Johannes S. Kingma (Joe)
Joe Kingma represents international, national, and regional accounting and law firms in professional liability litigation. He also represents a variety of business entities in commercial litigation. Joe's practice focuses on cases involving audit, secured lending, real estate, corporate governance and tax. He has substantial involvement in matters involving trusts and estates, conservation easements, mergers and acquisitions, captive insurance companies, local government, and election law contests. He has represented auditors in proceedings before the SEC (Washington, Fort Worth, and Manhattan), the FDIC, and the IRS. Joe has more than 45 appellate decisions reported by Westlaw along with more than 100 more trial court decisions issued in the Bankruptcy and Federal District Courts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Engagement Letters For Lawyers and Accountants
co-author with Daniel H. Hecht, Sompo International Insurance, TheCLM.org, March 20, 2023
Panel Ends Golf Club's Bid for Damages Over Liquor License
by Tom Lotshaw, Law360.com, January 26, 2023
Tax Malpractice Risk
2022 Pre-Tax Season Presentation, co-presenter with Conrad Davis of Crowe LLP and Deb Rood of CAN, December 13, 2022
Lawyers, Accountants, and Other Professionals (OH MY!)
Fall 2022 National Legal Malpractice Conference, Belleview, Washington, September 22, 2022
7th Annual Accounting Risk Management Seminar
presented by Stites & Harbison's Accounting Defense Team, Atlanta, GA, October 26, 2022
Managing Partners Roundtable
BDO Alliance Conference Green Group, Las Vegas, NV, May 4, 2022
Stites & Harbison Continues Expansion in Atlanta: Lands Commercial Litigation Team of 12 from Copeland, Stair, Kingma & Lovell LLP
FranklinIs, January 25, 2022
19 Attorneys Move to Stites & Harbison, Rapidly Growing Atlanta Team
by Jacob Polacheck, Daily Report, January 25, 2022
Atlanta Tax Forum, Georgia Society of CPAs, November 5, 2021
Don't Get Taken Down in a Zombie Ethics Apocalypse
2020 Southern Federal Tax Institute, October 27, 2020
COVID Related Risk Arising from Audit, Tax and Consulting Engagements
presented to more than 3000 Accountants, Webinar, April 29, 2020
Accounting Risk Management
2019 Lemme Best Practices Forum (annual gathering of the Managing Partners and General Counsel of most of the 25 largest accounting firms in the U.S.), Chicago, September 5, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Shooting Down Damages Claim (January 2023). Dan Millman and Joe Kingma prevailed for a Georgia municipality which had denied a liquor license. While Court of Appeals did not address whether the applicant was entitled to the license it agreed that damages for lost profits were not available.
Joe Kingma and Billy Newcomb prevail for their attorney clients on a motion to dismiss in the State Court of Muscogee County. The case arose from a receivership action filed after a real estate partnership fell apart beset by allegations of fraud and self-dealing. The receivership was hotly contested and the original receiver was replaced. Plaintiff alleged the attorney defendants filed the receivership to wrongfully strip him of his interests in 8-figure real estate developments. The original judge withdrew after hearing the motion. But after several years, extensive briefing and multiple hearings, all the claims against the clients including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence were dismissed in February 2022.
Unanimous Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeals and Finds Waiver of Attorney Privilege (February 2020). The case arose from a battle for control of a California aerospace company that had spawned litigation in California and Georgia. One group of litigants brought malpractice claims against Joe's law firm client. Joe sought discovery from another law firm that had also advised the plaintiffs. The trial court granted discovery of the plaintiff's communication with the second firm but the Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court agreed that the privilege was waived by the filing of the malpractice suit.
Joe Kingma Prevails for Bankruptcy Trustee in 66 Page Order (April 2019). Joe represented a bankruptcy trustee in an adversary action relating to three bankruptcy estates. Claims were asserted against the trustee by debtors. The underlying case involved several appeals to the U.S. District Court and had lingered for five years due to the complex bankruptcy issues. After a year and a half of litigation, a motion to dismiss was granted in its entirety. The case presented complexities including: issue preclusion, claim preclusion, liability of a bonding company, finality of orders, failure to state a claim under Twombly, absolute immunity, and the statute of limitations. When the dust settled at the end of 66 pages, all claims against the client were dismissed in their entirety.
