Civil Litigation

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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

Parents of juvenile home invaders may be ordered to pay $60,000 of medical costs from home invasion shooting

Atlantans were shocked a couple of weeks ago by the story of a home invasion robbery attempt in which teenage males approached a young father on his front porch, forced their way into the house and shot the father twice. His wife fled out the back door with their six-month-old infant while the invaders fired shots … Continue Reading

Touch at trial – jurors lay hands on injured plaintiff

 
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 … Continue Reading

Shigley Leads Section of American Association for Justice

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 … Continue Reading