Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
Have You Made Your Opening Statement? WHAT A NEW YEAR AND A COURT CASE HAVE IN COMMON
When I sat down at my desk to write this letter, it struck me that the article I had planned was a bit like the opening statement of a court case — with Kevin Patrick Law as the plaintiff and you, the reader, as my jury. An opening statement is essentially the beginning of a trial. It’s the moment I step up in front of the jury and lay out the facts of the case. I explain the basics of what happened to my client and summarize the evidence I will present later, starting with the date of the car accident, or day care injury, and continuing all the way through my client’s medical treatment, bills, and recovery. Usually, these statements are straightforward, optimistic portrayals of what is about to happen — which is exactly what I had planned for this newsletter! Looking ahead to the next 12 months, I’m optimistic about what will happen in 2023. The year hasn’t truly begun yet (just as I
haven’t examined witnesses or presented evidence yet when I give my opening statement), but I feel good about the direction it’s moving. I already know that my team and I will continue working hard for our clients and living by the golden rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Perhaps this sounds naive, but I truly believe 2023 will leave me with a lot to be thankful for. In December, perhaps I’ll give my closing argument in this newsletter, too. Like an opening statement, a closing argument is a critical part of every court case. It’s the moment when I take center stage again to say a final few words to the jury before they make their decision. When I make one of these statements, I try to approach the case with compassion. I don’t say, “Our side is right, and their side is wrong!” Instead, I explain why my client’s view on the matter should prevail. In a car crash case, for example, I might say, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury — we’re here today because the defendant didn’t take responsibility for their actions, and we need your help to right that wrong.” Then, I would ask the jury to award my client compensation for their medical bills, special damages, and non- economic damages like pain and suffering.
The best closing arguments are honest, authentic, emotionally powerful speeches. I’ve heard quite a few of them in my time! I think authenticity is the key to a fantastic closing. As a lawyer, you must be yourself when you stand before a jury. For example, I could never try to be Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men” — the jury would see that I was putting on a front, and they wouldn’t trust me. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to win that trust: I just need to be myself and tell the truth. (I also have to keep my speech short. Rambling on and on is the
surest way to lose an audience. No one wants to sit through a closing argument that feels like a sermon gone long on Sunday morning.) In the larger context, December is the month for closing arguments. It’s time to reflect on and summarize the year
behind us. In 12 months, I’ll be able to look back at my predictions for 2023, see whether my team lived up to them, and tally my gratitude and appreciation. I hope you finished your 2022 closing argument last month and are working on an optimistic opening statement for 2023. If not, it’s time to get started! As Zig Ziglar once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”
I HOPE YOU FINISHED YOUR 2022 CLOSING ARGUMENT LAST MONTH AND ARE WORKING ON AN OPTIMISTIC OPENING STATEMENT FOR 2023. IF NOT, IT’S TIME TO GET STARTED!
Happy New Year!
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
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Celebrity Lawsuit Calls TikTok ‘Breeding Ground for Scams’
ARE THE ADS YOU SEE REAL OR FAKE? 2. AVOID IN-APP PURCHASES. It’s easy to buy products on Instagram with a single click — but should you? To avoid
Imagine you’re scrolling through your social media feed when an ad pops up starring one of your favorite celebrities. Maybe it’s quarterback Tom Brady talking about his favorite fitness foods or actress Julia Roberts showing off her new shoes. You’re intrigued enough to buy the product. But when it arrives, your jaw drops. This isn’t the hottest new luxury item! It’s just a cheap knockoff of the healthy item or Jimmy Choo. How would you feel about your celebrity “friend”? According to Page Six, this exact situation happened to fans of “Real Housewives of New York City” actress and Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel. A scam artist stole clips of her promoting a designer product and edited them, making it appear as if she were selling knockoff cardigans.
Frankel posted her own video decrying the scammer, only to watch TikTok remove it for “abusive content.” In a last-ditch attempt to protect her reputation, she sued the platform for failing to protect her reputation and allowing users to post fake ads, calling it “a breeding ground for scams.” If you use TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, Frankel’s story should serve as a warning: The ads you see sliding by on your smartphone screen may not be legitimate. To protect yourself from scammers, take these three steps. 1. GO TO THE SOURCE FOR CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS. Visit the celebrity’s
scams, leave the app and visit the company’s official website to ensure you’re purchasing the real thing.
3. LOOK FOR SIGNS OF
PHOTOSHOPPING, EDITING, AND MANIPULATION. Does the celebrity’s face look tacked onto another person’s body, or does their phrasing sound broken and clipped together? Is the celebrity sponsoring the ad, or is the brand just using their name (perhaps misspelled) for cachet? Look for these signs before you buy. Ultimately, when buying online, just remember to think before you click. Skepticism is a TikTok user’s best friend.
official social media page and/ or website. Any products they’re advertising should be visible there.
