Anne Kaufold Wiggins Headshot

M. Anne Kaufold-Wiggins

Partner
  • (404) 962-3548
  • (912) 537-9343
Download Resume awiggins@balch.com
Education
  • Mercer University School of Law
    J.D. & Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, 2005,

    cum laude

  • University of Georgia
    B.A., 2002,

    cum laude

Bar Admissions
  • Georgia, 2005
About Anne
I do not make the facts or the law, but I enjoy the tactical challenge of executing a winning strategy for my clients.
Q&A
  • What type of matters do you work on most often?

    I have successfully represented numerous investor-owned electric utilities and electric membership corporations (EMCs) with respect to a wide range of issues, including class actions, mass torts, fire cause and origin investigations, product liability and casualty litigation, land use matters, business torts, environmental, coal ash, and commercial litigation. I regularly advise my clients on new technology, such as various advanced metering initiatives (AMI) and related regulatory issues. I most often handle claims involving electrical contact, fires, toxic torts, nuisances, motor vehicle accidents, joint use (pole attachment) issues, contract disputes, fraud, corporate governance and breach of fiduciary duty claims. I also handle cases alleging failure to comply with the National Electrical Safety Code, industry standards, negligent pole placement, and pole defects.

  • How are you involved in your community?
  • Which Courts or agencies do you most often appear before on behalf of your clients?

Select Matters

  • Patronage capital class actions: Developed strategy leading to trial court’s dismissal and Court of Appeals affirmance of two class action, 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 claims because nothing in the EMC enabling act or the bylaws requires EMCs to distribute patronage capital to current or former members prior to dissolution unless the Board of Directors decides to do so. (2017, Walker v. Oglethorpe Power Corp., A17A0384 Ga. Ct. App.; Shapiro v. Oglethorpe Power Corp., A17A0385 Ga. Ct. App.)
  • Indemnity claim: Crafted arguments leading to trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Balch’s client, finding the client did owe an indemnity obligation to a co-defendant, which the Court of Appeals affirmed. (2018, Milliken & Company v. Georgia Power Company, Nos. A17A1706, A171A2027, A17A2028, A17A2030, AN-061 A17A2031 Ga. Ct. App.)
  • Fire claims: Lead investigation of multiple fire claims for electric utilities alleging utilities caused fires, including coordinating scene inspections and laboratory exams, where cause was determined not to be the utility, and no suits were filed.
  • Aviation wrongful death action: Representing electric utility in defense of negligent pole placement and construction claims following collision of jet into utility pole, including defense that crash was in fact caused by pilot error and fatigue.
  • Joint Pole/Attachments: Represent multiple electric utilities in contract disputes, negotiations, and litigation.
  • AMI:  Represent  electric  utilities  in  legal  issues  (contracting  and  litigation)  related  to  installation, maintenance, and use of AMI systems.
  • Environmental tort litigation: Successfully defended Fortune 500 corporation in suits alleging personal injuries and property damages arising from operations of a coal-fired generation plant. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged air emissions, coal ash handling, and use of unlined coal ash ponds caused the release of hazardous substances into soil, air, and groundwater. Ultimately, suits were dismissed.
  • Noise nuisance litigation: Favorably resolved several noise nuisance cases against power plant using gas-fired combustion turbine units.
  • Electric contact wrongful death action: Crafted legal arguments leading to grant of summary judgment for EMC, which was affirmed after argument in the Georgia Court of Appeals, holding the utility is not the proximate cause of injuries sustained when a vehicle strikes a utility pole located well off the traveled portion of a road. (2009, Meadows v. Diverse Power, Inc., 296 Ga.App. 671)
  • Negligent lighting action:  Obtained dismissal, which was affirmed on appeal, of wrongful death case alleging electric utility failed to maintain adequate street lighting. (2017, Whitesell v. Georgia Power Company, No. A17A0590, 2017 WL1406999, Ga. Ct. App.)
  • Environmental Protection Division Permit: Successfully obtained decision from Court of Appeals overturning EPD’s grant of a land application system permit under the plain error standard. (2018, Craig Barrow v. Richard E. Dunn, et al, No. A17A1385, Ga. Ct. App.)
     

Publications

    News

      Speaking Engagements

        Credentials

        Education
        • Mercer University School of Law, J.D. & Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, 2005,

          cum laude

        • University of Georgia, B.A., 2002,

          cum laude

        Courts
        • 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
        • Georgia State Courts
        • Georgia Superior Court
        • Georgia Court of Appeals
        • Supreme Court of Georgia
        Bar Admissions
        • Georgia, 2005
        Professional Affiliations
        • Mercer University School of Law Alumni Board, President
        • Women’s Energy Network, Sponsorship Director
        • Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Counsel Association
        • State Bar of Georgia
          • Georgia Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competence, 2017-2019
          • Bench and Bar Committee, 2017-2018
          • YLD Executive Committee, Director of Leadership Development, 2014-2016
          • Leadership Academy, co-chair, 2014-2016
          • YLD Northern District Representative to Executive Council, 2010-2012
          • YLD Rules, Bylaw and Procedures Committee, chair, 2011-2012
        • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
        • DRI
        • American Bar Association
        Awards & Accolades
        • State Bar of Georgia, Young Lawyers Division 2016, Award of Achievement for Service to the YLD
        • Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2012, 2013, 2015 - 2017
        • Georgia Super Lawyers, 2018
        • YLD Leadership Academy Class, 2008
        • Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List, 2017 & 2018