product Liability Matter in Georgia was published by the Georgia Bar Journal.  The article discusses the various causes of action that may apply to a product defect case for designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers as well as unique issues that arise under Georgia state law.

http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/publication/?i=608212&ver=html5&p=18#{%22page%22:%2218%22,%22issue_id%22:608212}

July 2019 Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification course and the WIND Appraiser Certification course at a Windstorm Insurance Network certification symposium at Nova University School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

July 2019 – Wayne D. Taylor and Michelle A. Sherman, along with lawyers from Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Washington, prevailed on an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, reversing the district court’s decision that ordered ACE American Insurance Company to pay $1.1 million of a $2.6 million award that The Wattles Company won against ACE’s insured, Exide Technologies, for property damage to a warehouse used for Exide’s battery formation operations that were caused by the emission of sulfuric acid. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that the district court judge did not properly interpret the policy’s “Tenants and Neighbors Liability” provision in finding that Wattles’ attorney’s fees and post-judgment interest were covered. That extended coverage provision explicitly stated that it applied only to claims arising in “those countries in which a Napoleonic or other civil or commercial code applies.” The Eleventh Circuit reasoned that, in the context of the international property coverage provided by the policy, the “Tenants and Neighbors Liability” provision unambiguously applies only to countries that are governed by a civil law system, not common law countries that sometimes use civil codes like codified regulations. Because the claim occurred in the State of Washington (and not, for instance, in France or Germany), the Court held that the “Tenants and Neighbors Liability” provision did not apply, and as a result, the claim did not exceed the policy’s $2 million deductible.

July 2019 – Michelle A. Sherman and Wayne D. Taylor successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. This case arose out of an insurance claim under a jewelers block insurance policy for the loss of merchandise that occurred while the insured’s principal was on a European cruise vacation. Jewelers Mutual issued an extended off-premises travel coverage endorsement that provided coverage for the insured’s stock during the insured’s principal’s European cruise subject to specific conditions, including that “[j]ewelry property must be carried concealed [on] the body and may not be left unattended unless secured in a two-keyed safe or stored with a jewelry dealer.” The Court ruled that the insured failed to comply with the requirements of the extended off-premises travel coverage endorsement. The insured’s principal claimed that it was impossible for him to comply with the endorsement’s requirements because a two-keyed safe was not available to him and the cruise ship jeweler refused to store the jewelry. The Court found that compliance with the endorsement’s requirements by the insured was not impossible because the insured’s principal admitted that he could have worn the jewelry inventory on his person even though it would have been inconvenient. The Court further found that the requirements of the extended travel endorsement did not violate public policy.

July 2019 – Attorney Brian Dubuc Celebrates Two Decades of Making Windsong Clients Feel at Home. Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2MnDSj9

July 2019 – Larry Domenico has been named to the initial Board of Directors of the Dunwoody Police Foundation.  The goal of the Dunwoody Police Foundation is to improve public safety for the officers and citizens of Dunwoody. It has pledged to support the Dunwoody Police Department employees through the acceptance and management of tax-deductible gifts and contributions. The principal purposes of the foundation are to ensure the establishment of an emergency aid program to benefit officers and their families; provide specialized training for staff or officers; support the purchase of special equipment that is in keeping with the Dunwoody Police Department mission; support community partnerships through educational materials; and sponsor community events to enhance public safety and quality of life in Dunwoody.

Joining board president Holland as founding board members are Kathleen Brandt, Lawrence B. Domenico, Chief of Police Billy Grogan, Carolyn Riticher, CPA, Mark Twiner, PE, and Heyward Wescott.

Information: www.dunwoodypolicefoundation.org

June 2019 – Partner Arthur J. Park obtained a summary judgment ruling for two individual defendants in a wrongful death case involving complicated aviation issues including alter ego liability and piercing the corporate veil of a flight school.

