John E. Bumgartner was born in Durham, North Carolina. After graduating from Athens High School in Athens, Georgia, he attended the University of Georgia. He was Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Georgia and graduated summa cum laude in 1974. He then attended the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating in 1977. In law school, he participated in the prosecutorial clinic and handled cases in the Superior Court of Clarke County for the Clarke County District Attorney’s office.
After graduation from law school, Mr. Bumgartnerserved as law clerk to Chief Judge Anthony A.Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Brunswick, Georgia, from 1977 to 1979. He then was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia Department of Law and as Assistant Attorney General defended various state agencies and officials in employment and civil rights litigation. In 1983, Mr. Bumgartner joined the firm of Dickey, Whelchel, Brown and Readdick in Brunswick, Georgia, which is now Brown,Readdick, Bumgartner, Carter, Strickland and Watkins,LLP.
Mr. Bumgartner’s practice is entirely devoted to civil litigation, representing both defendants and plaintiffs. He has tried approximately seventy-five civil cases to jury verdict and has been counsel of record in sixty-five reported decisions. His practice involves a wide variety of civil cases including insurance defense matters, employment/civil rights cases, commercial litigation, product liability litigation and personal injury and wrongful death litigation for both defendants and plaintiffs. He has represented many physicians and physician groups in business or commercial disputes or in disputes with hospitals regarding medical staff privileges.
Mr. Bumgartner is married to Adriana Rodriguez Bumgartner and has three children.
Representative cases which he has handled include:
- Honda Motor Company v. Kimbrel, a Georgia Court of Appeals decision which established the law for many years in Georgia regarding the effect of an automobile manufacturer’s compliance with specific federal standards, on a negligent design claim under Georgia law.
- McGee v. First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Brunswick, wherein the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the defendant Savings and Loan Association’s practice of referring appraisals to a wholly owned subsidiary was not a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and was not an illegal tying arrangement under the Bank Holding Company Act.
- GEICO v. Dickey, wherein Mr. Bumgartner successfully argued in the Supreme Court of Georgia that the insurer’s exclusion for intrafamily claims contained within its standard policy of insurance was void as contrary to the public policy of the State of Georgia.
- Satilla Health Services, Inc. v. Bell, a 2006 decision of the Georgia Court of Appeals upholding the rights of doctors to practice in hospitals pursuant to their medical staff privileges and holding unlawful the hospital’s attempt to prevent doctors from using the hospital’s equipment, space and facilities based upon the hospital’s contention that it had entered into an “exclusive” contract with other doctors.