Foster vs. Gidewon, 280 Ga. 21, 622 S.E.2d 357 (2005).

This case involved a petition for a stalking protective order. At the hearing, the trial judge refused to wait for the Appellant’s attorney to appear as he was in a hearing at a different court. The Appellant’s attorney properly filed a conflict letter, informing the trial judge of his conflicts, his whereabouts, and when he was expected to arrive at the hearing. The trial judge forced the Appellant to testify at the hearing without her attorney being present. Ultimately, the trial judge issued a mutual protective order against both parties.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the trial judge’s ruling. It found that the trial judge abused his discretion in proceeding with the hearing without the Appellant’s attorney being present as he properly noticed the trial judge of his legal conflicts.