The court acted primarily due to her misconduct in the case of a client who was seeking to have his child-support obligations dismissed in the wake of a DNA test showing he was not the father. According to the client, Davis failed to appear for a Dec. 3, 2008, hearing in Cobb Superior Court and effectively withdrew from the case without advising him or otherwise communicating with him.
An investigation into the allegations by Catherine Koura, a special master appointed by the State Bar, concluded disbarment was “the only appropriate punishment” given Davis’ actions, “poor disciplinary history, the fact that multiple offenses were proven; failure to comply with disciplinary procedural rules; submission of false statements or evidence; and refusal to acknowledge the wrongful nature of her conduct.”
Davis insisted she had been at the Dec. 3 hearing in question, but the high court found there was “ample support … in the testimony of opposing counsel, the DHR representative and Davis’ client and his wife” that she was not.
Concluded the Supreme Court’s ruling, which was announced Monday, “Ample evidence exists to support the conclusion that Davis made false statements. … This Court has little tolerance for attorneys who make false statements during disciplinary proceedings.
“False statements by an attorney cause harm to the profession and the public. Moreover, Davis’ client was harmed because he hired Davis to present his DNA evidence and to have his obligation for child support terminated, but she did not file any pleading toward that end on his behalf and those issues were left unresolved by the dismissal of the contempt case.
“Further, after the dismissal, Davis failed to discuss with her client options for having him freed from further child support collection efforts, to otherwise protect his interests or to refund any unearned fees.”
Incidentally, the Dec. 3, 2008, hearing date at the center of the allegations against Davis, the hearing that the Court said she ignored, took place the day before she appeared before visiting Judge Cindy Morris of Dalton in Cobb Superior Court to contest the results in her recent general election race against incumbent Judge Tain Kell. Davis had earned 105,923 votes (44.7 percent) in that contest, to Kell’s 130,385 votes (or 55 percent).
But Davis alleged there had been a counting error in the election, in that precinct results had been lumped together with absentee and early voters.
“They took all these people who voted early, who anecdotally were African American, and put them in precinct X,” she complained at the time. “I don’t know if they were counted because I can’t look at them ... now we have a group of people who we can treat or mistreat as we so desire.”
But Morris said in her opinion that the claims lack “any justifiable issue of law or fact to the extent that it could not be reasonably believed that a court would accept the asserted claim.”
Morris also ordered Davis to reimburse the attorney fees for the Cobb Board of Elections, but Davis appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court, which upheld Judge Morris.
Davis first ran for a Superior Court seat in 2004 but was defeated 54.8 percent to 45.0 percent by then-Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster. She next ran in 2006 against incumbent Judge George Kreeger, losing 62.6 percent to 37.2 percent. She lost again in 2008 to Kell; then in 2010 ran again against Kreeger and lost 60.2 percent to 39.8 percent. Hence, this fall’s election will mark the first time in nearly a decade that Davis’ name will not appear on a Cobb judicial race ballot.
U.S. REP. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) will be the keynote speaker at a special “bridge-breaking” event celebrating the construction kickoff for the new $18 million U.S. Highway 41 Bridge at 9 a.m. on March 9.
The four-lane bridge that has spanned the Chattahoochee River between Cobb and Fulton counties since 1935 is being replaced with a new six-lane bridge, with three lanes in either direction along with a 12-foot multi-use trail attached to it. The old bridge will remain open as the new one will take at least three years to build, reports Malaika Rivers, executive director of the Cumberland Community Improvement District.
Rivers in January asked and received a $10,000 expense account from her board to spend on the groundbreaking ceremony.
Free parking is available at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Use the Palisades West Paces Mill entrance at 4005 Cobb Parkway, just south of Paces Mill Road. RSVP by Friday to (404) 214-3597.
POLITICS: Newt Gingrich will speak at a sold-out special breakfast meeting of the Cobb Chamber at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, then will be joined by Gov. Nathan Deal at what’s billed as a “Free Government Rally” at the Cherokee County Republican Party headquarters on Towne Lake Parkway in Woodstock at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. And Gingrich and wife, Callista, will host a primary night party in Cobb at Ballrooms 3 and 4 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel at 2450 Galleria Parkway the evening of March 6.
POLITICS: Ann and Jerry Mann will host a fundraiser for Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee at 5:30 p.m. March 20 at 144 Durham St., Marietta. ...
Georgia Republican Party Chair Sue Everhart of east Cobb will be the speaker at Saturday’s Cobb GOP Breakfast at the party headquarters at 799 Roswell St. And Michelle and Andy Davenport will host a reception at their home from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday for Cobb Juvenile Court Judge Greg Poole, now running for Superior Court. The Davenports live at 1423 Walcutt’s Way, Marietta.
IT’S BEEN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH since Cobb School Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, realizing he didn’t have the needed votes, advised school board Chairman Scott Sweeney at the last minute to pull the Teach For America partnership from the school board’s Jan. 26 meeting agenda. That said, the topic apparently is not off the table completely. According to the super’s weekly schedule, he will be meeting with Shyam Kumar of metro Atlanta’s Teach For America organization Thursday morning.
Hinojosa emailed the Journal on Monday to say he arranged the meeting so he could “debrief about the current situation and to determine what needs to be in place if they decide to pursue TFA at all again in the future” with the executive director.
Hinojosa pulled the item from the discussion agenda because he was met with quite a bit of resistance from the school board at the work session just one week prior.
“Shyam called after the January decision ... to meet to debrief and plan for the future,” Hinojosa’s email stated.
At that time, Hinojosa said there was “no urgency” to speak to Kumar about the partnership so he delayed the meeting until March
GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE expert Harper Harris of the Southern Museum in Kennesaw will be guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting of Civil War Round Table of Cobb County. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the museum at 2829 Cherokee Street in downtown Kennesaw. Attendees will be admitted to the museum free of charge. Meanwhile, Dr. Brian Wills and the Center for the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University are sponsoring a trip to the Shiloh Battlefield for May 19-20. For more, contact Mike Shaffer at 678.797.2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARIETTA’S OLDEST AND LARGEST CPA firm is splitting up on Thursday. Moore & Cubbedge auditors Donny McGrath, Michael Crace and Tammy Galvis are leaving, effective April 1, and will open new offices in Kennesaw and will operate under the name Crace, Galvis & McGrath LLC at 1825 Barrett Lakes Blvd, Suite 200.
Jean Hawkins, who specializes in tax matters, will remain at the Moore & Cubbedge offices on Powder Springs Street across the street from the Marietta Cemetery and will practice under the firm name of Hawkins & Moore. Frank Moore, a founding partner when the firm was started in 1971, will come out of a 10-year retirement and practice part-time with Ms. Hawkins.
A BELATED “Happy Birthday!” greeting to retired pediatrician Dr. Leila Denmark of Athens, who turned 114 on Feb. 1. She is said to the be the fourth-oldest verified living person in the world and did not retire from practicing medicine until age 103. Incidentally, she is the aunt of late Marietta physician Dr. Remer Clark.