Professor Clark D. Cunningham -- Expert Witness on Legal Ethics
Selected Cases

Bennett Kight v Suzanne Wilner (Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia 2013) (malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claim arising out of administration of $80+ million family trust by Bennett Kight, former managing partner of major law firm; testified for trust beneficiaries at hearing for injunctive relief which resulted in appointment of receiver for trust; Kight removed as Trustee in 2015 and charged with mail fraud in federal court on March 21, 2016).

Kaminsky v Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan (Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia 2013) (expert witness on plaintiff's malpractice claim; law firm settled after expert depostion)

Sabadia v Holland & Knight (Los Angeles Superior Court 2012) (expert witness on plaintiff's malpractice claim; testified for two days in jury trial; $34.5 million verdict againt law firm)

Laddin v Powell Goldstein (N.D. Alabama 2012) (expert witness for bankruptcy trustee on malpractice claim against debtor's former law firm; law firm settled shortly after expert report filed)

Alan Cohen as Trustee of Friedman's Creditor Trust v. Morgan Schiff & Co., 385 B.R. 381,. 446-62 (S.D. Ga. 2008) (opinion and order denying defendants' motion to dismiss, citing Cunningham expert witness affidavit for plaintiff on malpractice claim against debtor's former law firm). Law firm settled malpractice claim shortly after this decision, 394 B.R. 623, 634 (S.D. Ga. 4/16/08). See also In Re Friedman's Inc. Derivative Litigation, 386 F.Supp 1355, 385 F.Supp 1345 (N.D. Ga 2005) (related case).

McKesson Information Solutions LLC v. Duane Morris LLP (Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia 2006). (Lawsuit seeking to disqualify a major national law firm for conflict of interest. As independent expert, testified that purported waiver of future conflicts in engagement letter was inconsistent with Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, contradicting expert opinion offered on behalf of law firm by Steven Krane, Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. In decision ordering disqualification of the law firm, the court held that the purported waiver was invalid. The case attracted national attention; see, e.g., Greg Land, Duane Morris' conflict fight has broad reach -- Lawyers watching as McKesson Corp. seeks to force firm off case (Fulton County Daily Report, Nov. 2, 2006).) For more information:

Snapping Shoals Elec. Membership Corp. v. RLI Ins. Corp., 2006 WestLaw 1877078 (N.D.Ga. 2006) (order disqualifying major national law firm for conflict of interest) (served as expert witness in support of motion to disqualify).

ETS Creditors’ Litigation Trust v. Charles Edwards et al (N.D. Ga.) (expert witness for plaintiff appointed by bankruptcy court to represent victims of one of the largest investor scams of the decade, the ETS Payphone scheme; retained in 2005 to evaluate the ethical conduct of law firm that represented the ETS corporation and its sole stockholder; monetary settlement reached with law firm and individual attorneys). See Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of PSA, Inc. v. Edwards, 437 F.3d 1145 (11th Cir. 2006) (appeal on unrelated issue).

State of Georgia v. Michael Abernathy, 630 S.E.2d 421 (Ga. App. 2006) (expert witness on conflict of interest in support of motion for new trial) (denial of new trial motion affirmed on appeal).

State ex rel. Union Planters Bank v Kendrick,142 S.W.3d 729 (Mo. 2004) (expert witness for parties opposing class certification on grounds that class counsel created non-consentable conflict of interest by accepting payment of fees from potential defendant) (Missouri Supreme Court ruling consistent with my expert opinion, remanded for possible decertification of class).

Monsanto Company v. Eugene Stratemeyer, S.D. Ill., Case No. 99-4197-GPM (1999) (expert witness in support of motion to disqualify; motion granted).


Professor Clark D. Cunningham
W. Lee Burge Chair in Law and Ethics
Georgia State University College of Law
P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA  30302-4037
Phone: (404) 413-9168
Fax: (404) 413-9225
Street Address for Courier Delivery:
85 Park Place NE Suite 210
Atlanta, GA 30303
Home Page:

The Burge Chair was established by an endowment from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, using funds collected for alleged attorney misconduct to promote ethics, professionalism, and access to justice.