On March 4, 2013, basketball legend Michael Jordan was served with a paternity action here in Georgia. Upon being served with the lawsuit, Jordan immediately asked for the Court to dismiss it, noting that the Plaintiff’s son had already been the subject of a custody, visitation, and child support order in the Plaintiff’s divorce from her former husband. Jordan’s attorney argued that because paternity had already been established through that divorce decree, the issue could not be revisited. Jordan’s attorney quoted Leslie O’Neal’s Venable case, stating “Courts of this State have repeatedly held that ‘public policy is not advanced by the disestablishment of legitimacy and paternity’. Venable v. Parker, 307 Ga. App. 880 (Ga. App. 2011).” Shortly thereafter, the Plaintiff dismissed her lawsuit.
Ms. O’Neal has been hired often to assist clients who are unhappy with the result of their trial and feel that the trial court made a mistake in its final ruling. Prior to the cited Court of Appeals decision, Leslie represented Ms. Venable, a mother in a paternity action in the Superior Court of Cobb County. Following the trial court’s ruling, Leslie pursued an appeal on Ms. Venable’s behalf to the Georgia Appellate Courts. On February 16, 2011, the Georgia Court of Appeals found in Ms. Venable’s favor and reversed the trial court’s decision. The Court of Appeals ruling in Venable has since been cited frequently in cases and law review articles as legal authority on the issue of paternity.
To learn more about the paternity action, refer to the AJC’s article here: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/paternity-suit-against-michael-jordan-dropped/nWwcC/