June 2019Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins LLP Announces the Relocation of Its Headquarters to Crown Pointe in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter

Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins LLP (MFL), an Atlanta Business Chronicle “Top 50 Law Firm” and leading provider of legal services in Atlanta and the Southeast, is proud to announce the relocation and opening of its new headquarters in the Atlanta Central Perimeter District at 1050 Crown Pointe, Suite 1500, Atlanta, GA 30338. Established in 1977, MFL has operated continuously in Atlanta for over 42 years. The new headquarters will accommodate MFL’s rising headcount, support record revenue, and provide a state-of-the-art work environment for its employees and key business relationships.

We are excited to invest in and build a deeper rapport with Atlanta’s Central Perimeter business community”, said James G. Coyle, Managing Partner of MFL. “The practice and business of law has evolved dramatically over the past twenty (20) years, and we simply needed to modernize our firm in order to continue to provide the quality legal services and value that our key clients have come to expect from MFL. Our business is built upon Atlanta relationships and by putting roots down near our most important clients, I am confident that we will deepen these relationships. The new space has been designed with our employees in mind to be enjoyable, to foster collaboration and innovation while incorporating elements of our long history in Atlanta,” he added. We look forward to this next exciting chapter in our growth and to welcoming our employees, clients, and friends to our new headquarters facility,” said Coyle.

MFL was represented by John Flack, David Rubenstein, and Nanci Love of Savills Atlanta office

May 2019 – Wayne Taylor was re-elected as a Vice President of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Board. The American Jewish Committee is a global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and the advancement of democratic values. The American Jewish Committee is dedicated to building bridges of understanding between the Jewish Community and other ethnic and faith communities, as well as the diplomatic corps representing numerous international governments.

May 2019 – Wayne Taylor was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the American College of Coverage Counsel (“ACCC”). The ACCC exists to improve the quality of the practice of insurance law. The ACCC focuses on the creative, ethical and efficient adjudication of disputes between policyholders and insurers over insurance coverage and extracontractual damages, a form of punitive damages awarded against an insured, and claims alleging bad faith. The ACCC’s mission includes educating various sectors in insurance coverage disputes, including the judiciary, legal and insurance professionals, and businesses on critical topics such as best practices in policy formation and claims handling, and bad faith.

May 2019 –Wayne Taylor again served as a member of the faculty for the Emory University School of Law Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques. The Program for Trial Techniques instructs second-year law students using the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s learning-by-doing method. The curriculum covers various facets of a trial, including theory and techniques for handling opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations, closing arguments and evidentiary hearings.

April 2019 – Wayne Taylor and Michelle Sherman made a presentation titled “Legal Trends: What’s New” at Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance Group JM Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

April 2019 – Wayne Taylor, along with an in-house claims attorney from St. Petersburg, Florida and a private practice attorney from Orlando, Florida, co-presented a class titled “Property Case Law Developments: Personal Lines” at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s 2019 Claims Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

April 2019 – Wayne Taylor, along with a claims manager from Atlanta, Georgia and a private practice attorney from Boston, Massachusetts, co-presented a class titled “Property Case Law Developments: Commercial Lines” at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s 2019 Claims Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

April 2019 – Wayne Taylor presented a class titled “The Appraisal Process and its Potential Pitfalls” for the property claims department of the State Auto Insurance Companies in Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 2019 – Michelle Sherman and Wayne Taylor obtained an order from the Court of Appeals of Georgia affirming summary judgment in favor of Covington Specialty Insurance Coverage in an insurance coverage lawsuit filed by Goldeagle Ventures, LLC. The case involved a claim for insurance proceeds for the destruction of light fixtures in a building following a lightning strike. The appeals court ruled that no coverage was provided for the damage to the light fixtures, which were considered a part of the building because the insured did not purchase coverage for damage to the building. The appeals court then ruled that there was no coverage because the light fixtures did not constitute business personal property, which was the only coverage purchased by the insured.

