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Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
Come ‘Back to School’ With Me! FOR A QUICK AND USEFUL CAR CRASH LESSON
THE DEFINITION OF A CAR CRASH CASE A car accident case is what we lawyers call a “civil tort.” Put very simply, that means it’s a civil (not criminal) problem, and someone’s actions caused someone else harm. THE 4 PARTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW As I learned in law school, a civil tort case has four elements. If you or someone you know has been in a car crash, thinking about these four elements and whether they are all present can help you figure out if you have a case. 1. Duty — Every driver on the road has a duty to drive carefully. This element is always present. 2. Breach — A car crash typically happens because someone didn’t live up to their duty to drive carefully and broke the law in the process. Maybe they were speeding or following too closely. Maybe they failed to yield during a left turn or didn’t stay in their lane. These things are all violations of the Official Code of Georgia, and if a breach was present, you likely have a car crash case. 3. Causation —This just means some kind of collision happened. It could be between two vehicles, between a vehicle and a cyclist, or between a vehicle and a pedestrian. If there was a crash of some kind, this element is present. 4. Harm — “Harm” includes all kinds of
A few days ago, I was driving through a school zone just as the final bell rang. A swarm of backpack-wearing kids flooded out of the building, and watching them walk past with their armloads of books brought me straight back to my own school days. Specifically, a memory of my time at Mercer University School of Law popped into my head. I learned a lot during law school: Every class was filled with important and fascinating information about famous cases, case types, and legal ethics. Most of what I learned wouldn’t be relevant to a non-lawyer, but there’s one piece of information I think everyone should know: the four basic parts of a car crash case.
work, lost income, and even “non- economic damages” like interruptions to your daily life and routine. Basically, if the car crash disrupted your life or made it difficult for you to do daily living activities like getting a good night’s sleep, taking a shower, or making yourself dinner for any reason, this element is likely present. When my team and I take on a client’s car crash case, our goal is to prove all four of those elements. For example, I recently tried a case for the family of a young girl who was catastrophically injured in a car wreck. A truck driver sped over a hill, hit her family’s vehicle, and left her paralyzed. The “Duty” was present because they were on the road. The “Breach” was there because the truck driver was speeding. The “Causation” was the collision between the two vehicles, and the “Harm” was the young girl’s paralysis. I hope this quick Car Crash 101 lesson gave you insight into how our legal system works. Once you understand the black letter of the law, you’ll be in a better position to navigate the practicalities of your case — and figure out if you have one in the first place. Of course, if you, your friend, or your family member are unsure whether you have a case, you can always call or email me to find out for sure. I’m happy to offer professional help.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS IN A CAR CRASH, KNOWING THESE FOUR THINGS WILL HELP DETERMINE WHETHER YOU HAVE A CASE WORTH CALLING A LAWYER ABOUT. YOU CAN THINK OF THIS AS CAR CRASH 101.
I promise this isn’t as boring as you might think! In fact, if you or someone you love is in a car crash, knowing these four things will help you determine whether you have a case worth calling a lawyer about. You can think of this as Car Crash 101.
damage: hospital bills, chiropractor bills, physical therapy bills, lost capacity to
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
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Thinking Outside the Bun Leads to Legal Action
THE STORY OF 50 CENT VS. TACO BELL made a good faith, charitable offer to 50 Cent to change his name to either 79, 89 or 99 Cent for one day by rapping his order at a Taco Bell, and we would have been very pleased to make the $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice.” In the end, both sides settled, keeping the terms of the settlement confidential and paying their own legal fees. So, it’s possible that 50 Cent was paid after all, but we’ll never know the exact terms of their legal agreement, except “both sides are satisfied,” according to Raymond. Since then, more companies have been careful about using celebrity names in their marketing without permission. It pays to think inside the bun, after all.
In 2008, rapper 50 Cent filed an unlikely lawsuit against the fast-food chain Taco Bell. Was it an endorsement deal gone wrong? Quite the opposite. According to the rapper, the company had implied an endorsement deal in the media when there was none. Taco Bell, known for their quirky and humorous ads, had released a print ad formatted as a faux “letter” to 50 Cent, requesting that 50 Cent change his name to 79, 89, or 99 Cent as a part of their latest promotion. The letter reached the national press and even television … except for 50 Cent’s actual mailbox. In fact, 50 Cent had no idea Taco Bell used his name. By releasing the letter, 50 Cent became the face of Taco Bell’s whole campaign, too. The letter was part of a larger hip hop- themed campaign, and customers could
go to the Taco Bell website and participate in a “Rap Name Creator” to discover their rap name. They also had a “Why Pay Mo’ Rhyme Generator” that played hip hop music and a montage of “hip hop-themed scenes,” according to the rapper’s lawyer, Peter D. Raymond. As soon as 50 Cent found out about the letter on the news, he wasn’t happy. On July 23, 2008, 50 Cent — whose real name is Curtis Jackson — filed a federal lawsuit saying they featured the rapper in an ad campaign without his permission and profited directly from his celebrity status without paying him a multimillion-dollar fee. Raymond said his client sought $4 million in damages. In response, Taco Bell Corp. spokesman Rob Poetsch issued a statement saying: “We
Have Kids in High School? THEY MIGHT LOVE MOCK TRIAL
One of the highlights of my high school experience was participating in the Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition. If you have a child in high school who enjoys debate or wants to be a lawyer, I’d definitely recommend introducing them to their school’s Mock Trial Club this year! A “mock trial” is exactly what it sounds like — a low-stakes, pretend trial that teaches kids how to prepare and try a
direct examination or cross examination, and put together a closing argument.
