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Bill Rankin

Reporter for Enterprise

Bill Rankin joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989, three years after his father, Jim Rankin, retired from the paper after 26 years. For most of his time at the AJC, Bill has covered criminal justice, legal affairs and Georgia and federal courts.

Latest from Bill Rankin

Radio company can stream music in Georgia, court rules
 A popular internet radio service has the right to stream decades-old recordings without a song owner’s consent, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday. The court ruled in favor of iHeartMedia, which is being sued by an Illinois couple who own the master recordings of numerous doo-wop, jazz and blues songs. These include tunes by the...

Posted: 7 days ago

A popular internet radio service has the right to stream decades-old recordings without a song owner’s consent, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday. The court ruled in favor of iHeartMedia, which is being sued by an Illinois couple who own the master recordings of numerous doo-wop, jazz and blues songs. These include tunes by the...
Doraville wins court ruling against strip club
 The city of Doraville on Monday won another round in its long-running, contentious dispute with Oasis Goodtime Emporium, the adult entertainment club on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. In a one-sentence ruling, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the club’s bid to strike down a pretrial injunction that forbids Oasis from selling alcohol...

Posted: 7 days ago

The city of Doraville on Monday won another round in its long-running, contentious dispute with Oasis Goodtime Emporium, the adult entertainment club on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. In a one-sentence ruling, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the club’s bid to strike down a pretrial injunction that forbids Oasis from selling alcohol...
How would e-filing affect public access to court records? Jury is out
 Lawmakers appear poised to have Georgia join a growing number of states with mandatory e-filing systems, in which lawyers can submit lawsuits and court motions with a click of a mouse on their computers. But First Amendment advocates are expressing concern that the new system could diminish the public’s access to court records and allow...

Posted: 7 days ago

Lawmakers appear poised to have Georgia join a growing number of states with mandatory e-filing systems, in which lawyers can submit lawsuits and court motions with a click of a mouse on their computers. But First Amendment advocates are expressing concern that the new system could diminish the public’s access to court records and allow...
Court allows lawsuit over secret sex video to go to trial
 The Georgia Court of Appeals has cleared the way for an explosive lawsuit regarding how and why a secret sex video of Waffle House chairman Joe Rogers Jr. was made. The lawsuit, filed by Rogers, accuses three high-profile Marietta lawyers of racketeering and invasion of privacy in connection with the taping of Rogers’ former housekeeper...

Posted: 10 days ago

The Georgia Court of Appeals has cleared the way for an explosive lawsuit regarding how and why a secret sex video of Waffle House chairman Joe Rogers Jr. was made. The lawsuit, filed by Rogers, accuses three high-profile Marietta lawyers of racketeering and invasion of privacy in connection with the taping of Rogers’ former housekeeper...
Appeals court tells judge to try again in Calhoun bail case
 The federal appeals court in Atlanta has thrown out an injunction against the city of Calhoun in a closely watched case that could determine how long misdemeanor offenders must remain jailed when they cannot afford bail. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while not ruling on the merits of the case, returned the matter to U.S. District...

Posted: 13 days ago

The federal appeals court in Atlanta has thrown out an injunction against the city of Calhoun in a closely watched case that could determine how long misdemeanor offenders must remain jailed when they cannot afford bail. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while not ruling on the merits of the case, returned the matter to U.S. District...
Judge criticizes lawyers in Waffle House chairman’s sex-tape case
 A Cobb County judge has accused a high-profile lawyer of making false statements and engaging in unethical conduct in contentious litigation involving a secret sex tape of Waffle House chairman Joe Rogers. In extraordinary orders issued late Friday, Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard removed himself from the case, but not before lashing...

Posted: 14 days ago

A Cobb County judge has accused a high-profile lawyer of making false statements and engaging in unethical conduct in contentious litigation involving a secret sex tape of Waffle House chairman Joe Rogers. In extraordinary orders issued late Friday, Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard removed himself from the case, but not before lashing...
Law allows workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians, Atlanta court rules
 Federal law does not prohibit employers from discriminating against workers because they are lesbian or gay, an Atlanta appeals court has ruled. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling issued Friday, denied the LGBT community what could have been a landmark court victory. Instead, the court declined to expand workplace protections...

Posted: 14 days ago

Federal law does not prohibit employers from discriminating against workers because they are lesbian or gay, an Atlanta appeals court has ruled. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling issued Friday, denied the LGBT community what could have been a landmark court victory. Instead, the court declined to expand workplace protections...
Doraville strip club takes ‘artistic’ route in bid for alcohol license
 Acrobats swing in the air, hanging by silk ropes attached to the ceiling. Burlesque performers dance the can-can inside enormous champagne glasses. Some women show off their body paintings. Others engage in lip-syncing to popular tunes. It’s not what you often see at a strip club, because these women are clothed. Instead, it’s...

Posted: 20 days ago

Acrobats swing in the air, hanging by silk ropes attached to the ceiling. Burlesque performers dance the can-can inside enormous champagne glasses. Some women show off their body paintings. Others engage in lip-syncing to popular tunes. It’s not what you often see at a strip club, because these women are clothed. Instead, it’s...
Mom loses suit against hospital that mislabeled her baby’s remains
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who unknowingly buried another baby’s remains — not those of her own stillborn child — because of a mix-up at the hospital. The suit, which sought damages for the infliction of emotional distress, was brought by Amanda Rae Coon, of Opelika, Ala., against...

Posted: 21 days ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who unknowingly buried another baby’s remains — not those of her own stillborn child — because of a mix-up at the hospital. The suit, which sought damages for the infliction of emotional distress, was brought by Amanda Rae Coon, of Opelika, Ala., against...
Georgia’s high court sets precedent in dog-bite cases
 In what could be a far-reaching decision for dog-bite cases, the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday said a jury must decide whether a woman viciously attacked by a pit bull named “Rocks” can collect damages from her neighbors.  The unanimous decision sets an important precedent in Georgia in that it helps courts determine whether...

Posted: 21 days ago

In what could be a far-reaching decision for dog-bite cases, the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday said a jury must decide whether a woman viciously attacked by a pit bull named “Rocks” can collect damages from her neighbors.  The unanimous decision sets an important precedent in Georgia in that it helps courts determine whether...