March 2019 – Wayne Taylor and Michelle Sherman, along with an attorney from Orlando, Florida, instructed a day-long training workshop on the procedures and pitfalls of the appraisal process under a first-party insurance policy to the Appraisal Practice Group of Engle Martin & Associates, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.

March 2019 – Wayne Taylor made a presentation about appropriate topics for underwriters’ depositions to the Commercial Underwriting Department of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group in Neenah, Wisconsin.

February 2019 – Wayne Taylor once again has been selected as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Georgia in the 2019 edition of Super Lawyers for Insurance Coverage. Selection is based upon peer recognition and professional achievement.

February 2019 – Wayne Taylor has been reappointed chairman of the WIND Umpire and Appraiser Education and Review Committee for the Windstorm Insurance Network. The Umpire and Appraiser Education and Review Committee is charged with developing educational content and proposing revisions to the application/renewal process for the WIND Umpire and Appraiser Certification Programs. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

February 2019 – MFL Congratulates Andrew M. Capobianco on Becoming Our Newest Equity Partner

MFL is pleased to announce that attorney Andrew M. Capobianco has joined the firm’s equity partnership. Since joining the firm, Andrew’s practice has focused on litigating high value personal injury claims and insurance coverage disputes. Andrew has successfully represented the interests of defendants, potential defendants, and insurers in all phases of litigation, including pre-suit negotiations, trials, and through appellate practice.

February 2019 – MFL Congratulates Sharon P. Horne and Michelle A. Sherman on Becoming Our Newest Partners

MFL is pleased to announce that attorneys Sharon P. Horne and Michelle A. Sherman have joined the firm’s partnership.

Sharon P. Horne specializes in defending insurance companies and corporate clients in personal injury and property damage claims.  She has experience litigating a broad range of cases and has achieved countless successful resolutions for cases pending in both state and federal courts.

Michelle A. Sherman concentrates her practice on providing strategic legal counsel to insurers confronting complex coverage issues and allegations of bad faith. Since joining the firm in 2012, Michelle has successfully defended insurers on numerous occasions against claims for breach of contract and bad faith.

February 2019 – Wayne Taylor was appointed the chairperson of the Windstorm Insurance Network’s Appraisal Grievance Committee, which addresses complaints submitted about alleged ethics violations by WIND certified appraisers and umpires.

February 2019 – Wayne Taylor was elected to another term on the Board of Directors of the Windstorm Insurance Network. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum of the windstorm insurance claims industry.

January 2019 – Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification course and the Umpire Re-certification course at the 2019 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 20th Annual WIND Conference in Orlando, Florida.

January 2019 – Wayne D. Taylor and Michelle A. Sherman successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division. This case involved a claim by an insured for coverage under a Jewelers Mutual policy for loss of business income allegedly suffered when the insured suspended operations at its leased premises due to its landlord’s failure to remediate a foul odor and mold in the insured’s jewelry store caused by water leakage from an adjacent restaurant. Jewelers Mutual’s independent adjuster inspected the premises and determined that the mold resulted from a long-term water leak from a hot water tank in an adjacent restaurant. Jewelers Mutual denied the insured’s claim for loss of business income based on the policy’s exclusions for “continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water” and mold. The insured argued that the water leak was not the sole cause of the odor and the precise cause of the odor was never established. The Court held that Jewelers Mutual reasonably concluded that the insured’s loss of income from suspending its operations resulted from a continuous water leak from the adjacent restaurant, and therefore, was not a covered cause of loss. The Court found that the insured failed to produce any evidence to dispute that conclusion or create a question of fact that would preclude summary judgment in favor of Jewelers Mutual. The Court also granted Jewelers Mutual’s motion for summary judgment regarding the insured’s claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and bad faith.

January 2019 – A new Equity Partner and two new Partners

  • Andrew Capobianco is now an Equity Partner
  • Michelle Sherman and Sharon Horne made Partner

October 2018 – Larry Domenico spoke to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) annual Continuing Education Conference on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. The topic was “Protecting Your Commissions.” Larry has presented a number of times to the GABB and has been a member of the organization for over 15 years.

