Federal Procedure

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Venue choices for Georgia personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits

Georgia’s 159 counties
When people call us about a potential lawsuit for wrongful death or catastrophic injury in Georgia, one of the topics they sometimes find confusing is the decision about where to file a suit.
The choice of court in which to file suit involves the interaction of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and venue. In general, subject … Continue Reading

Puzzling stall of federal judgeship nomination in Georgia

U.S. Courthouse, Atlanta
Dax Lopez is a judge of the State Court of DeKalb County, nominated by lame-duck President Obama to fill a vacant seat  on the U.S. District court in Atlanta, as an apparent bipartisan compromise to fill the seat with Republican approval.  Surprisingly for an Obama nominee, Judge Lopez is a conservative Republican, a longtime … Continue Reading

What should Georgia’s court system look like in 20 years?

In 2011, as I prepared to take office as president of the State Bar of Georgia, this was the topic of brainstorming with lawyers and judges. After discussing it with then Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein, we decided to form the Next Generation Courts Commission. I appointed judges, court clerks, court administrators and practicing lawyers … Continue Reading

Injury claims against cruise ship lines must be filed in court within one year

Cruise ships are like floating cities with thousands of passengers on board. Usually a lot more fun than the typical workaday city, but probably no less likely to involve accidents and injuries.
Cruise ship lines cannot guarantee that no one will get hurt aboard, but they do have a responsibility to prevent dangerous conditions on board … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justice calls lawyer’s argument “utterly irrational”

Supreme Court Justice David Souter told the Tennessee Assistant Attorney General, “I simply cannot follow your argument because I believe you have just made a statement to me that is utterly irrational.”
Continue reading…

Judicial pay raise scuttled

I noted earlier that a pay raise for federal judges had been included in the bailout bill for the auto industry.  Now the judicial pay raise has bitten the dust, at least temporarily, because it was draining votes from the legislation.
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced on the Senate floor she would oppose the bill … Continue Reading

Federal judges pay raise tucked into Detroit bailout bill

Those of us whose livelihood depends upon the decisions of judges almost always genuflect for any suggestion of a pay raise for judges. I have done it before and I will do it again.  I genuflect even though in this economy there are countless well-qualified attorneys who would gladly swap places with federal judges who … Continue Reading

Driver of passenger van at fault in death of Kentucky truck driver

At 12:45 AM this morning, the driver of the Somerset Food Service tractor-trailer was killed on I-75 in Kentucky when a Chevrolet van crossed the median into the northbound lanes and stopped. The tractor-trailer and a Ford pick-up truck were in northbound lanes and unable to avoid collision according to media reports.
When representing truck drivers … Continue Reading

Federal judge in Arkansas shells the corn about overreaching federal preemption

As an Atlanta lawyer handling both defective product and motor carrier cases, I have been troubled over the past several years by a trend of federal agencies seeking to block juries from ever getting a chance to consider the evidence  against manufacturers through the doctrine of federal preemption, often beyond anything expressly intended by Congress. … 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