Jeffrey Swart concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience in the litigation of high-stakes business tort, contract, structured finance, accounting malpractice, actuarial malpractice, federal regulatory enforcement and other commercial disputes. In addition to his trial work, Jeff has a keen interest in appellate advocacy and has represented clients successfully in a variety of federal and state appellate courts. He served as chief editor of the Georgia Appellate Practice Handbook (7th Edition, 2012), and he has lectured on appellate issues. Before joining Alston & Bird, Mr. Swart served for two years as a law clerk to Judge Edward E. Carnes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Jeff is chair of the State Practice & Legislation Committee of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia, and he is involved in a variety of other pro bono, bar-related, and community-oriented activities. He received an ACLU Volunteer Attorney Award in 2005 for his pro bono representation of plaintiffs in civil rights litigation. Since 2005, Mr. Swart has served on a pro bono basis as general counsel to AID Atlanta, Inc., the largest AIDS service organization in the Southeast.
- Represented WebMD in a putative nationwide class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act due to the transmission of unsolicited facsimile advertisements. Despite potential liability of more than $10 billion, the litigation was settled for less than 0.1 percent of this amount and within insurance policy limits. Kaye v. WebMD, Civil Action No. CV-09-01948 (MRK), in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
- Lead counsel in complete appellate victory for SunTrust Capital Markets, Inc. in connection with a defamation action brought against the company. The plaintiff alleged that certain statements within two analyst reports published by SunTrust falsely reported the circumstances of a stock option grant involving the plaintiff, former CEO of Cyberonics, Inc. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the trial court's award of summary judgment in favor of SunTrust, agreeing with the district court that the statements within the SunTrust analyst reports, considered individually and as a whole, were either substantially true or constitutionally protected opinion. Cummins v. SunTrust Capital Markets, Inc., 2001 WL 1086846 (2nd Cir. 2011).
- Represented the former CEO of one of the world’s largest banks, in connection with civil and criminal litigation arising from the prior acquisition by a subsidiary of a $3.5 billion bond portfolio formerly held by the Executive Life Insurance Company, a failed California insurer.
- Served with others at Alston & Bird as counsel to the Enron Bankruptcy Examiner, with responsibility for investigating and reporting on the roles of financial institutions and accountants in connection with the collapse and bankruptcy of Enron Corporation. This examination identified more than $4.7 billion in claims available to the Enron estate.
- Authored the briefs that resulted in the nation’s first reported decision authorizing a litigant to serve process by electronic mail, a result that facilitated the subsequent entry of a $4.8 million judgment in favor of his client. See Broadfoot v. Diaz (In re International Telemedia Assocs., Inc.), 245 B.R. 713 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2000). As a result of this decision, Alston & Bird was awarded a Computerworld Smithsonian Award through a program affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. Co-authored a related article entitled “Service of Process by E-Mail,” which appears in the February 2000 issue of the Georgia Bar Journal.
Jeff Swart, partner in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group and head of the Georgia Appellate Practice Section’s Legislative Committee, was quoted in a Daily Report article discussing the Appellate Practice Section’s Senate Bill 204—which provides direct appeal of “all judgments or orders in child custody cases including, but not limited to, awarding or refusing to change child custody or holding or declining to hold persons in contempt of such child custody judgment or orders”— passing in the General Assembly, limiting what parts of child custody cases are eligible for direct appeal.
March 28, 2013
In the Press
March 25, 2011
Alston & Bird LLP is pleased to provide this Seventh Edition of the Georgia Appellate Practice Handbook to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.
The Handbook was first published in 1985 under the leadership of Alston & Bird partner Terry Walsh, with the invaluable assistance of Supreme Court Justices Harold Clarke and George Carley (then a Court of Appeals Judge). The lawyers and judges who have contributed to updated editions of the Handbook during the intervening decades are too numerous to name, but we remain thankful for their contributions, leadership, and guidance in connection with this work.
October 20, 2008
- Chair, State Practice & Legislation Committee, Appellate Practice Section, State Bar of Georgia
- General Counsel (pro bono), AID Atlanta, Inc.
- Member, Advisory Board, Emory Law Journal
- Past President, Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia
- Fellow, Lawyers Foundation of Georgia