Oscar N. Persons

Senior Counsel
tel 678.347.2206
e-mail oscar.persons@sbllaw.com
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Lexis Nexis AV Preeminent: For ethical standards and legal ability, Oscar N. Persons

Oscar N. Persons

Oscar has more than 45 years experience in complex business litigation handling individual and class action matters and related appeals and mediation. These matters have included breach of contract, securities fraud, fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and tortious interference. He has practiced at state and federal levels, in trial and appellate courts, and before arbitration tribunals over a wide geographical scope and has handled over 50 trials as first chair. He also does arbitrations.

Oscar's experience includes acting as counsel for respondent in the 2008 United States Supreme Court decision in Stoneridge Investment Partners vs. Scientific Atlanta, 128 S. Ct. 761, where the Supreme Court held against private "scheme liability" claims under the federal securities laws. Public commentators called it the most important Supreme Court business decision in a decade. In 2010, Oscar was counsel for defendants who received summary judgment in their favor in Federal Court in Atlanta in the securities fraud class action Scientific Atlanta Inc. Securities Litigation, 754 F. Supp. 2d 1339 (N.D. GA. 2010). That decision was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Phillips v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., No. 10-15910, 2012 WL 3854795 (11th Cir. Sept. 6, 2012).

In addition to business litigation in the trial courts, Oscar has been lead counsel in the following federal appeals, among others:

• In re Charter Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, 443 F. 3d 987(8th Cir. 2006) - Represented defendant in regard to “scheme liability” claims in a 10b-5 securities class action. Motion to dismiss in client’s favor affirmed.

• Wagner v. First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp., 464 F. 3d 1273 (11th Cir. 2006) - Represented First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp. regarding motion to dismiss issues in a 10b-5 securities class action.Motion to dismiss in client’s favor affirmed.

• Phillips v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., 374 F. 3d 1015 (11th Cir. 2004) - Represented Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. in regard to scienter issues in a 10b-5 securities class action. On interlocutory appeal, the denial of ourmotion to dismiss was affirmed. First Eleventh Circuit case to deal with aggregation issues regarding scienter under the PSLRA.

• Bryant v. Dupree, 252 F. 3d 1161 (11th Cir. 2001) - Represented defendants in a 10b-5 securities class action. Court allowed plaintiff to amend and case was settled on favorable terms.

• Bryant v. Avado Brands, Inc., 187 F. 3d 1271 (11th Cir. 1999) - Represented defendants in 10b-5 securities class action. District Court denied motion to dismiss. Circuit Court granted interlocutory appeal. District Court opinion was vacated and remanded. First Eleventh Circuit case to deal with scienter issues in the PSLRA.

• Duke v.Massey, 87 F. 3d 1226 (11th Cir. 1996) - Election law/constitutional issues. Our defendant client prevailed.

• Saltzberg v. T M Sterling/Austin Associates, Ltd., 45 F. 3d 399 (11th Cir. 1995) - Securities claim involving a private placement. Our defendant client prevailed.

• Duke v. Cleland, 5 F. 3d 1399 (11th Cir. 1993) - Election law/constitutional issues. Our defendant client prevailed.

• A. L.Williams & Associates v. Stelk, 98 F.2d 391 (11th Cir. 1993) - Restrictive covenant issues. Ruling against our plaintiff client.

• A. L.Williams & Associates v. Stelk, 960 F. 2d 942 (11th Cir. 1992) - Restrictive covenant issues. Ruling against our plaintiff client.

• Duke v. Cleland, 954 F. 2d 1526 (11th Cir. 1992) - Election law/constitutional issues. Our defendant client prevailed.

• GIW Industries Inc. v. Trevor, Stewart, Burton & Jacobsen, Inc., 895 F. 2d 729 (11th Cir. 1990) - Breach of fiduciary duty issues. Verdict against our defendant client affirmed.

• Bone v. Refco, Inc. 774 F. 2d 235 (8th Cir. 1985) - Breach of fiduciary duty issues. Verdict in favor of our plaintiff client affirmed.

• Friedlander v. Nims, 755 F. 2d 810 (11th Cir. 1985) - 10b-5 securities class action issues. Represented defendant on interlocutory appeal of class certification. Court remanded. Settled favorably.

• Carothers v. Rice, 633 F. 2d 7 (6th Cir. 1980) - Represented defendants in claim of securities fraud. Case dismissed in our favor in matter of first impression in the Sixth Circuit.

• Sonesta Intern. Hotels Corp. v. Colony Square Co., 482 F. 2d 281 (5th Cir. 1973) - Represented Colony Square Co. regarding letter of intent issues. Trial verdict in favor of client was affirmed.

Oscar is active in Georgia Republican affairs and has been General Counsel for the Georgia Republican Party and Chair of various United States Senate and Presidential Campaigns in Georgia. He was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the Kennedy Center committee, appointed by President George W. Bush and was on the Finance Committee of the Georgia Romney for President campaign. Oscar served as an officer on a Navy destroyer and has been active in Georgia Tech affairs, where he was President of the Student Body and Reunion Fund Chair for his fiftieth class reunion.

Professional Awards & Honors

• On occasion of the Fulton County Daily Report's 125th Anniversary (2015), chosen as one of its first ever "Lifetime Achievement" honorees

• Chambers USA, Georgia Litigation: General Commercial (2006-2013)

• Best Lawyers, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Corporate Governance and Compliance Law (2005-2015)

• The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Securities (2016)

• Corporate Counsel Best Lawyer, Litigation

• Georgia Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation (various years through 2014), Business Litigation (2016)

• Georgia Trend, 2012 Legal Elite for Appellate Law


J.D., Emory University School of Law, 1967
B.I.E., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1960

Memberships & Bar Associations

Member of AAA Roster of Neutrals
State Bar of Georgia
American Bar Association - Section of Litigation

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