Shuttlesworth Law Firm, LLC - September 2019


201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411

Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death

Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect

09 .2019


Because Alabama football season is finally here, the entire state will be painted crimson, blue, and orange very soon. The rivalry is fierce, and, while I am a proud alumnus of the University of Alabama and a fan of the Crimson Tide, we at Shuttlesworth Law represent both Tigers and Crimson Tide fans. And, in any case, as culturally ubiquitous as SEC football is in the fall, it’s not the only reason to be excited about the change in seasons. The oppressive summer heat begins to relent, and, at the first whiff of crisp fall air, you can bet I’ll be out in the Alabama wilderness hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking. As many other outdoor enthusiasts in Alabama know well, our state has more than its fair share of beautiful wilderness areas and parks. Not too far out of town is Oak Mountain State Park, which has some of the best mountain biking in the country. If ever I want to get a little more remote, Little River Canyon, the Sipsey Wilderness, and Cheaha Mountain are all worthwhile destinations. Sometimes we’ll even escape to North Carolina and visit the Smoky Mountains. But wherever I go and whoever I’m with, the best time for getting out in nature is in the fall. “THE LONG, HUMID SUMMERS ARE NEARLY UNBEARABLE. BUT WHEN THAT FIRST CRISP, DRY WIND BLOWS THROUGH, I IMMEDIATELY REMEMBER WHAT MAKES LIVING HERE WORTHWHILE.” I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast most of my life. So when I try to think of all the stories and experiences I’ve had outside, too many come to mind. I’ve jumped the gun and gone out to the Sipsey Wilderness when it was still too early in the camping season. I had to battle through armies of spider webs and mosquitoes and guard my steps against copperheads and cottonmouths. I once fell off the path and nearly skewered myself

on a sharp branch. I’ve been lost countless times. Yet, through all of that, I’ve lived to tell the tale, and I return to the wilderness undaunted the following fall.

Over the past few decades, I’ve had a group of backpacking buddies with a similar desire to get out in the woods in the fall. And, while we’ve all moved on into busy lives, I’m glad my wife and dogs enjoy hiking and camping just as much as I do. Try as we might, it’s pretty much impossible to get out of the Birmingham area every weekend. Sometimes, though, my wife and I will get up early and fit in a day hike in a park somewhere nearby. When we can’t get out at all, we’ve got no problem bringing the outdoors to us. At our house, building fires in our wood-burning fireplace is a seasonal ritual. I just love the smell of a campfire. And, while I will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of this, my wife and daughters have accused me in the past of cranking the A/C in the early fall to make it cold enough in the house to justify building a fire. I love building fires so much that, to the embarrassment of my daughters, I will scout out old pine stumps on hikes to pick up and drag back to our wood pile. They may roll their eyes, but those stumps will burn forever. I don’t really know how my family came to live in Alabama because we are clearly not hot-weather people. The long, humid summers are nearly unbearable. But when that first crisp, dry wind blows through, I immediately remember what makes living here worthwhile.

–Perry Shuttlesworth

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When many people first think of hiring a lawyer, they don’t often consider the peace of mind they’ll have going into their case; they think about the bill that will follow. True, hiring a lawyer costs money. But compared to the cost of not hiring one and representing yourself in a court of law, it’s pennies on the dollar. Here are a few key reasons why you should hire an attorney when you file a lawsuit. THEY KNOW THE LAW Attorneys have years of education and experience under their belts, especially when it comes to their specific practice area. While you might be able to study up a little bit on the area of law your lawsuit concerns, anything you learn will pale in comparison to what an experienced lawyer already knows. Relying on their expertise will save you time and ensure you are prepared to go up against the defendants — who will more than likely have attorneys of their own. THEY KNOW THE PROCEDURES Winning a suit means orchestrating a lot of moving pieces and processes. Keeping track of all the different documents to sign and file, and all the deadlines by which to file them, can be a headache. Misfiling even just one document can mean the end of your case. If you want to successfully represent yourself in a courtroom, you’ll need to know how to challenge evidence, foster connections with experts and witnesses, and negotiate settlements and plea bargains. An attorney will help you navigate each of these procedures, so you don’t have to do it alone. WHY HIRING AN ATTORNEY IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT ANSWER

Is your calendar full of birthday parties this month? You’re not alone. In the United States, more people are born in September than in any other month, meaning Americans will sing many choruses of “Happy Birthday” this month. This popular tune has a surprisingly controversial history. First composed by sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893, the familiar melody originally belonged to a song called “Good Morning to All,” a song the sisters sang to their students every morning. Over time, the word “birthday” entered variations of the song and became a popular party tune. By the 1930s, “Happy Birthday” appeared all over in films and on the radio, prompting Mildred and Patty’s sister, Jessica, to secure the copyright to “Happy Birthday” due to its similarity to “Good Morning to You.” In 1988, Warner Music acquired the copyright, and the song’s ingrained popularity ensured a profit. They reportedly made $2 million a year on royalty charges. The Walt Disney Company paid $5,000 to use the song in a parade, and many documentaries were also impacted by the copyright. The civil rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize” never made it to DVD because the royalties charge on a scene of Martin Luther King celebrating his birthday was so high. Due to its age and popularity, many people have insisted “Happy Birthday” is, or at least should be, in the public domain. When Warner Music tried to charge filmmaker Jennifer Nelson royalties to make a film about the song, she filed a lawsuit. Her attorneys uncovered a 1922 songbook featuring “Happy Birthday” without any copyright notice. They even suggested Warner Music knowingly hid the songbook because it proved “Happy Birthday” had been in the public domain for decades. In 2015, a U.S. judge ruled that “Happy Birthday” is not under copyright. So, the next time you record guests singing “Happy Birthday” at a birthday party, you don’t have to worry about paying royalties if you upload it online.


