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 & Premises Liability Section of AAJ and the organization’s annual convention in Montreal on July 14, 2015.

ken_shigley_coverWith over 2,500 members nationwide, the section includes specialized litigation practice groups on Trucking Litigation, Bus Litigation, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Motorcycle Litigation, Bicycle Litigation, Resort Torts Litigation and

 A hot summer afternoon at the pool offers rest and relaxation perfect for the season — cool water, a relaxing chaise chair, and a cold glass of lemonade by your side. However, pleasure of a pool must be coupled with prudence in  swimming pool safety due to the risks of drowning , near drowning and spinal cord injuries due to diving accidents.

While I can enjoy hanging out at the pool on a summer day as much as anyone, I can’t help thinking of the families I have helped after tragic swimming pools injuries.

The saddest story in my experience

In the summer we all want to spend more time outdoors. One of my favorite outdoor activities is bicycle riding. As an Atlanta personal injury and wrongful death lawyer and occasional cyclist, I can’t help viewing the risks of injury along with the benefits of exercise.

Maybe that is why most of my biking is on the Silver Comet Trail and other designated bike paths.

When we do ride on busy Atlanta streets, there are some practical bike safety tips we should keep in mind:

  1. Protect yourself from head injuries.  One study reported that 97% of people killed

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 in debt, I am very sensitive to those questions.

The short answer is that in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases for individuals and families, I do not require any money up front from clients whose cases I accept. I evaluate the merits of

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. App. 558, 560 (2), 343 SE2d 788 (1986), the court ruled that “evidence as to the amount of a settlement or compromise in [an] earlier case is generally irrelevant and prejudicial and therefore inadmissible.”  Thus, the court in Goforth held that the trial

Cruise ships are like floating cities with thousands of passengers on board. Usually a lot more fun than the typical workaday city, but probably no less likely to involve accidents and injuries.

Cruise ship lines cannot guarantee that no one will get hurt aboard, but they do have a responsibility to prevent dangerous conditions on board that can cause serious injury to its passengers. When a cruise ship accident occurs because of poor maintenance, incompetent or  improperly trained employees, inadequate safety equipment or emergency precautions, the cruise  line can be held accountable.

Cruise ship tickets typically have a provision that

Often in trials involving catastrophic brain injury that renders the plaintiff so incompetent as to be unable to assist her lawyers at trial, the defense moves first to bifurcate the trial between liability and damages phases, and then to exclude the plaintiff from the courtroom during the liability phase.

The idea is to prevent the jury from mixing sympathy for the plaintiff with determination of fault.

Over the years I have had mixed results in dealing with that issue, with both sides arguing on the basis of court decisions in other jurisdictions, as there has been no definitive Georgia law

In the past 10 days this plaintiffs’ trial lawyer, in the capacity of State Bar of Georgia president, has co-presided over a joint meeting of the State Bar Executive Committee and the Georgia Supreme Court, had a joint press conference with the Attorney General of Georgia and spoke at a lunch meeting that included general counsels of some of Georgia’s leading corporations. In 75 days, I will complete my term as State Bar president and get back to practicing law full-time.

I do not expect any favoritism from anyone as cases must be decided on their merits.  But if a

It’s just a hypothesis, but an article about Parkinson’s disease in today’s New York Times may suggest an approach to brain injury rehab. The idea is that forced exercise is more beneficial to the brain than unforced exercise.

First, consider the lowly lab rat. The NYT article report a 2008 study in which rats forced to run wound up with significantly more new brain cells after eight weeks than those who ran when they chose, even though the latter animals ran faster.  Another experiment found that , mice that were required to exercise on treadmills subsequently performed better on cognitive

Traumatic injury is sometimes referred to as the death of a person who is still living. An article in today’s New York Times gives a stark patient’s-eye view of what can be like. In“Starting Again After a Brain Injury,” Jane Rosset illuminates her experience with the following details:

  • Long term memory loss: “Memories that connected different parts of my life fragmented and vanished. . . . When I see my pre-accident work, I am introduced to it as if for the first time. . . . I am sometimes fed my own résumé by strangers in the street.”