Monthly Archives: October 2007

Sometimes a lump of coal can become a diamond

So often in my law practice, representing ordinary people who have suffered tragic losses due to someone else’s carelessness, I have to contend with the arrogance of defense lawyers and corporate functionaries who view humble working people as most of us would view gum stuck to the sole of a shoe.  As a "redneck lawyer" … Continue Reading

“Operation Safe Driver” focused on commercial vehicles

This week in several states, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are sponsoring “Operation Safe Driver.” This involves increased enforcement roadside enforcement on commercial motor vehicle rules, including fatigued drivers, seatbelts, etc., and educate non-commercial drivers about sharing the road with trucks.
Unfortunately, there can never be enough … Continue Reading

Judge Newkirk on short list for Fulton Superior Court

I was pleased to see that Judge Henry Newkirk of the State Court of Fulton County made the "short list" for the Superior Court seat being vacated by Judge Stephanie Manis taking senior status.  While Judge Manis was one of my classmates at Emory Law School, I first met Judge Newkirk at Furman when he … Continue Reading

Georgia Personal Injury Practice Seminar

Yesterday, for the fifth consecutive year, I served as program chair for the Georgia Personal Injury Practice Seminar sponsored by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.  As always, I followed my father’s advice to "surround yourself with people who are smarter than you" by recruiting as speakers some of the brightest lawyers in … Continue Reading

Defense tactic of offering free representation to non-party witnesses in order to block access to those witnesses

Though I have not personally encountered it yet, there apparently has been a recent proliferation of a defense tactic of offering to represent witnesses at no charge in order to limit the plaintiff attorney’s access to the witnesses.  This may be particularly a problem in medical malpractice cases but it could occur in any type … Continue Reading

Overweight tractor trailers pose dangers

Trucking safety experts estimate that about 30 percent of tractor-trailers and dump trucks are overweight.  Studies show that overweight trucks are more likely to be in accidents. They also roll over more easily and need more time and distance to stop. A truck weighing 120,000 pounds needs 50 percent more space and time to stop … Continue Reading

Ga DOT continues to study truck-only lanes

The Georgia DOT is holding public hearings on the proposal to build truck-only  lanes on interstate highways in congested areas throughout the state.  I can see merit in the concept of separating truck traffic from passenger car traffic.  The devil, of course, is in the details.

More concerns raised about Mexican trucks on US highways

We are seeing more concerns raised about safety of Mexican trucks coming into the US. Among the points raised recently are:
•  Full access has not been granted to the Mexican license record database.  Border facilities have this access, but more than 15% of the time the records are missing entirely.
•  The Department of Transportation (DOT) … Continue Reading

Progressive Insurance says church spying “reasonable”

Several weeks ago, the story broke that Progressive Insurance sent private investigators to join its own policyholders’ church and joined their home Bible study group under false presenses, hoping to uncover evidence inconsistent with the insureds’ injury claim. When the company was caught in that ruse, the CEO said what they had done "appalling."  Now … Continue Reading

Hours of service rule unchanged til end of 2007

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has stayed until the end of the year enforcement of its July order striking down the current FMCSR  hours of service rule.  This has been a point of controversy for years.
 In 2003, the FMSCA first released a set of rules that would allow truck drivers … Continue Reading