David Cooper has again been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation. Super Lawyers are chosen through a multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The top lawyers from nearly 70 practice areas are selected as Super Lawyers. The list of Georgia Super Lawyers appears in the March 2013 issues of Atlanta magazine and Georgia Super Lawyers magazine.
On August 31, 2012, Craig Silverman successfully defended against a Petition for Interlocutory Injunction on behalf of one of KKG’s lending institution clients. The borrowers sought to stay a scheduled foreclosure after three years of missed mortgage payments, arguing that the Assignment of Security Deed recorded in the land records was invalid, thus rendering the foreclosure notice insufficient under the Court of Appeals’ recent ruling in Reese v. Provident Funding Associates, LLP. At the hearing, KKG argued that the recorded assignment was legally sufficient and the foreclosure notice complied with the holding in Reese. The judge agreed and ordered that the foreclosure could proceed.
In June 2012, Mitchell Rosen obtained a summary judgment for one of KKG's many commercial landlord clients in a case involving a tenant's attempt to exercise an early termination provision in its lease. The tenant had a one-time right to terminate its restaurant lease after the third year of a ten-year lease if its sales in the third year did not exceed a certain dollar threshold. The tenant claimed that its sales were below the threshold and provided the landlord with an early termination notice in an attempt to release itself from its remaining lease obligations.
KKG filed a declaratory judgment action on behalf of the landlord and successfully argued that the notice did not adequately comply with Georgia law or the lease. As a result, the lease will remain in full force and effect during the remaining seven years of the lease at rental rates very favorable to the landlord. The tenant also paid the landlord a compromised amount of the landlord's attorneys' fees.
Bruce Gaynes authored the article "Business Structuring Choices in Succession Planning" which was published in the July/August 2012 issue of the Succession Planning Journal. You can read the article by clicking on the following link: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/7ec54e9193e9d814dac70bb4b/files/
KKG represented a Canadian-based company in its June 2012 acquisition of a portfolio of net-leased medical office buildings located in the metropolitan Atlanta area. KKG attorney Jesse Kaba successfully guided the client through the negotiation, due diligence, closing, and post-closing phases of the financing and acquisitions, enabling the client to simultaneously close the multiple purchases as a single portfolio. Each of the medical office buildings is 100% leased by affiliates of Piedmont Healthcare, which operates hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the State of Georgia.
Craig Silverman has been selected as one of only 24 people from the Southeast Region to participate in the prestigious Anti-Defamation League Glass Leadership Institute for 2012-2013. Participants are chosen based on their demonstrated leadership qualities and their strong interests in social and political justice. The Glass Leadership Institute provides broad exposure to ADL’s programs and resources, encouraging and educating a new generation of professionals to confront regional and national issues facing the community at large and to become strong advocates in their communities.
In April 2012, Craig Silverman joined Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C. as a litigation associate. Craig is a member of the firm's Litigation and Commercial Real Estate group, and his practice focuses on commercial lease enforcement and civil litigation. Craig is formerly of Weinstock and Scavo, P.C. and the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps.
KKG is proud to participate in the inaugural statewide Legal Food Frenzy commencing on April 23, 2012 and hosted by the Office of the Attorney General and State Bar of Georgia to support the Georgia Food Bank Association. KKG will compete with other law firms and legal organizations to raise the most food and funds to help the more than 1.6 million Georgians who need food assistance. For more information on how to contribute to the Georgia Food Bank Association, please visit: www.georgiafoodbankassociation.org
Bruce Gaynes has accepted an invitation to speak on the topics of Wills, Trust Planning, Advance Directives for Healthcare and Durable Powers of Attorney. The program, sponsored by NBI/National Business Institute will take place on June 6, 2012. Bruce’s presentation will be part of NBI’s continuing education program entitled “Top 10 Estate Planning Techniques,” and is intended for attorneys and for those working in accounting and financial planning firms as well as those in bank trust departments. Bruce frequently speaks for both professional and lay groups on topics concerning estate planning and business law.
As of March 2012, Joel Arogeti will serve as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta ("MJCCA"). The MJCCA recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and is the largest and oldest Jewish social service organization in Atlanta.
For the 8th consecutive year, Kitchens Kelley Gaynes P.C. is proud to be a sponsor of the ICSC Southeast Retail Connection which was held on March 8, 2012. The Southeast Retail Connection was conceived and launched by a team of Georgia ICSC leaders during David Kitchen's tenure as the Georgia ICSC State Director. The Retail Connection program has been a resounding success in providing individuals in the retail industry with the opportunity to network, create new deals and keep their pulse on the rapidly changing retail industry. The many participants of Retail Connection include landlords, developers, tenants, retail brokers and service providers to the retail industry.
KKG is proud to announce that shareholder David Cooper was named a 2012 Georgia Super Lawyer in business litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine published by Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.
KKG represented Guardian Centers of Georgia in its December 2011 purchase of an 827 acre tract in Perry, Georgia that includes the Northrop Grumman missile factory complex. KKG shareholder Bill Berg, with support from associate Jesse Kaba, led the firm's work on the project which included the entire real estate transaction from contract to closing. The property is undergoing a $50+ million dollar redevelopment into a privately-funded education and training facility for first responders such as police, fire units, emergency personnel, military units, and federal agents. When opened, the center will offer a comprehensive set of disaster preparedness response and recovery exercises and will be capable of staging large-scale events involving a wide variety of scenarios (including aircraft) for more than a thousand participants. The project expects to employ more than a hundred people full-time and anticipates drawing tens of thousands of participants to classes and exercises each year. The facility is expected to be completed by early 2013 and to bring in $75 million for Houston County.