October 2018 – Wayne Taylor, along with another attorney from Atlanta, Georgia, presented a class titled “The Appraisal Process and Potential Pitfalls” for the Property Loss Appraisal Network in Canton, Georgia.

September 2018 – Arthur J. Park’s short article entitled The Lawyer’s Guide to Drafting a Satisfactory Answer was published as part of the Practice Tips Series of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference.  The YLC is comprised of all lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia who are age 36 and under (or admitted to practice less than three years regardless of age).  Mr. Park is currently admitted to practice in the courts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Georgia.  His article can be accessed here: http://www.vsb.org/site/conferences/ylc/pt35

August 2018 – Wayne Taylor once again has been selected for inclusion in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Litigation. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

July 2018 – Wayne Taylor was named an Attorney to Watch in 2018 by Attorney at Law Magazine.

June 2018 – Michelle Sherman made a presentation titled “Diminution in Value in the Southeast” at the Southern Loss Association’s monthly meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. 

May 2018 – Wayne Taylor was appointed to the Executive Board of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (“ACCEC”).  The ACCEC is an organization of coverage attorneys that was formed to improve the quality of the practice of insurance law.  The ACCEC focuses on the creative, ethical and efficient adjudication of disputes between policyholders and insurers over insurance coverage and extracontractual damages, a form of punitive damages awarded against an insurer, and claims alleging bad faith.  The ACCEC’s mission includes educating various sectors in insurance coverage disputes, including the judiciary, legal and insurance professionals, and businesses on critical topics such as best practices and policy formation and claims handling, and bad faith.

May 2018 – Arthur J. Park’s article “What to Reasonably Expect in the Coming Years from the Reasonable Expectations of the Insured Doctrine” was recently cited by authors in the Yale Law Journal and the Temple Law Review.

May 2018 – Wayne Taylor and Sharon Horne served as members of the faculty of the Emory University School of Law Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques. The Program for Trial Techniques instructs second-year law students using the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s learning-by-doing method. The curriculum covers various facets of a trial, including theory and techniques for handling opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations, closing arguments and evidentiary hearings.

April 2018 – Wayne Taylor has been reappointed chairman of the WIND Umpire and Appraiser Education and Review Committee for the Windstorm Insurance Network. The Umpire and Appraiser Education Review Committee is charged with proposing revisions to the application/renewal process for the WIND Umpire and Appraiser Certification Programs and overseeing complaints lodged against its umpires and appraisers. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an education forum in the windstorm insurance claims industry.

April 2018 – Partner Arthur J. Park was a speaker at the 52nd Annual SMU Air Law Symposium in Dallas, Texas. His topic was Indemnity Agreements in the Aviation Community: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The presentation addressed issues related to the proper interpretation of indemnity agreements in various aviation contracts, including a discussion of Georgia law and Texas law on the subject.

March 2018 – Employment attorneys John Lowery and Janine Willis obtained summary judgment in favor of MARTA and its Chief and Assistant Chief of Police in the successful defense of a civil rights complaint brought in the Northern District of Georgia. The case involved claims of race and gender discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment and state law claims including defamation and negligence brought by two former employee police officers. The federal district court dismissed all claims.

February 2018 – Janine Willis was elected to the Board of the Foundation for Improvement of Justice, a non-profit aimed at improving local, state, and federal systems of justice through recognizing and awarding programs and initiatives that have made positive impacts in both the civil and criminal judicial arenas.

