Monthly Archives: April 2009

Might the corporate world begin to recognize the problem with mandatory binding arbitration?

For years folks who represent individuals vis-a-vis corporations have bewailed the evils of mandatory binding arbitration procedures being required by consumer and employment contracts.
Buried in the fine print of an employee handbook, health insurance plan, credit card billing insert, or franchise agreement, binding mandatory arbitration clauses eliminate a consumer’s access to the courts, … Continue Reading

Emory Law School moves up from #22 to #20 in US News rankings

There is widespread sentiment that the ratings game — whether it’s college rankings in US News or our "Super Lawyer" rankings — is a lot of hocum.  However, folks look at that stuff, so the game goes on.
I just got word that my law school alma mater, Emory, has moved up in the U.S. News … Continue Reading

Shigley quoted in LawyersUSA article on defense medical exams

Today’s issue of LawyersUSA includes an article by Corey Stephenson quotes me on defense medical exams (which are otherwise jokingly referred to as "independent" medical exams).  Here are a few excepts from the longer article.

One major issue is that "there are only so many doctors [who do IMEs] out there and we tend to see … Continue Reading

Why plaintiffs prefer contingent fees and defendants don’t.

Contingent fees, in which the attorney earns a fee based on a percentage of whatever is recovered for the client, are typical in personal injury cases both in Georgia and throughout the United States.
We often explain the advantages in terms of making representation attainable for average people and giving the lawyer an incentive to get … Continue Reading

More discussion of Georgia’s new “stay of discovery” rule, frivolous lawsuits, “loser pays” rules, etc.

My learned colleague and fellow Atlantan, Jonathan Wilson, writing on the Manhattan Institute’s PointofLaw.com blog, has responded to my earlier comment about the "stay of discovery" provision of the legislation recently passed as HB 29.
I had commented earlier, in part, that the legislation as passed would prompt a "rash of frivolous motions to dismiss as a … Continue Reading

Financial downturn in the insurance industry may affect anyone with a claim

As an attorney representing people with serious injury cases in Georgia, I have to keep an eye on the solvency of the insurance companies that are contractually obligated to pay legitimate liability claims against their policyholders.  For most of my career, the solvency of insurers was seldom if ever a big concern.
In today’s economy, however, we … Continue Reading

Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Act becomes law

On March 30th, President Obama signed legislation that includes the Christopher and Dava Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA).  Though it had been blocked by a single Senator last year, it ultimately passed both houses of Congress with broad bipartisan support.
The legislation was named in honor of "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve who became a quadriplegic in a … Continue Reading

“Voices of Spinal Cord Injury” feature in New York Times

The New York Times is running a feature on “Voices of Spinal Cord Injury,” with feedback from lots of folks who are SCI survivors.  Here are a few excerpts from the feedback:
•    “Once a person goes through a spinal cord injury one’s life changes in the most drastic way imaginable…slowly, painfully, and frustratingly we find … Continue Reading

Paraplegic client crowned “Ms. Wheelchair California”

Representing people with traumatic spinal cord injuries, I have learned to see them not as "cripples stuck in wheelchairs" but as survivors valiantly striving to get on with their lives despite a harsh new reality.  Every one of them has inspired me.
Among the most inspiring is former metro Atlanta resident Alyson Roth, who became a paraplegic … Continue Reading

Biased insurance medical exams reexamined

"Independent" medical exams are commonplace in personal litigation, workers compensation, and disability insurance contexts.  Experience has made us cynical so that we now refer to these as "defense medical exams" or "insurance medical exams."
The New York Times on 3/31/09 carried an investigative article, "Exams of Injured Workers Feed Mutual Mistrust," detailing abuses of such exams in the … Continue Reading