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Parents of juvenile home invaders may be ordered to pay $60,000 of medical costs from home invasion shooting

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Atlantans were shocked a couple of weeks ago by the story of a home invasion robbery attempt in which teenage males approached a young father on his front porch, forced their way into the house and shot the father twice. His wife fled out the back door with their … Continue Reading

Touch at trial – jurors lay hands on injured plaintiff

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The “laying on of hands” can resonate powerfully. In my background, it has spiritual and theological implications as a ritual of blessing or of healing. Can this and other senses beyond sight and hearing also be part of legitimate trial advocacy in conveying truth to jurors?
The Georgia Court of … Continue Reading

Shigley Leads Section of American Association for Justice

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Ken Shigley of Atlanta, who was president of the State Bar of Georgia in 2011-12, is now chair of the largest practice area section in the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the national organization of plaintiffs’ trial attorneys. Shigley took the helm of the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of Georgia quoted Ken Shigley in a unanimous decision released this week.

In the case of Hartley v. Agnes Scott College, the Supreme Court addressed the question “whether a campus police officer employed by a private college qualifies as a “state officer or employee” who may assert immunity from tort suits under the Georgia Tort Claims Act.” Last year, a plurality decision of the Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Shigley completes14 years in State Bar of Georgia leadership roles

At the State Bar of Georgia 2013 annual meeting last week at Hilton Head Island, SC, I was presented a resolution commemorating 14 years on the Board of Governors and 6 years on the Executive Committee, which included one year each as secretary (2008-09), treasurer (2009-10), president-elect (2010-11), president (2011-12) and immediate past president (2012-13). … Continue Reading

How do you handle fees and expenses in a personal injury or wrongful death case?

Many prospective clients in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims ask questions about legal fees and litigation expenses in handling their cases. As an Atlanta personal injury trial attorney handling serious injury and death cases across Georgia, and as an individual who remembers very well what it is like to be flat broke and … Continue Reading

Legislation passes US House to rein in worst problems with Medicare reimbursment bureaucracy

In the past few years, half the work and hassle in representing individuals in personal injury claims is the endless hassle with medical lien claims.
Medicare, which asserts claims under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, is often the hardest to deal with because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) bureaucracy is infamously slow and … Continue Reading

Hearsay rule change in new Georgia Evidence Code

Most bright middle school students probably have a working knowledge of the concept of hearsay, simply as gossip.  “He said she said” does not mean the statement is true.
Hearsay as a legal rather than merely social concept is part of the law of evidence. The Georgia rule on hearsay will change on January 1st, when … Continue Reading

GA Court of Appeals cracks open door to evidence of amount of settlements for prior accidents

Georgia law on the trial of personal injury cases has for most of my career provided for exclusion of evidence of settlements of claims arising from prior injuries. Now the Court of Appeals has cracked open the door to evidence that in the past has been excluded.
In the case of Goforth v. Wigley, 178 Ga. … Continue Reading

Key Georgia legislator tells tort reform advocates to go slowly and work toward consensus

Georgia State Capitol 1904
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce held a forum on tort reform last week. According to today’s Daily Report, Rep. Rich Golick, chair of the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee who is a corporate attorney for Allstate Insurance Company in his “day job,” told the attendees:
“Go talk to the plaintiffs bar. … See if … Continue Reading