Brinson Askew Berry partners Frank Beacham III and Bob Berry Jr. successfully represented the Catoosa County News before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
The court upheld an earlier Superior Court judge’s ruling that blocked an out-of-state newspaper, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, from taking over publication of the Catoosa County legal notices from the Catoosa County News.
“A lot of counties in Georgia have newspapers that serve as legal organs,” Beacham told the Fulton Daily Report. Adding, that many of those newspapers “could not exist” without the legal notice business.
“These communities would be without a newspaper,” Beacham said. “These newspapers mean a lot to these communities.”
According to an article in the Daily Report, the 30-page opinion covered the various requirements in state law for the publication of legal notices such as foreclosures, divorces and debt collections, as well as relevant Georgia Supreme Court precedent. But the decision came down to this: The Catoosa County News is in Catoosa County. The Chattanooga Times is in Chattanooga. Under state law, legal notices must appear in a newspaper published in the county. Having 13,000 of 60,000 subscribers living in Catoosa County and two reporters covering it—with one of them living there—didn’t put the Chattanooga Times over the hurdle.