February 2018 – Wayne D. Taylor and Michelle A. Sherman obtained a grant of summary judgment on behalf of Federal Insurance Company in a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The insured claimed that all jewelry items scheduled on his insurance policy had been stolen from his home while he allegedly was at the gym. As part of its investigation of the claim, Federal requested that the insured produce various specific financial records and documents and that he submit to an examination under oath. Although the insured provided a police report, jewelry appraisals, his own credit report that he obtained, and photos of the broken glass on his door that he repaired and gave a recorded statement, he did not produce any documents or information relating to his activities or financial condition around the time of the loss, such as his telephone or bank records. After several follow-up requests for the documents, and the insured’s failure to appear for his scheduled examination under oath, Federal denied the claim based on the insured’s breach of his post-loss contractual duties. The Court ruled that, as a matter of law, the insured was not entitled to any recovery because he failed to produce the documents requested by Federal during its investigation of the claim, which was a condition precedent to recovery under the policy. The Court also granted summary judgment on the insured’s bad faith claim.

January 2018 – Wayne Taylor served as the Chairman for the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 19th Annual WIND Conference held in Orlando, Florida, which drew over 1,000 attendees from all over the country. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

January 2018 – Partner and soccer enthusiast, Janine Willis, was elected to a second term as Secretary on the Board of Directors of “Soccer in the Streets, LLC” a non-profit organization that works with disadvantaged youth to educate, empower, and develop participants through sport, mentoring, and employability programming.

January 2018 – Wayne Taylor served as a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification Course, the Umpire Re-Certification Course and the Appraiser Re-Certification Course at the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 19th Annual WIND Conference in Orlando, Florida.

January 2018 – Wayne Taylor was elected to another term on the Board of Directors of the Windstorm Insurance Network.

January 2018 – Wayne Taylor received the Presidential Recognition Award at the Windstorm Insurance Network’s 2018 WIND Conference. The award is presented in recognition of a member’s dedication and service to the Windstorm Insurance Network. The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

December 2017 – Wayne Taylor, along with the Consuls General of Israel and India and the Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the American Jewish Committee (“AJC”), participated in the lighting of the Chanukah Menorah during the Indo-Jewish Chanukah Celebration held at the Consulate of India in Atlanta. Wayne is a Vice President on the AJC’s Atlanta Regional Executive Board over inter-ethnic relations.

December 2017 – MF&L Partner Larry Domenico recently led the Rotary Club of Dunwoody’s semi-annual volunteer day at the USO in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The volunteers served lunch to over 100 military service members and their families.  Larry and the firm have supported the USO through similar efforts for several years.

December 2017 – Senior Associate Arthur J. Park recently had an article published by the Mississippi Law Journal.  The article was entitled Circumstantial Evidence of Negligence: The Need for Clarification in Mississippi, 85 Miss. L.J. Supra 3 (2016), and it is available at http://mississippilawjournal.org/category/supra/.  Mr. Park, a graduate of Ole Miss whose practice includes subrogation, discussed the varying standards of proving a case with circumstantial evidence and the inconsistent results that the Mississippi courts have reached.

November 2017 – Wayne Taylor co-presented a class titled “When Worlds Collide – Recent Battles Over Appraisal” at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s 2017 Large Loss Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

October 2017 – Bill Hoitink, Partner with Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins and President of the Metro Marietta Kiwanis, recently welcomed Congresswoman Karen Handel to one of Metro Marietta Kiwanis weekly luncheon meetings.  Congresswoman Handel explained various aspects of what is going on in Congress and the difficulty of guiding legislation through the various special interests in our nation’s capital.

william-hoitink-metro-marietta-kiwanis-club-president

October 2017 –  Michelle Sherman and Wayne Taylor successfully obtained the dismissal of a bad faith claim in a lawsuit against Covington Specialty Insurance Company in the State Court of Gwinnett County. The case involved a claim for insurance proceeds for the destruction of light fixtures in a building following a lightning strike.  Covington declined coverage because the lighting fixtures did not constitute business personal property, which was the only coverage purchased by the insured.  The Court granted Covington’s motion for summary judgment on the insured’s bad faith claim, finding that Covington possessed reasonable grounds for contesting coverage.