great way for a child interested in law to immerse themselves in the life of a trial lawyer. Like I mentioned, Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition participants even get to spend time with real-life judges and attorneys during the competition process. Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful I had that experience! When I was in high school, Mock Trial Club was an extracurricular activity I participated in on Sundays. However, each public and private school handles the program a bit differently. I’d suggest contacting your child’s school about it or looking for the club on their website. It’s possible the club meets on a weeknight or during lunch or is even offered as an elective! Any of those options will look great on your child’s college application and teach them valuable skills. I hope you’ll consider signing them up.
During the competition itself, the kids “try” a case in a real court room in front of professional judges and attorneys. According to South Forsyth High School, they’re scored based on “their ability to make a logical, cohesive, and persuasive presentation rather than on the legal merits of the case.” If your child’s team wins their regional competition, they’ll advance to the state competition and
case. Each student gets a role: Some play attorneys, others play witnesses. Each meeting is a great opportunity for them to learn the legal basics, like how to craft an opening statement, conduct a
potentially the National High School Mock Trial Championship. Mock Trial Club certainly won’t be every teenager’s cup of tea, but it’s a
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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Calling All Future Lawyers! We’re Here to Answer Your Questions
The start of this school year was a big moment for our firm. Hormonie Tucker, the daughter of Kevin’s very first client, started school at Mercer University at the end of August. She plans to follow in Kevin’s footsteps and become a lawyer! Our whole team is incredibly proud of Hormonie. It’s amazing to see the ripple effect of Kevin’s legal help all of those years ago. To help Hormonie with her dream, we invited her to spend the day at our office. She shadowed a deposition and learned all about the civil justice system from the inside. Kevin truly enjoyed showing her the ropes. Hormonie is a special young woman, but that’s not why we offered her the opportunity to visit. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to go to law school. Kevin still remembers just how difficult and stressful it was to take the LSAT and apply to law school back in 2005. He was lucky enough to have the support of his parents, teachers, and extended family, but not every student is so fortunate. If you or someone you
know wants to go to law school but doesn’t have the confidence or support, we’re here to help. Please call our office if you have questions about applying to law
school, would like to shadow our team, or just need a bit of encouragement to go through with your dream. The world needs more great lawyers, and we want to help you succeed! We’re also here to help your friends, family, or coworkers. Consider us your support system. We’re just a phone call away.
Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes This sweet and savory appetizer is perfect for the transition between
Take A Break
summer and fall. Ingredients •
4 sweet potatoes
• 4 oz goat cheese, divided •
• • • •
2 cups seedless red grapes
2 tbsp honey, plus additional for drizzling
1 tsp grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp salt, plus a pinch 1/4 tsp pepper, plus a pinch
Pinch of cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. With a fork, poke holes in potatoes. Tightly wrap each in aluminum foil. 3. On a baking sheet, place potatoes and roast for 45–60 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove and unwrap foil. 4. With a knife, slit each potato down the middle. 5. Increase oven to 450 F. 6. On a nonstick baking sheet, drizzle the grapes with grapeseed oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20–25 minutes. 7. Using a spoon, remove sweet potato flesh while keeping shape intact. 8. In a large bowl, mash sweet potato flesh with 3 oz goat cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and honey. 9. Scoop filling back into potatoes. Top with remaining goat cheese, grapes, and drizzled honey.
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Inside This Issue 1 The 4 Parts of a Car Crash Case 2 Why Did 50 Cent Sue Taco Bell? A Program for Future Lawyers 3 Our Doors Are Open to Future Lawyers Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 4 Your Guide to Family and Medical Leave
Follow Us @KPatricklaw
Life Can Be Unpredictable Preserving the Balance of Work and Family Life
WHEN CAN I USE FMLA LEAVE? An eligible employee can be granted up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reason(s):
Workers shouldn’t have to choose between the job they need and the family members they love. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created to allow employees to take reasonable unpaid leave for a particular family or medical reason so they can maintain a work/life balance. WHAT DOES IT PROVIDE? The FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year with the requirement of group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees were continuing to work. They are also entitled to resume their same or equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR FMLA? FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. Employees can be eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location that employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.
Birth of and/or bonding with a newborn child
• The placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee • To care for an immediate family member with a serious condition (child, spouse, or parent, but does not include parent in-laws) • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition • For qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active-duty status as a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces The FMLA exists so employees can tend to their families without worrying about their job, allowing them to provide the best care for their loved ones. For more information regarding whether or not your company is eligible for FMLA, check out your local government agency for more details.
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