Yeargan & Kert - July 2019


JULY 2019 404-467-1747


There’s a saying that the only thing law school doesn’t teach you is how to be a lawyer. While my classes at Mercer covered the complexities of our legal system, there was never much emphasis placed on how to run a business, be a good boss, or provide customer service. That’s why I’m always grateful for the day my mother sent me on an errand to Pike Family Nursery. Hear me out. Ever since I was a little kid, both my parents would tell me, “When you turn 16, you’re getting a job.” I didn’t fully understand why — we were financially stable after all. When I would ask about this, my mother simply told me “You’re getting older, and there are some things I can’t teach you.” Looking back, I understand exactly what she meant. Naturally, the summer I turned 16 I was on the hunt for a summer job. That’s when my mother, a prolific gardener, asked me to pick up some supplies from the Pike Family Nursery. Walking into the garden supply section, I was surprised to see a friend from high school wearing an employee’s uniform. I asked him if they were looking for more summer workers, and sure enough, I left with my mother’s supplies and a job offer. Part of me wonders if she knew what she was doing when she sent me out that day. Working at the nursery was a vibrant experience, to say the least. Every day was filled with colorful characters — contractors who swore like sailors, doctor’s wives trying to load six bags of fertilizer into the trunk of their Jaguars. And that’s just the customers. My coworkers were definitely an eclectic bunch. I could work a shift alongside a minor league golfer one day, and a half-way house resident the next. Having been raised in the suburbs, this job exposed me to all walks of life. And then there was the work itself. Most of the time I was outside in the parking lot in 90-degree heat unloading fertilizer from trailers. When I went inside for a drink of water, customers would almost always ask me questions along the way, so I had to pick up some basic botanical knowledge.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of the job was how many people brought in snakes. Living, dead, in a jar, or just held on an end of a stick, people would bring the reptiles they’d found slithering in their yard to our nursery. You have to remember, this was in the days before Google. We were often the first folks people thought of when they needed someone who could tell the difference between a garden variety snake and a copperhead. All in all, working these 8–10 hour days in the sweltering sun was quite the experience. In fact, I loved it so much I stayed on after summer ended, working weekends. Being outdoors and physically active felt great, and every time a customer wrote a review about me — again, in a time before Google — I got to keep the letter. I still have a box of the kind words I received during my time at the nursery. They’re a great reminder of what customer service is all about. This summer I’m still giving my mother rides to the nursery — her passion for gardening hasn’t waned after all. When I see the folks unloading trailers in that familiar parking lot, I think about all the important lessons I learned there: how to treat someone right no matter their situation, how to put my head down and work hard, and how to get people the knowledge they need — even if it’s in a field outside of my practice area. Law school couldn’t teach me these fundamentals. My parents had been right to insist on that summer job all along.

Stay cool this summer, and watch for snakes!

–Jim Yeargan



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DOES THE REVIEW SITE DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD? YELP AND SMALL BUSINESS “Yelp is destroying my small business.” These words are becoming more and more common. Small-business owners are taking their stories public, claiming Yelp is hurting their brand. But is this true? Can Yelp harm businesses? At a glance, Yelp is a website and app where people can promote their businesses, and consumers can post reviews of those businesses. Yelp can be a consumer’s deciding factor in which restaurant to visit, which cleaning service to hire, or which grocery store to shop at. Business owners claim that Yelp tries to extort them. For example, Yelp calls a business to sell ads. The business declines and, suddenly, good reviews get buried. Some business owners have even claimed that the best reviews disappear altogether. In their place are the lowest reviews, or even poor reviews that weren’t there before. When people search for the business, the worst reviews are front and center. Additionally, business owners have noted that Yelp cold-called them with the news that they have won an award for exceptional reviews. However, Yelp charges for the award, which is a plaque that can be displayed in the business, costing hundreds of dollars.

While the second example certainly isn’t extortion, it raises questions. The fact is that Yelp does cold-call businesses to get them to sign up for advertising packages, and in this, Yelp has leverage. If you don’t comply, they can alter what people see when they search for your business. Business owners also point to discrepancies in reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. They may have four- or five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, but their Yelp reviews may be noticeably lower. It’s no secret that advertisements represent Yelp’s primary source of revenue, and cold-calling businesses can help drive that revenue. But can businesses defend against ad extortion? The answer is not really, unless businesses are willing to pay aA big expense. Instead, the best defense is focusing on stellar customer service — and directing customers and potential customers to Google and Facebook reviews, ignoring Yelp altogether.

Rights People Get Wrong

MIRANDA RIGHTS EXPLAINED they have a way around this. Many officers will ask questions at the beginning of their interactions with you, hunting for incriminating answers. Because they have not made an arrest, they are not required to remind you that you do not have to answer them. That’s why it’s always important to exercise your right to remain silent, even if you don’t believe you are going to be placed under arrest. YOUR RIGHTS WON’T ALWAYS BE READ, EVEN AFTER AN ARREST In certain circumstances where the officer is a direct witness to the crime, you may not have your Miranda rights read to you at all. When a person is arrested for a DUI, for example, police omitting the Miranda rights is common because the majority of evidence is usually gathered ahead of the arrest. Since the officer doesn’t feel the need to interrogate you, they don’t need to issue the Miranda

warning. However, any statements you make during and after your arrest can still be used against you. Again, it is always best to remind yourself to remain silent. If officers fail to read your rights after arresting you and then question you, your rights have been violated and any evidence gathered from that violation can be suppressed. Otherwise, anything you say is fair game for the prosecution. Regardless of whether you received a Miranda warning or not, it’s best to exercise your right to an attorney and ensure your fair treatment under the law.