October 2017 – Wayne Taylor, Michelle Sherman and Anne Landrum, as well as attorneys representing other insurers, obtained a dismissal of all claims asserted against Landmark American Insurance Company in the Superior Court of DeKalb County.  The case involved a claim by the insured that a group insurance program, of which Landmark was one of many excess insurers, was illegal.  The insured had been paid the full amount of its claim by the primary insurer and first two excess layer insurers, but demanded additional damages as a result of alleged delay and underevaluation of the amount of loss during the investigation of the claim.  In ruling in favor of Landmark and the other insurers, the Court found that Georgia’s bad faith statute, O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6, is the exclusive remedy for extra-contractual damages arising from allegedly deficient claims adjusting.  The Court also found that, even if the group insurance program was illegal, there is no private cause of action for a violation of Georgia’s Insurance Code.  Instead, any alleged violations of the Insurance Code come within the exclusive jurisdiction of Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner.  Consequently, the Court dismissed all of the insured’s claims against Landmark and the other insurers based upon the claim that the group insurance program was illegal.

September 2017 –  Wayne Taylor once again served as a guest professor for the insurance law class at Georgia State University’s School of Law, lecturing on insurable interest under a first-party property insurance policy.

September 2017 – 

LG Can’t Be Sued Over Fatal Fire Around TV, Judges Rule


If a ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals stands, a homeowner who claims her television exploded and caused a fire that killed her husband and son will never get a chance to take her case to a jury.

Writing for a panel of three, Judge M. Yvette Miller came down on the side of LG Electronics against Debbie Cash. Miller upheld Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Pamela South, who dismissed Cash’s causation expert on a Daubert challenge, then granted summary judgment in favor of LG.

“The evidence in this case shows that, on the morning of July 6, 2011, Cash’s son woke up and went into the living room to watch TV,” Miller wrote. “He then came into Cash’s room and told Cash and her husband that the house was on fire. When Cash looked in the living room, she saw green-black smoke and that the entire entertainment center was on fire.”

The parents tried without success to extinguish the fire. The mother escaped the house, thinking her husband and son were already out. Then she climbed in a window to pull her daughter out.

“Once Cash realized her husband and son were trapped in the house, the fire was too extensive for her to rescue them,” Miller said. The husband died in the house. The son died afterward in a hospital.

“Cash and her surviving daughter filed suit against LG Electronics, Inc. alleging, among other claims, strict liability and negligence,” Miller wrote. “Cash claims that the LG television in her living room was the cause of the fire, and in support she submitted the expert testimony of an engineer who attempted to recreate the origin of the fire.

“Upon LG’s motion, the trial court excluded the expert’s testimony, finding that the expert’s opinion was not based on sufficient facts or reliable principles and methods, as required byDaubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U. S. 579 … (1993),” Miller said. “After excluding Cash’s causation expert, the trial court granted summary judgment to LG based on the lack of competent and admissible evidence that there was a defect in the television that caused the fire.”

The excluded expert posed a hypothesis targeting the television’s power supply board as the trigger to a chain reaction causing the fire. But Miller found “simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered.” She said the expert could not back up his findings without manipulating the reactions of the equipment in his tests.

Miller also found that a trial judge has “substantial discretion in deciding how to test an expert’s reliability.” Miller added, “The party seeking to rely on the expert bears the burden of proving the expert is sufficiently reliable.”

Cash’s attorneys could not be reached to ask whether they plan to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. Her team includes Jason Webster of Webster Law Firm in Houston, which is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and David Sleppy of Cathey & Strain in Cornelia, in northeast Georgia in Habersham County, which was without power, phone and internet from Hurricane Irma. Calls to both firms were unanswered Tuesday.

Edward Bresee of Mozley Finlayson & Loggins in Atlanta was part of the LG defense team. Bresee said Monday he could not discuss the opinion without his client’s approval.

The case is Cash v. LG Electronics, No. A17A0878.