You might think you know the proper way to organize your case, but, because of your personal involvement, your feelings may cloud your judgment. An attorney can take a look at

your case and use their unbiased knowledge of laws, procedures, and the specifics of your case to point you in the right direction. If you want a better chance at winning your lawsuit, call Shuttlesworth Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.



KEEP WALKWAYS CLEAR Another practice to nail down is eliminating tripping hazards. Whether it be inventory, work equipment, or loose cords and cables, everything should have a place it can be properly stowed when it’s not in use. No employee should have to take the risk of walking down a cluttered aisle — much less while potentially carrying heavy items. MAINTAIN PROPER LIGHTING Decreasing the likelihood of a slip, trip, or fall is about more than just moving obstacles and cleaning up messes. For instance, no amount of tidiness will prevent potential injuries where workers can’t see well. Proper lighting is essential to eliminating workplace injuries. Adding another lamp or spotlight or even just replacing a burnt-out bulb can go a long way in eliminating high-risk areas for employees.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 25% of all reported injury claims are slips, trips, or falls. All it takes is one oversight, mistake, or misstep, and you could be out of work, fighting to get the compensation you deserve. Shuttlesworth Law Firm can help you navigate that fight when the time comes, but, if you work in an environment where a lot of slips, trips, and falls have occurred, there may be a few ways you can protect yourself and your coworkers. CLEAN SPILLS RIGHT AWAY This is just good housekeeping. Getting into the habit of cleaning up messes right after they happen drastically reduces the chance of someone accidentally walking through it later. If this practice is not already in place, promptly cleaning up safety hazards might be easier said than done. Managers might need to implement a program and assign responsibilities to make sure new safety procedures stick.

Even if the battle for fair compensation is a winnable one, most people would rather not have it in the first place. Don’t let slip, trip, and fall hazards plague your workplace.



only partially correct. In reality, “riding shotgun” wasn’t a popular phrase until it was used by TV cowboys in the 1950s . Considering how television disseminated information quicker than ever before, the origins of the phrase make sense for how ubiquitous “riding shotgun” is today. It might not be as cool as if it were actually from the Old West, but the phrase is still a testament to how much America loves the genre.

If you’ve ever ridden in the front passenger seat of a friend’s car, you might have exclaimed, “Shotgun!” in order to claim the seat with the most legroom and radio privileges. But have you ever wondered why we call the sitting in the front passenger seat “riding shotgun”? Some might claim the phrase has descended from the days of the Old West, where stagecoach drivers had someone who sat next to them with a shotgun to protect their cargo from robbers. This is

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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411



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What I Look Forward to Every Fall

Who Can Sing ‘Happy Birthday’?

Why Hiring an Attorney Is Always the Right Answer

Eliminating Workplace Hazards

Strange Factoid

Origins of Oktoberfest and Popular Events


With Oktoberfest right around the corner, you may start hearing some of these fun sayings: “I don’t give a Schnitzel,” “Keep calm, and Prost on,” or “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy beer.” But what exactly is Oktoberfest, and why do so many people celebrate it? Here are some fun facts about it.

added. Perhaps one of the most famous events during Oktoberfest is the costume parade, where men and women alike dress in old-fashioned garb and march through the streets in honor of Ludwig and Therese’s marriage. The rest you could say is history, or geschichte ! OKTOBERFEST IN … CANADA? While Oktoberfest in Munich traditionally starts on Sept. 22, the Canadians celebrate during the week of Oct. 6–14. The twin cities Kitchener-Waterloo host the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich, boasting more than 700,000 people in attendance each year. The event has a musical concert dubbed “Rocktober” and a dog parade known as “Dogtober.” Even though the Ontario area is becoming more and more popular, you can still enjoy Oktoberfest on a budget. You can find hotels in the area and surrounding cities for well under $100 per night. Not everyone can make their way to Munich or even Canada to celebrate the fantastical event, but most areas will have something going on. If you love German culture, do a little bit of digging, and you’re sure to find an Oktoberfest event near you!

ROYAL BEGINNINGS Oktoberfest is deeply rooted in Munich culture. It all started with the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810, and the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the celebration just outside the gates of the city. The celebration’s main attraction was horse racing, which was also a staple event for the next year but has since been removed from the current celebrations.

In 1811, a large agricultural fair was mixed into the event, and in 1817, beer pubs and performers were


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