If Your Teen Crashes, You Pay! THE CONSEQUENCE OF GEORGIA’S FAMILY PURPOSE DOCTRINE
If you let your teenager borrow your car regularly or know another parent who does this, you need to read this article. Here in Georgia, lending your vehicle to a family member so they can drive to school or do the household grocery shopping is more dangerous than you might think because of the Family Purpose Doctrine. WHAT IS THE FAMILY PURPOSE DOCTRINE? The Family Purpose Doctrine is a policy enforced within the state of Georgia. Under the doctrine, if one family member lends their car, truck, or motorcycle to another family member from their immediate household, the vehicle’s owner can be held responsible in the case of a crash. In other words, if your 16-year-old son or 24-year-old daughter rear-ends someone while driving your old Toyota Camry
to a friend’s house, you could be on the hook for the other driver’s medical bills. It doesn’t matter if the person who borrowed your car is an adult or not. You could be liable for the accident if you permitted them to use your vehicle.
other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and they’re three times more likely to be in fatal crashes than adults aged 20 or over. Make sure they know Georgia’s driving laws and understand the risk of driving distracted or under the influence. There are some exceptions to the Family Purpose Doctrine, but you shouldn’t count on them. Instead, visit NHTSA.gov/ road-safety/teen-driving to get all the information you need to protect your teens (and your wallet!).
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO AVOID THIS?
You can do two things to avoid triggering the Family Purpose Doctrine. First, you can avoid lending your car to anyone else. This option protects you from liability! However, it isn’t a very practical solution. Most families can’t afford separate cars for every child with a driver’s license. Alternatively, if you need to share your car, you must teach your children safe driving habits — especially your teenagers. Teenagers ages 16–19 are more likely to get in car crashes than any
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404.566.8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cellphone is 404.409.3160.)
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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Thoughts on Justice They Inspire Our Firm Every Day!
As a civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.’s No. 1 mission was to seek out injustice and right those wrongs. In many ways, this is exactly what a good lawyer does for their clients! They seek ways their client has been hurt or taken advantage of and hold the person who injured them accountable. Our team is nowhere near as impressive as Martin Luther King Jr., but we strive to follow in his footsteps every day. While he focused specifically on winning equality and human rights for Black and low-income people, we work on behalf of people who have been injured in car crashes, abused in nursing homes, or mistreated in day cares. Our goal is the same: Turn injustice into justice wherever we find it. King spoke beautifully on the topic of justice, and one of our favorite quotes is engraved on the South Wall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up on Jan. 16, and we hope you remember these powerful words when it arrives. You may also consider visiting Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park or The National Center for Civil and Human Rights to celebrate his work. In the meantime, here are a few other MLK Jr. quotes that inspire us! “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied
in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice, say that I was a drum major for peace, I was a drum major for righteousness, and all the other shallow things will not matter.” “We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs ‘down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
Take A Break
Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach This recipe is healthy, affordable, and quick to make on busy nights when you need dinner in a pinch! Ingredients • 3 tsp olive oil, divided • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz each) • 1 1/2 tsp reduced-sodium seafood seasoning • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 garlic clove, sliced • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes • 10 cups fresh baby spinach (about 10 oz) • 6 small tomatoes, cut into 1/2- inch pieces • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 450 F. Rub 1 tsp oil over both sides of salmon, then sprinkle with seafood seasoning and pepper. In a greased air fryer basket, place salmon. 2. Cook about 10–12 minutes until fish flakes easily. 3. In a 6-qt stockpot, place remaining oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. 4. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Cook until vinegar is reduced by half, then remove from heat. 5. Arrange spinach on serving dish. Place salmon over spinach mixture and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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Inside This Issue 1 Kevin’s Opening Statement for 2023 2 The Dirty Truth About TikTok Ads What Is the Family Purpose Doctrine? 3 5 MLK Jr. Quotes We Live By Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach 4 A Podcast That Will Inspire You to Make a Change
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Reduce Climate Anxiety
With ‘How to Save a Planet’
If you’re stuck in a cycle of worrying about the planet after a rough year of floods, fires, and hurricanes, we don’t blame you. Most of us have seen that 2022 was full of climate craziness, and constantly dealing with these disasters can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Knowing where to start when tackling the issues our planet faces can be challenging, and this uncertainty leaves many people feeling more depressed than determined. But that is all about to change with the help of “How to Save a Planet,” a Spotify original podcast that shares good news on eco-friendly trends. Join Alex Blumberg and “a crew of climate nerds” (their words, not ours) as they strive to bring you the positives of our planet, along with real changes you can make in your life that will help move our climate in the right direction. To show you what we mean, we’ll share some things “How to Save a Planet” says you can do to be a climate warrior. MAKE A VENN DIAGRAM TO FIND YOUR CLIMATE CHANGE SUPERPOWER! On a piece of paper, draw three circles that overlap
in the middle. Each circle will have its own title, and they are “What brings you joy?” “What work needs doing?” and “What are you good at?” Find similarities between all three, and write them in the middle. That piece between all three circles is what you can do for the climate.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY A FASHION DETOX. This challenge asks participants to avoid buying any new clothes for 10 weeks and to use that time to reflect on sustainability. The goal is to take a moment and understand the impact of clothing on the planet.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOCAL METEOROLOGIST. If you watch the local news and the meteorologist talks about climate change, send them an email or message on social media to let them know you noticed it, appreciate it, and want them to keep it up. “How to Save a Planet” has many more tips where those came from, and after listening, you won’t feel helpless — you’ll be motivated to make a change. So head on over to Spotify, press play, and get started.
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