- Condemnation matters: Represents electrical and natural gas facilities in multiple condemnation proceedings throughout the state of Georgia. Representation includes assisting clients with negotiation for property rights, preparation for condemnation, and advocacy through the condemnation proceeding including presenting cases to courts and special masters. My experience includes condemnation for distribution and transmission lines as well as fee and easement acquisition for various facilities related to the delivery of electricity and natural gas.
- Patronage capital class actions: Lead team and arguments resulting in trial court’s dismissal of two class actions, patronage capital lawsuits filed against three named distribution EMCs. In both cases, plaintiffs challenged the EMCs’ patronage capital distribution practices using many legal theories, including alleged violations of the EMC enabling act, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, money had and received, conspiracy, conversion, and breach of the implied obligation of good faith. In general, plaintiffs sought to increase electricity rates and remake how EMCs operate in Georgia. The trial court dismissed the statutory claims because nothing in the EMC enabling act requires EMCs to distribute patronage capital to current or former members. The act simply provides EMCs should address the allocation and disposition of revenues in their bylaws, which all the EMCs did. All other claims of the plaintiffs were separately addressed and dismissed.
- Electrical fire claims: Lead investigations of a series of fire claims for electric utility alleging new technology ignited fires. Following investigation, including both scene inspection and laboratory exams, causation was determined not to be new technology, and no suits were filed against the electric utility.
- Class action: Obtained dismissal of class action claims against EMC alleging EMC unlawfully entered plaintiff’s property to erect structures. In a discretionary appeal, plaintiff sought reversal of the denial of joinder, contending that the trial court incorrectly concluded the claims were barred by the statute of limitations and erred by applying the joinder statute to a class action. The Court of Appeals affirmed. (2013, Boston Creek LLC v. Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation, 320 Ga. App. 375)
- Health Insurance Claims: Plaintiff, a partner in an Atlanta law firm, sought long-term disability benefits, alleging total disability from a fall. Plaintiff was drunk when he fell. The Plan excludes from coverage any disability “caused by, resulting of, or related to” intoxication. Client denied claim using alcohol exclusion. Plaintiff filed suit in the USDC for the Northern District of Georgia, upon Cross-Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings the USDC found for Plaintiff. GGL appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. After briefing, the 11th Circuit reversed the decision resulting in a full victory for Balch’s client. (Steven D. Prelutsky v. Greater Georgia Life Insurance Company; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division; Civil Action File No. 1:15-cv-00628-WSD)
- Mercer University School of Law, J.D., 1994, cum laude, Phi Kappa Phi; Brainerd Curry Honor Society; Frances Wood Wilson Scholar; Recipient
- Duke University, B.A., 1990
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
- State Courts of Georgia
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Georgia Superior Court
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- Georgia, 1994
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Georgia
- Atlanta Bar Association
Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, Honorable Alex T. Howard Jr., 1994 - 1996