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Food poisoning proof is focus of Georgia Supreme Court decision
On a warm October afternoon two years ago, wearing one of the yarmulkes that Jewish funeral directors provide for non-Jewish attendees, I helped shovel red Georgia dirt into the open grave of an old client and friend. As I did so, I pondered the unanswered question whether long-term side effects of her food poisoning a … 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
Biased insurance medical exams reexamined
"Independent" medical exams are commonplace in personal litigation, workers compensation, and disability insurance contexts. Experience has made us cynical so that we now refer to these as "defense medical exams" or "insurance medical exams."
The New York Times on 3/31/09 carried an investigative article, "Exams of Injured Workers Feed Mutual Mistrust," detailing abuses of such exams in the … Continue Reading
Georgia follows common sense course on expert testimony
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals was a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1993 that led to a sea change in standards for admitting expert testimony into evidence. Setting out a set of factors to be considered by courts in such decisions, it spread from questions of cutting edge science to the most mundane forms of … Continue Reading
Georgia Supreme Court rejects challenges to state version of Daubert
It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court of Georgia rejected constitutional challenges to the Daubert rule on expert testimony in the newly released decision of Mason v. Home Depot. The text of the decision is copied below. I apologize for formatting errors that may appear.
It appears that Georgia attorneys representing injured people may … Continue Reading
“Super Lawyer” listing still OK in Georgia
Last month there was a news story about the New Jersey Committee on Attorney Advertising, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruling that attorney advertisements that tout listings such as the “Super Lawyers” listings violate professional responsibility rules against ads that compare lawyers’ services or create an “unjustified expectation about results.” … Continue Reading
Buyers’ regrets on Senate Bill 3
When the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3 — the "tort reform" conglomeration — in February 2005, most of the legislators hadn’t even read the entire bill, most of its provisions were not discussed in any detail, and hardly anyone understood it. To say it had a lot of poor draftsmanship is an understatement. … Continue Reading
New York appellate court relaxes Daubert tests on causation evidence
NY court warns against too strict an application of Daubert test can result in prematurely choking off valid claims.
Frivolous Daubert motions continue to seek exclusion of routine testimony by treating physicians
Many Daubert motions to exclude opinions of treating physicians are without merit.
Common sense approach to Daubert objections to treating physician testimony
Judge Ashley Royal in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia has made a common sense decision in response to one of those frivolous Daubert motions to exclude testimony of treating physicians. In Flowers v. Wal-Mart, 2005 WL 2787101, decided 10/27/05, Judge Royal held:
It is significant in this case that Dr. Dicks … Continue Reading