August 2017 – Wayne Taylor once again has been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Litigation.  Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

August 2017 – Wayne Taylor was re-appointed to the American Jewish Committee’s Regional Board Development Committee.  The Development Committee buttresses the American Jewish Committee’s fundraising efforts, including developing strategies to grow the American Jewish Committee’s base of support.  Wayne also is a Vice President on the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Executive Board.

August 2017 – Wayne Taylor and Anne Landrum obtained summary judgment on behalf of Acuity, a Mutual Insurance Company in a case of serious injury to three claimants involved in a multi-vehicle accident.  Acuity had been served with the complaint and cross-claim as a purported uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier in a lawsuit pending in Gwinnett County State Court.  The injured claimants were driving their personal vehicles at the time of the accident.  The Court found that the vehicles were not covered vehicles under the Acuity policy of commercial automobile insurance issued to a Wisconsin company owned by one of the claimants, and therefore, the Acuity policy did not provide any uninsured motorist coverage to the claimants.

June 2017 — Wayne Taylor, William Harrison, and Michelle Sherman obtained a judgment in the amount of $128,664.13, plus costs, for Mercury Insurance Company of Georgia in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.  The judgment follows the Court’s prior ruling finding that Mercury was entitled to summary judgment regarding liability. The Court previously held that, as a matter of law, the insured’s guilty plea to the criminal offense of insurance fraud conclusively established her involvement in intentionally setting the fire that damaged her home.

June 2017

Managing partner Mickey Bresee and senior associate Arthur Park successfully argued a Motion to Open Default in a suit alleging a hazardous condition at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport which led to permanent injuries.  Following oral argument, the contested motion was ultimately granted by Judge Carbo of the State Court of Clayton County.

May 2017 Senior Partner J. Arthur Mozley has been elected to the Aviation Insurance Association Eagle Society.

May 2017 Wayne Taylor once again served as a member of the faculty of the Emory University School of Law Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques.  The Program for Trial Techniques instructs second year law students using the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s learning-by-doing method.  The curriculum covers various facets of a trial, including theory and techniques for handling opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations, closing arguments and evidentiary hearings.

May 2017 Wayne Taylor and Michelle Sherman, along with an attorney from Orlando, Florida, instructed a day-long training workshop on the procedures and pitfalls of the appraisal process under a first-party insurance policy to the Appraisal Practice Group of Engle Martin & Associates, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.

May 2017 Senior Associate Arthur J. Park recently obtained a defense verdict in a bench trial in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  The defendant, an international airline, was accused of failing to provide a full refund to a passenger traveling from Guatemala to Atlanta.  The court held that the airline had complied with all terms and conditions of the Contract of Carriage related to delays and connecting flights and that the passenger was not entitled to any compensation.

April 2017 Wayne Taylor was re-appointed chairperson of the membership committee of the American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel (“ACCEC”).  The membership committee is charged with performing a careful investigation into the qualifications of each nominee for membership into the ACCEC in order ensure that the candidate satisfies the criteria for membership.

April 2017 Wayne Taylor was elected as a Vice President of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Board.  The American Jewish Committee is a global advocate for the well-being of the Jewish people and the advancement of democratic values.  The American Jewish Committee is dedicated to building bridges of understanding between the Jewish Community and other ethnic and faith communities, as well as the diplomatic corps representing numerous international governments.

April 2017 Wayne Taylor and Michelle Sherman successfully obtained a dismissal without leave to amend in a lawsuit against Covington Specialty Insurance Company in Los Angeles, California Superior Court.  That case involved a claim for insurance proceeds for a loss after the policy had been cancelled by the company that financed the payment of the insured’s premium.  The insured suffered a loss one week after the policy had been cancelled at the request of the premium finance company, and the insured then paid its premium and requested reinstatement of the policy.  The request for reinstatement of the policy was denied, and Covington subsequently denied the claim on the ground that the loss occurred after the effective date of the policy’s cancellation.  The Court granted Covington’s motion to dismiss the insured’s complaint for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, finding that Covington was required by California law to cancel the policy once it received the cancellation notice from the premium finance company and did not have any legal obligation to reinstate the policy upon the insured’s request.

