Civil Litigation

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Confidential Settlements – bad secrecy or good privacy?

Though common in litigation, confidential settlements can be controversial.
While confidentiality agreements had help expedite settlement, there are concerns that secret settlements can work against public safety by covering up health and safety hazards. As with much in life, the hardest choices are not between good and bad, but between good and good, and between bad … Continue Reading

Why it is important to immediately associate a trucking litigation specialist when you are called about a catastrophic truck crash

You are a great lawyer in your area of practice. You are also smart enough to know when a big case may require prompt action outside your comfort zone.
Just as a trial lawyer may not feel comfortable handling a complex real estate, divorce or estate planning matter, a great lawyer in those fields may not want … Continue Reading

Outgoing text messages admissible in evidence

 
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled on 11/7/2016 that outgoing text messages found in a cell phone are admissible in evidence as admissions of the person who sent them. However, incoming text messages are inadmissible hearsay, though their admission in evidence was “harmless” under the circumstances of the case. Glispie v. State, decided November 7, 2016.
This … Continue Reading

Overcoming the independent contractor defense

Much of our Atlanta-based litigation law practice is based upon referrals from other attorneys around Georgia and North America for catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases in Georgia. Most of these are not simple, slam-dunk cases. Often we have to contend with a rat’s nest of convoluted, multi-layered liability defenses. Among those is often the … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Court of Appeals sides with insurance company on “examination under oath”

Property insurance policies typically include provisions that the policyholder must cooperate in investigation and adjustment. This includes an examination under oath (EUO) — answering a lot of questions from the insurance company’s lawyer. Failure of the policyholder to submit to the examination may preclude even an innocent insured from any recovery under the insurance contract.
Policyholders … Continue Reading

Meet Ken Shigley, candidate for Georgia Court of Appeals

Merle Haggard sang, “The roots of my raising run deep.” So do Ken Shigley‘s.
Ken Shigley’s childhood hone
His rural childhood home was a modest cement block two bedroom, but full of love. His dad and uncle, WWII combat veterans, built it on weekends one pickup truck load of materials per payday. The house included an indoor … Continue Reading

A year of bright ideas in advocacy

No matter how many years a lawyer has practiced, there is no end to the need for exposure to bright new ideas from the best lawyers around the United States.
Over the past year, I had the opportunity to serve as chair of the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section of the American Association … Continue Reading

What is mediation and why do judges insist upon it?

Having served as the neutral mediator in hundreds of cases as well as the advocate for clients in hundreds of other mediations, I have come to see both the strengths and weaknesses of this method of settling personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Judges love to refer cases for mediation because every case that settles is … Continue Reading

10 Social Media Instructions for Injured People

Most of us today carry cell phones in our pockets with more processing power than the computers aboard the Apollo moon missions. Frequent news reports illustrate the dangers of thoughtless use of smartphones and social media. It has ensnared politicians and celebrities, sometimes crashing promising careers. This technology has created similar hazards for both plaintiffs and … Continue Reading

Governor Deal’s legacy to the Georgia judicial system

Proposed new Georgia Judicial Building, future home of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
It appears that by time he leaves office at the beginning of 2019, Governor Nathan Deal will have:

Vastly reformed our criminal justice system;
Expanded the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals;
Appointed a majority of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals;
Appointed a substantial … Continue Reading