Summary Judgment in Legal Malpractice Claim Arising From a Prominent Divorce (September 2018). Joe won summary judgment for a lawyer in a malpractice suit arising from a mid-8 figure divorce which had been extensively covered in the national media. The claim involved the division of appreciated assets, capital gains, and the tax ramifications of paying off margin debt. Joe sought summary judgment, arguing that (1) plaintiff failed to show a casual relationship between the claimed misconduct and any resulting damages, (2) plaintiff failed to show that she would have obtained a better result at trial, and (3) plaintiff failed to show that she could have obtained a better settlement of her claim. The Court granted the motion and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
Jury Verdict for Defendant in Defamation Claim. Jury verdict after a seven day trial in which client law firm was sued by a plaintiff represented by a national law firm who spent two million dollars prosecuting a defamation claim.
Audit Firm Malpractice Defense - Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. A New York audit firm was sued for malpractice in federal court in Georgia. Our ultimate complete triumph was the result of a partial grant of summary judgment, a jury verdict and judicial enforcement of a damage limitation provision. We held that judgment in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Plaintiff Win in Trial for Specific Performance and Fraudulent Conveyance. Represented a plaintiff in trial for specific performance and fraudulent conveyance resulting in plaintiff's verdict and millions of dollars in benefit to clients.
Jury Verdict for Bank - Fraudulent Lending and Wrongful Foreclosure. Jury verdict for a bank sued for fraudulent lending and wrongful foreclosure during the height of the financial crisis.
Unanimous Georgia Supreme Court Excludes Evidence of Defendants Wealth. On January 22, 2013, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled on a question certified from the U.S. District Court and held that juries imposing damages under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-6 are not entitled to see evidence of the defendant's "worldly circumstances," i.e., wealth. The question arose during a trial before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augusta.
Intown Collaborative Ministries, Board Member (2014-18)
Druid Hills Golf Club, Member
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
Best Lawyers in America® (2009-23)
Best Lawyers in America®, Atlanta Area Lawyer of the Year for Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants (2021, 2023)
Georgia Super Lawyers® (2005-23)
Georgia Super Lawyers®, Top 100 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2022)
Stites & Harbison Attorneys Honored by 2023 Georgia Super Lawyers
ATLANTA—The 2023 edition of Georgia Super Lawyers recently honored three Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys based in the firm’s Atlanta office. The attorneys named on this years list are Dan Douglass, Joe Kingma and Billy Newcomb.
7th Annual Accounting Risk Management Seminar
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
City Springs Conference Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Stites & Harbison's Accounting Defense Team will present this Accounting Risk seminar on October 26th at the City Springs Conference Center in Atlanta.
Stites & Harbison, PLLC Lawyers Named to 2023 Best Lawyers® Publications
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 98 of its lawyers are included in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Additionally, 11 Stites & Harbison attorneys are named as “Lawyer of the Year” and 19 attorneys are recognized in “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” which recognizes attorneys early in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.
Stites & Harbison Attorneys Honored by 2022 Georgia Super Lawyers
ATLANTA—The 2022 edition of Georgia Super Lawyers recently honored four Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys based in the firm’s Atlanta office. Of special note, Joe Kingma was named to the Top 100 Georgia Lawyers list for the fifth time.
Stites & Harbison Adds 19 To Atlanta Team From 2 Firms
Law360 (January 24, 2022, 1:17 PM EST) -- Stites & Harbison PLLC has added 12 Copeland Stair Kingma & Lovell LLP attorneys and all seven of Owen Gleaton Egan Jones & Sweeney LLP's attorneys to its Atlanta office, the firm recently announced.
Stites & Harbison Continues Expansion in Atlanta – Lands Commercial Litigation Team of 12 from Copeland, Stair, Kingma & Lovell LLP
ATLANTA—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 12 attorneys from Copeland, Stair, Kingma & Lovell, LLP (CSKL), including named Partner Johannes S. Kingma, Managing Partner Shannon M. Sprinkle and General Counsel William D. Newcomb, have joined Stites & Harbison’s Atlanta office.