Transformation of  lives of clients and their families is part of my calling in law practice. While money is the quantitative measure of success, whenever possible I also try to guide outcomes in a way that will redirect the trajectory of life for clients and their families. A recent case is a good example.

Recently we handled a case for a 30-year-old single mom from a less than privileged background. She had struggled to put herself through a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. When injured, she was working as a CNA and living paycheck-to-paycheck with her daughter in a modest

video iphoneWhen I started practicing law in 1977, hardly anyone but TV stations had video cameras, which at the time were heavy, tripod-mounted and extremely expensive. The idea of being able to play a video recording of an event in court would have seemed like science fiction if anyone had been so fanciful as to suggest  it.

But today investigation of any serious injury or wrongful death case involves a hunt for video recordings from a variety of sources. We hardly could not have imagined this in my early days as a prosecutor.

In 1983, the first consumer camcorders began to

route-guidance-system-navigation-satnav-gpsGPS technology is one of the great conveniences of life in the 21st century. When it works right it enables us to find our way through unfamiliar areas with ease.

Other times it can lead us terribly astray.

But at all times we should follow the device directions by entering destination information while safely parked and use the “human override” of common sense is following the driving directions.

Today in Atlanta, we have a tragic example of the importance of keeping those principles in mind.

Police report that King Fareed from North Carolina was focused on his phone’s GPS

hold hands

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 Appeals recently said yes in the context of a case where two experts disagreed on whether there was a difference in temperature of the hands of a plaintiff who had a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy), due to medical malpractice.

Baseball has been called the great American pastime. We all love an occasional trip to Turner Field to watch the Braves, and nothing can compare with family outings to minor league baseball games in smaller cities. I have nothing but pleasant memories of the spring and summer afternoons and evenings rooting for my son in years of Little League baseball.

Against this cultural background, the news story of a New Jersey lawsuit has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. According to an Associated Press report, Elizabeth Lloyd, a woman in Manchester Township, NJ, has sued an 11-year-old

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

Occasionally we see claims that an accident and injury was caused, in whole or in part, by negligence in the design of a road, intersection or signage. In Georgia, there can be a claim against Georgia DOT if the road design did not conform to design standards when it was built. There may also be claims against an engineering firm for negligent design of a state, county or municipal roadway.

Now the Georgia Court of Appeals has clarified that a statute setting an 8 year time limit to sue after completion of construction to sue applies to road projects just

When a patron of a business is assaulted and injured by a criminal on the premises, there is sometimes a possibility of suing the business or property owner for negligent security.

When I have handled such cases, the usual drill has been to gather evidence of prior criminal assaults on the premises to prove that the owner was on notice of the need for increased security, and then get an expert to testify about the types of security measures that should have been employed but were not.

Often when we have investigated potential cases of negligent security we have found

Georgia law allows a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit one chance to dismiss without prejudice and refile. The renewal statute, OCGA § 9–2–61, allows a plaintiff who voluntarily dismisses a timely filed suit to file suit within six months, regardless of whether the statute of limitations has run.

However, a case decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals on May 26, 2012 reveals a trap door for the unwary in the exercise of this right. Cox v. Progressive Bayside Ins. Co., __ Ga. App. __, __ S.E.2d __, 2012 WL 1860704 (Ga.App., 2012).

In that case, Cox filed suit

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