Ethics

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“Defriending” on Facebook my real-world friends who happen to be judges

Florida has ruled that judges and lawyers cannot be “friends” on Facebook. Out of an abundance of caution, most around the US will follow suit.
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“One call that’s all?” Personal injury “settlement mills” blasted in Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics

"Run-of-the-Mill Justice" by Stanford Law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, published in a recent issue of Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, analyzes the practices of "settlement mill" law firms — those that "advertise aggressively, sign a higher percentage of callers to contract, delegate more duties to non-lawyers, file fewer lawsuits, and take far fewer cases to … Continue Reading

What to do when legal vultures descend on you after a tragic accident

This morning I met with a family who suffered a tragic loss when a tractor trailer ran over the parents late in 2008.  The mother was killed and the father seriously injured. 
They got me involved a couple of weeks after the crash when one of the sons found me on the Internet and invited me to … Continue Reading

Scam artist with phony injury claim attempting to hustle lawyers in Atlanta

This morning I got a call from a man in ICU at one of our local hospitals. He said he has hit by a tractor trailer yesterday, and that he had two fractured femurs, a ruptured spleen, ruptured discs, crushed vertebra, etc., and asked if I could meet him at the hospital.  … Continue Reading

I May Be Wrong

Ron Ellington, a professor at the University of Georgia Law School, recently spoke to the inductees of Phi Beta Kappa at UGA. His remarks deserve wider distribution.  He points out how the smartest and wisest leaders of a previous generation were dead wrong on one big issue, and suggests how to recognize when we are … Continue Reading

Overcoming stereotyping of people — clients, opponents, witnesses, jurors, or folks on the street

I grew up in rural Alabama and Georgia in the 1950s and 1960s, and began my legal career under a DA who instructed us to always strike all blacks from juries. When I decided to prosecute a black-on-black rape case in 1978, just as I had a white-on-white rape case, some of the folks around … Continue Reading

Don’t blame God when people break the rules

Saturday morning, at the request of a patient’s family  who urgently want to provide for his care needs, I visited an intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital to attempt to interview a man who became a quadriplegic in a recent traffic collision. Laying paralyzed in a bed, breathing through a tube, he was too … Continue Reading

Georgia legislators’ proposal to tax legal services may have unintended consequences

The proposed tax on legal services in Georgia would have unintended adverse consequences on the justice system and the delivery of legal services.
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Tort reformers criticize lawyer backing of drug defect web sites

As a trial lawyer with something of a conservative streak, I keep up with what the tort reform folks are saying, and occasionally even agree on some point. The American Tort Reform Association is highlighting a study of online information about hazards of pharmaceutical products, published by the New York-based Center for Medicine in the … Continue Reading

Georgia Personal Injury Practice Seminar

Yesterday, for the fifth consecutive year, I served as program chair for the Georgia Personal Injury Practice Seminar sponsored by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.  As always, I followed my father’s advice to "surround yourself with people who are smarter than you" by recruiting as speakers some of the brightest lawyers in … Continue Reading