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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 quarter century earlier had contributed to her death after years of internal organ illnesses. A recent decision of the Georgia…
  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 ruling arose in the context of the criminal prosecution of an alleged drug dealer. That would have been…
Few people recall that my undergraduate alma mater, Furman University in South Carolina, once had a law school. In the depths of the Great Depression, Furman closed its law school in 1932.  A North Carolina school that was well-funded by a tobacco magnate, bought the library of Furman’s law school. It was rolled into Duke University Law School, which is now rated number 11 among U.S. law schools. In the past two decades a boom…
No words can ever be adequate when a young child is killed. For the child’s parents, grandparents and other family members, it is like having a hole punched in the heart. That wound never really heals. For parents, in the words of Willie Nelson, it’s something you don’t get over but you get through.  The tasks of mourning after death of a family member are all too familiar. This week in Paulding County,…
A tractor-trailer pulled from the highway shoulder in front of an approaching SUV on I-95 in Jasper County, SC, just north of Savannah, about 9:30 PM Wednesday night, August 8, 2018. The impact killed Raymond Jackson, Jr., driver of the approaching vehicle, a 1999 Ford Expedition. This happened about 3 miles north of the Georgia-South Carolina line, between the Savannah River and Hardeeville. Initial news reports  of this crash involving vehicles emerging from Georgia…
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 “independent contractor” defense. The company that is the prime mover in an activity may cloak itself behind an “independent contractor”…
A chain reaction crash involving four big rig tractor trailers on I-285 near Camp Creek Parkway in south Fulton County, GA, killed a woman in a passenger car on June 19, 2018. According to the Georgia State Patrol, A tractor-trailer was traveling northbound when it struck three other big rigs and the rear of a car, pushing the car underneath another tractor-trailer. News photos showed that at least one truck’s cab was badly crushed and…
A young truck driver from California lost his life on the side of I-16 in Laurens County, Georgia, on March 2nd. This  tragedy highlights how truck drivers are in one of the most dangerous occupations. According to news reports, a 22-year-old California truck driver was killed when he sideswiped a disabled semi in predawn darkness on the shoulder of I-16 in Laurens County, Georgia. Shortly after 5 a.m., an 18-wheeler loaded with tangelos from…
A fiery crash on I-95 at Richmond Hill near Savannah in Chatham County on July 26th caused the wrongful death of a woman and sent her husband to a specialized burn unit in Augusta. It appears all too typical of other truck accident cases we have handled throughout Georgia, including those in the Savannah area and along I-95 and I-16. According to news reports, as a southbound tractor trailer approached the exit the driver…
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 who represent themselves against insurance company lawyers make fatal errors. Generally insurance companies may impose almost any conditions upon…