Trial and Civil Practice

Mr. Cork has been employed to represent clients or to associate or consult with other lawyers in a broad range of civil practice matters. Such employment occurs on a broad range of hourly, fixed or contingent fees.

Published Texts and Articles

  • Reforming Jury Instructions, The Verdict, Spring 2012, pp. 28-36.
  • Jury Instructions on Trial, Calendar Call, p. 12 (Spring 2008).
  • Jury Instructions, Ch. 10 of GTLA Trial Practice Manual, 2005-present.
  • A Better Orientation For Jury Instructions, 54 Mercer L. Rev. 1 (2002), in Mercer's PDF. Cited in Norfolk Southern Ry. v. Sorrell, 549 U.S. 158, 180 n.2 (2007) (Ginsburg, J., concurring); Imperial Foods Supply, Inc. v. Purvis, 260 Ga. App. 614, 617 n.8 (2003); State of Wisconsin v. Hubbard, 742 N.W.2d 893, par. 19 (Wis. App. 2007); State of Maryland v. Smith, 374 Md. 527 n.16, 823 A.2d 664 (2003); The "Plain English" Project of the Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee - Civil, 60 Ala. Lawyer 369 n.14 (2007).

Seminar Presentations

  • Jury Instructions, GTLA Trial Practice Manual Seminar, September 14, 2016.
  • Jury Charges and Charge Conference, ICLE, 14th Annual General Practice and Trial Institute Seminar, March 13, 2015.
  • Jury Instructions, GTLA Trial Practice Manual Seminar, September 25, 2013.
  • Jury Charges and Charge Conference, ICLE, 12th Annual General Practice and Trial Institute Seminar, March 16, 2013.
  • Procedural Pitfalls, GTLA, 2013 Essential Torts Workshop, February 15, 2013.
  • Jury Instructions, GTLA Trial Practice Manual Seminar, September 25, 2012.
  • Procedural Pitfalls, GTLA, 2012 Essential Torts Workshop, February 17, 2012.
  • Reforming Jury Instructions, GTLA Annual Convention, May 5, 2011.
  • Jury Instructions, GTLA Trial Practice Manual Seminar, Atlanta, February 11, 2005 and September 19, 2007.
  • Update on Federal Jurisdiction, “Survey of Federal Practice” Seminar, Federal Bar Assn., Middle District of Georgia Chapter, Macon, October 3, 2003.
  • Update on Federal Jurisdiction, “Survey of Federal Practice” Seminar, Federal Bar Assn., Middle District of Georgia Chapter, Macon, October 24, 2002.
  • Seminar Paper, Venue Considerations and Alternatives in Trucking Cases, GTLA Trucking Law Seminar, Atlanta, November 30, 2001.
  • Jurisdictional Battlegrounds: Staying In or Out of Federal Court, “To Be or Not To Be in Federal Court Seminar, Federal Bar Assn., Middle District of Georgia Chapter, Macon, October 5, 2001 (seminar chair).

Representative Appellate Cases

    Pleading-Stage Procedure

  • Hyperdynamics Corp. v. Southridge Capital Management, Inc., 305 Ga. App. 283 (2010) (reversing dismissal of case against numerous nonresident defendants for lack of jurisdiction on the basis of conspiracy among them, along with resident defendants, to defraud Texas corporation).
  • Thomas v. Gastroenterology Assocs. of Gainesville, P.C., 280 Ga. 698 (2006) (reversing the Court of Appeals and holding that a professional negligence affidavit filed under OCGA Section 9-11-9.1 is valid even though it was notarized by a person whose notarial commission expired weeks before the execution of the affidavit).
  • Beck v. Dennis, 215 Ga. App. 728 (1994) (reversing judgment below and holding that statute of repose in medical malpractice case could be avoided by proof of fraud on doctor's part).
  • Pretrial Motions

  • Life Care Ctrs. v. Smith, 298 Ga. App. 739 (2009) (defeating attempt to compel arbitration of nursing home dispute by showing that person with durable power of attorney for health care lacked the right to bind the patient to arbitration).
  • Pointer v. Roberts, 288 Ga. 150 (2010) (reversing Court of Appeals and holding that a trial court need not grant a continuance when a party adds an expert soon before trial, and then announces that the expert cannot attend the scheduled trial).
  • Voir Dire

  • Crumpton v. Kelly, 185 Ga. App. 245 (1987) (reversing judgment on jury verdict because trial court failed to excuse from jury the attorney for county board of commissioners in medical malpractice case against county hospital authority).
  • Trial Evidence

  • Thomas v. Emory Clinic, Inc., 321 Ga. App. 457 (2011) (finding that a trial court committed error in admitting the testimony of one doctor that other, non-testifying doctors reviewed the same slides and saw nothing that the defendant doctor should have seen).
  • Georgia Dept. of Transp. v. Miller, 300 Ga. App. 857 (2009) (upholding department's liability for allowing drainage culvert to be clogged, resulting in water hazard on highway during rain events, leading to a fatality; rejecting claims for immunity in the exercise of discretionary functions; rejecting Daubert challenges to the plaintiff's experts; etc.).
  • Bell v. Austin, 278 Ga. 844 (2005) (upholding validity of the medical narrative statute against constitutional attack).
  • Collins v. Davis, 186 Ga. App. 192 (1988) (reversing judgment on jury verdict because of admission of evidence of plaintiff's insurance coverage, and holding that plaintiff should have been allowed to prove that defendant's medical expert had been paid a large amount of money for a short examination of the plaintiff).
  • Haynes v. Huff, 165 Ga. App. 192 (1983) (reversing judgment on jury verdict because trial court improperly allowed investigating officer to testify to hearsay remarks of others).
  • Jury Instructions

  • Thompson v. Thompson, 278 Ga. 752 (2004) (reversing the Court of Appeals and striking down a former pattern instruction that the proximate cause was the dominant cause).
  • Beach v. Lipham, 276 Ga. 302 (2003) (restricting the use of the "presumption of skill" jury instruction in medical malpractice cases).
  • Post-Trial Motions

  • Dunn v. Five Star Dodge-Jeep-Eagle-Mazda, Inc., 245 Ga. App. 378 (2000) (reversing trial court's erroneous reduction of verdict in fraud case).
  • Wesleyan College v. Weber, 238 Ga. App. 90 (1999) (upholding large verdict in wrongful death claim based on failure to inspect and remove dangerous trees near road, and reversing trial court's grant of new trial).