After celebrating Independence Day and the freedoms we enjoy in this country, we wanted to examine one “right” that is frequently misinterpreted. Miranda rights have been popularized by police dramas. Most people can probably recite the opening line: “You have the right to remain silent.” However, the popularization of this police procedure has led to some common misconceptions. POLICE QUESTION SUSPECTS BEFORE READING THEIR RIGHTS While police are required to read you your rights once you are arrested and interrogated,



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Don’ t Panic HAVE A WARRANT?


Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo

Finding out there is a warrant out for your arrest is a frightening experience. You go from living your normal life to feeling like a fugitive in an instant. But it’s important not to panic; a calm, measured approach is your best chance of protecting your future. By keeping the tips below in mind, you’ll be prepared to address the accusations against you and avoid landing yourself in even deeper trouble with the law. DON’T RUN When you first learn about a warrant, it can be tempting to skip town. Regardless of your innocence, no one wants to be handcuffed and taken away in a patrol car. But it’s vital you resist this instinct. Law enforcement will find you eventually, and the last thing you want is to add more charges on top of everything else. CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT It may sound counterintuitive, but reaching out to the agency that likely issued the warrant against you can help your case. By calling in, you can find out why the warrant was issued and if there are any other charges against you. However, it is likely that law enforcement will then know your location thanks to this call. GO TO A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM YOU TRUST While prosecutors and officers may be looking to bring you into custody, you don’t have to deliver yourself to the jailhouse. Instead, you should seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you after your arrest or prevent it entirely. Once they understand the details of your case, your lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and potentially agree upon an alternative, such as an arraignment. Whether or not the arrest still takes place, it’s better to have a talented lawyer working to preserve your rights. If you have an outstanding warrant, Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help. Reach out to us today so we can take the steps necessary to resolve your case.

The main course on the Fourth of July almost always works with paleo diets, but that isn’t always the case with sides and appetizers. This salad offers a great way to enjoy some paleo fare without having to resort to only eating grilled meats.


• 1 small shallot, thinly sliced • 4–5 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, seeded and cut into wedges • 6–10 medium basil leaves, cut into ribbons

• 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

• 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place shallots in balsamic vinegar for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry using paper towels. 2. Assemble tomatoes on a plate, top with basil and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. 3. Drizzle olive oil over top of salad and serve immediately.



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Yeargan & Kert, LLC 1170 Peachtree Street Suite 1200 Atlanta, GA 30309 404-467-1747



Jaguars, Snakes, and Fertilizer: Jim’s First Job

Is Yelp the Enemy of Small Business? Rights People Get Wrong

What to Do When There’s a Warrant for Your Arrest Paleo Tomato Basil Salad

Disney Harnesses the Power of Nostalgia in 2019


‘ALADDIN,’ MAY 2019 The original “Aladdin”

Even if someone doesn’t consider themselves a movie buff, they’ve likely heard about Disney’s decision to harness — and capitalize on — the power of viewer nostalgia with live-action remakes of its beloved classics. Back in 1996, Disney tested this formula for the first time, releasing “101 Dalmatians” with Glenn Close starring as the brilliantly deranged Cruella stalking puppies for their fur. After breaking box office records on the first weekend, Disney decided to create a slow trickle of other live-action remakes using the same blueprint: “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, “Cinderella” in 2015, “The Jungle Book” in 2016, and “Beauty and the Beast” in 2017, among several others. By promising viewers the storyline they loved as a child, a star-studded cast, some vaguely cheeky references, 3D visuals, and added action, Disney has created a recipe for box office success. Here are three live- action remakes that have been or will be released in 2019. ‘DUMBO,’ MARCH 2019 Unlike the animated classic released in 1941, this live-action version introduces a former circus star, played by Colin Farrell, and his two children as caretakers of the big-eared, flying mammal. Directed by Tim Burton, “Dumbo” doesn’t use real elephants on screen. Disney instead uses a mixture of CGI and live- action. Other major stars in the film include Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, and Eva Green.

hit theaters in 1992, ultimately pulling in Oscars for best score

and best song. Now, 27 years later, Disney has decided to retain many of the original’s musical and narrative elements. While fans of the first film will surely miss hearing the voice of the late Robin Williams, the genie will still play a central role in the film’s story and will be brought to life by Will Smith. Actors Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott will play Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. ‘THE LION KING,’ JULY 2019 The original film became one of the biggest animated features at the time of its release in 1994, and all of the beloved characters will return in a live-action/CGI version. While James Earl Jones will return as the voice for Mufasa, the remake will also feature Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, as well as a long list of other talented men and women.

Hopefully these three remakes will dredge up some of the same wonder and joy the original stories evoked.



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