James A. Gober

Partner

Fax: 404.873.8677
Atlanta
171 17th Street NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363

Biography

Jim is a partner and leads the firm’s Real Estate Litigation practice, within the broader Litigation practice. He is a member of the Retail and Office & Industrial industry teams. His reputation as a leading real estate litigator is widely recognized after more than 44 years of practice. Property owners, developers, landlords, tenants, property managers, contractors and brokers choose to work with Jim as a result of his established success. He has a particular strength in landlord-tenant disputes, statutory eviction and distress proceedings. He also handles the enforcement of loan documents and contracts for the purchase and sale of real property, foreclosures, actions for the partition of land, quiet title actions, specific performance relief, claims for nuisance and trespass, construction claims and liens, and equitable proceedings for injunctive relief. With extensive experience in general business litigation outside of real estate, Jim resolves breach of contract actions and disputes involving business tort claims such as fraud, conversion, defamation, and interference with contractual and business relationships that may include claims for punitive damages.

Jim was chosen by the former Chief Judge of the Fulton County State Court to serve as a Fulton County Magistrate by designation to handle eviction cases on a pro bono basis. Additionally, he generously gave numerous hours of work to the successful Georgia Appleseed pro bono project to rewrite the Georgia Child Protection and Public Safety Act that replaced an existing Georgia Juvenile Code. Whether representing clients in real estate or business law cases or serving indigent clients and domestic violence victims pro bono, Jim is a strong and experienced advocate who cares deeply for his clients and their case outcomes.

Experience

  • Successfully conducted week long jury trial, defended client against claims approaching $800,000, and recovered judgment for clients’ attorneys’ fees in lawsuit brought against client by former tenant and purchaser of building occupied by former tenant.

  • Represented major bank in vigorously contested lawsuit against developers based upon loan documents and obtained summary judgment for an amount in excess of $20 million.

  • In specific performance action, enforced contract for client’s purchase of condominium at price in excess of $2 million based solely upon seller’s expression of terms of sale written on napkin during meeting at restaurant.

  • Obtained summary judgment for landlord client that was affirmed on appeal to enforce radius restriction in lease, recover additional rent, and client’s attorneys’ fees.

  • Successfully defended landlord against claims for millions of dollars related to roof leak and recovered $350,000 for client on counterclaim for damages and fees.

  • Resolved a high stakes dispute between commercial developers on adjacent properties through litigation and subsequently negotiated settlement by formulation of a win-win scenario involving benefits to both parties to address issues related to easements, retention ponds, lateral support and other concerns.

  • Defeated a landlord’s summary judgment claim against tenant client for more than $5 million in accelerated rent associated with the lease of three motels based upon the distinction between usufruct and estate for years leases, concepts related to the accrual of claims under installment contracts, and the tripartite test for enforceability of acceleration provisions under the liquidated damages standard.

Credentials

  • Georgia State University, Master of Business Administration
  • Emory University School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • Duke University, Bachelor of Arts
  • State of Georgia 1975
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 1981
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1975
  • Supreme Court of Georgia 1975
  • Georgia Court of Appeals 1975
  • Superior Courts of Georgia 1975
  • Professional:

    • Judge, Fulton County Magistrate Court, sitting by designation to consider landlord and tenant law cases on pro bono basis, 2011

     

    Community:

    • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, (Board of Directors and Executive Board, 2005–13, President, 2012, Annual Campaign Steering Committee, 2019)
    • Atlanta Tipoff Club (Board Member, 2014-2016)
    • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Family Violence Project, One Child One Lawyer Project
    • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Standing With Our Neighbors Wrongful Eviction Defense Project
    • Elder, Trinity Presbyterian Church (Atlanta)
    • Westminster High School Catbackers (Past President, 1997–98)
    • Castlewood Civic Association
    • Duke University Alumni Association/Varsity Athlete

Recognition

  • Georgia Super Lawyers (Business Litigation), 2012-14, 2017-19
  • S. Phillip Heiner Award for pro bono service to indigents that best exemplifies high ideals and selfless dedication displayed by Phil Heiner, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, 2007, 2011
  • Fellow, The Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, 2009–present
  • “Break the Cycle” Award for pro bono representation of victims of domestic violence, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, 2004

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