April 2017 Several members of MF&L assisted the Rotary Club of Dunwoody and served lunch to 150 soldiers and their families at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday, April 7, 2017.   Firm members who volunteered at this service project included Larry Domenico, Daphne Bruer, and Judy Steward.

 

March 2017 Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins, LLP would like to congratulate our 2017 Georgia Super Lawyers.  J. Arthur Mozley, William D. Harrison, C. David Hailey, Wayne D. Taylor, Edward C. Bresee, Jr. and John L. McKinley, Jr.

March 2017  Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins, LLP would like to congratulate our 2017 Georgia Rising Stars.  Allison M. Escott, Andrew M. Capobianco, Michelle A. Sherman and Janine D. Willis.

March 2017 Wayne D. Taylor and Anne M. Landrum successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of The American Insurance Company (“AIC”) in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The case involved Georgia underinsured motorist (“UIM”) benefits for the injuries and death of an employee of AIC’s insured who was driving a farm tractor on a public road when he was struck and killed by another motorist. The decedent’s widow claimed that a farm and ranch basic policy of insurance issued by AIC to the owner of the tractor, which provided coverage for property damage to the tractor and liability coverage for the operator of the tractor on the insured premises, was required by Georgia law to offer UIM coverage to the insured for injuries he sustained while operating the tractor on a public road. The court disagreed and held that the AIC policy was not a policy of automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurance governed by Georgia’s UIM statute, notwithstanding that the AIC policy provided some liability coverage for the tractor, and therefore AIC was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.

March 2017 Wayne Taylor, along with an attorney from Orlando, Florida, co-presented a class titled “Property Case Law Developments 2017” at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s 2017 Claims Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

March 2017 Wayne Taylor has been reappointed chairman of the WIND Umpire and Appraiser Education and Review Committee for the Windstorm Insurance Network.  The Umpire and Appraiser Education Review Committee is charged with proposing revisions to the application/renewal process for the WIND umpire and appraiser certification programs, and also oversees and addresses complaints lodged against its umpires.  The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

March 2017 Chris Hoitink served as the instructor for a License Law continuing education class offered to real estate agents and brokers at Crye-Leike Realty’s Norcross office.

March 2017 Chris Hoitink served as the instructor for a License Law continuing education class offered real estate agents and brokers at the Dekalb Association of Realtors.

February 2017 Wayne Taylor has been elected to another term on the Board of Directors of the Windstorm Insurance Network.

February 2017 Wayne Taylor was a co-instructor for the WIND Umpire Certification Course and the Umpire Re-Certification Course at the 2017 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 18th Annual WIND Conference in Orlando, Florida.

February 2017 Wayne Taylor served as a guest professor for the insurance law class at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, lecturing on insurable value under a first-party property insurance policy.

January 2017 Wayne Taylor has been appointed chairman for the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Network’s 19th Annual WIND Conference in Orlando, Florida.  The Windstorm Insurance Network is an educational forum for the windstorm insurance claims industry.

January 2017 Wayne Taylor was appointed to the American Jewish Committee’s Regional Board Development Committee.  The development committee buttresses the American Jewish Committee’s fundraising efforts, including developing strategies to grow the American Jewish Committee’s base of support.  Wayne is also a member if the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Board of Trustees.

January 2017 Wayne D. Taylor, Williams D. Harrison and Michelle A. Sherman successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Mercury Insurance Company of Georgia in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.  The case involved a fire loss under which Mercury asserted that the policyholder was responsible for setting fire to her home.  After filing suit against Mercury, the insured pled guilty to criminal charges of insurance fraud in connection with the cause of the fire under Georgia̵