KKG founding shareholder, Bruce Gaynes, has become a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants. The AAA-CPA is the only association in the nation whose members are qualified as both attorneys and certified public accountants. The organization provides excellent information to keep its dually qualified individuals abreast of the ever-changing tax laws and decisions as well as planning trends and ideas. Additionally, the AAA-CPA presents its members with access to similarly-qualified professionals throughout the country.
Effective January 1, 2012, Roy Ruda has been elected as a shareholder of Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C. Roy is a member of the firm's Real Estate and Leasing Practice Groups. Roy's practice includes the representation of clients in the areas of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, development and financing transactions with a particular emphasis on retail development and retail leasing.
On January 12, 2012, David Kitchens was an instructor for the Landlord & Tenant continuing legal education seminar held at The State Bar of Georgia. The topics on which David spoke included: Lessor Agreements, SNDAs, Foreclosures and Guarantees. For more information on the seminar, please visit: www.iclega.com
Founded in 2006, the Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy invites participants who have a history of involvement and leadership in their communities, offices and profession. Participants are selected through a competitive process and are chosen from every corner of the state and every practice area. The program's focus is to foster continued leadership development in young lawyers by providing a vehicle for networking and allowing interaction with leaders in the state bar, government and judiciary.
On December 5, 2011, Joel Arogeti attended the Community Bankers' Association of Georgia's (CBA) 4th Annual Director's & Executive Management Conference in Atlanta. Mr. Arogeti participated in discussions regarding (i) Corporate Governance and Internal Controls, (ii) Director Standards of Care, (iii) Responsibilities for Investment Portfolios, and (iv) Building Better Boards. The CBA was created in 1969 and has approximately 300 community bank members who utilize four main areas of service: Education, Networking, Group Purchasing and Political Affairs.
Joel Arogeti, who serves as a director of Private Bank of Buckhead and Chair of its Audit Committee, graduated from the Community Bankers Association of Georgia’s Bank Directors’ College on September 22, 2011. The curriculum is part of CBA’s Community Bankers University and was held in conjunction with CBA’s annual meeting in Savannah.
Mr. Arogeti completed two days of interactive sessions including topics such as Stress-Testing Your Loan Portfolio and Directors’ Role In Credit Risk Management. Mr. Arogeti had previously completed the training before the bank’s opening in December 2006 and attended the CBA’s Director’s College in 2011 as a part of his annual commitment to continuing education. Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C. represents numerous lenders and borrowers in a variety of real estate, acquisition, development, merger expansion and business transactions.
Richard Bennett presented at a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney lunch and learn session entitled, "Sticks Disguised as Carrots: The Unintended Consequences of Incentive Compensation" held on August 31, 2011. Richard explained the disincentives created by non-cash incentive compensation when employees receive their tax bill and the ways that those effects can be reduced or managed. Types of incentives discussed included stock grants, restricted stock purchases, options, profit sharing, and phantom stock.
Roy Ruda co-authored the article "Minimizing Rental Losses Requires Active Management, Days of 'Set It and Forget It' Are Gone" which was published in the May 2011 issue of The Journal of Corporate Renewal. You can read the article by clicking on the following link: http://www.turnaround.org/Publications/Articles.aspx?objectId=13540.
Bruce Gaynes was an instructor at the National Business Institute's continuing legal education "Trusts 101" seminar held on February 16, 2011. Bruce taught the sessions devoted to Revocable Living Trusts and Grantor Trusts. Bruce addressed such issues as the differences between Traditional Estate Planning vs. Revocable Trust Planning, Credit Shelter Trusts, Marital Deduction Trusts and Qualified Terminable Interest Trusts (QTIPs) within Revocable Trusts. On the topic of Grantor Trusts, Bruce spoke about drafting and tax considerations and about administrative powers.
Bruce Gaynes was a speaker on February 14, 2011 at a meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. He spoke on the topic of Georgia's new restrictive covenant law. Bruce addressed many of the complicated issues stemming from the new law pertaining to non-compete agreements, customer non-solicitation agreements and employee recruitment and confidentiality agreements. He also addressed how Georgia courts may interpret existing contracts by "re-writing" portions of the agreement to make them more reasonable.
Richard Gaalema, a Shareholder of Kitchens Kelley Gaynes P.C. was elected as of February 1, 2011 to serve a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Lenders Quality Circle (GLQC). GLQC was created in 2003 as a non-profit association for banks, non-bank lenders, service providers including attorneys, environmental consultants and other professionals servicing government guaranteed small business loans. The organization provides a forum for its members to exchange ideas, insight and information within the greater community of small business lenders, small business advisory service providers and other professionals serving the small business market.
On January 25, 2011 Bruce Gaynes spoke to members of the North American International Network of Accountants and Auditors. The topic of his presentation was the December 2010 changes to the Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes. He also addressed the new estate planning structures that need to be used in an era of continually changing transfer tax laws.