Simon Law July 2019


July 2019

Can the Courts Keep Crazy at Bay?

Separating Truth From Lies

The father of one of the first graders who was killed during the Sandy Hook Massacre scored a small victory for truth in a Wisconsin court case. The judge ruled that the father should win the defamation case as a matter of law against the author of a book called “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.” The book was filled with false allegations, including the overlying lie that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a FEMA drill to promote gun control, and that the father fabricated his own son’s death certificate. Keep in mind that this is a mass shooting wherein 20 first graders were murdered. There are thousands of people out there who believe it was made up. How does the Constitution fit into this? Are people not allowed to think whatever they want, no matter how crazy or false? Yes, of course. You have freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but there is a limit when it comes to lies and defamation. Because the book accused the father of fabricating his son’s birth certificate, which is a crime, there was no need to prove damages. If a person is defamed and the lie accuses them of committing a crime, then they need not prove that the lie caused damages to succeed in their lawsuit. Here, the judge slammed the author for forcing this parent to go to court in order to end the narrative that the death was faked. The father is involved in at least nine other defamation lawsuits, along with other parents of victims, in an effort to silence the lies being spread about the death of their children. It is one thing to want to protect the Second Amendment right to bear arms. It is completely another to say that the whole shooting was a hoax and to call these grieving parents liars. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Alex Jones was sanctioned this week by the judge for going after the plaintiff’s lawyers on his show. In his show, he held up the picture of the attorney involved in the defamation suit against him and said, “You’re trying to set me up with child porn — I’m going to get your a--. One million dollars. One

million dollars, you little gang member. One million dollars to put your head on a pike. One million dollars, b----. I am going to get your a--.” Jones continues, “You’re not going to ever defeat Texas, you sacks of s---.” The court sanctioned the raucous Jones, who has been banned from Facebook and other major social media platforms. So, here is the question: These poor parents are using the courts to silence the lies. Will it work? How far should we be able to take free speech? What if well-funded plaintiffs take to the courts to silence voices that are speaking the truth? Write to us and let us know your thoughts.

–Christopher Simon | 1

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Get More Out of Your Grill This Summer 3 FOODS MADE FOR GRILLING

During the summer, the backyard grill becomes the place to be. It’s the best site for sharing grilled meat and memories. But as you grill this summer, why not take a step out of your “meat comfort zone?” Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, just about any backyard grill can be transformed into an all-purpose, high- temperature oven. Get ready to kick some of your favorite foods up a notch! Here are three foods that are great for grilling. Pizza Making your own pizza at home is incredibly easy. You can make your own dough or buy it at the grocery store. Roll it out, add all your favorite toppings, then toss it on the grill. Just make sure your pizza will fit on the grill first! You may need to make smaller personal pizzas if you have a smaller grill.

few minutes to completely cook the pizza, so don’t leave the grill. This is the best time to use a pizza stone (if you have one) to ensure a golden-brown crust, but you can place the pizza directly on the grill. Bread There’s nothing like making your own artisan bread at home, and you can do it right in the grill. You can create your own flatbread, rolls, or full loaves with just about any bread recipe. It all comes down to time and temperature control. 500 F tends to be a safe bet. If it’s too hot, you’ll overbake the outside while the inside remains raw. Salsa You can kick up the flavor of any homemade salsa by first grilling each ingredient you want in your salsa, such as tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, or garlic. This includes salsa with fruit, such as mangoes or peaches. Allow each ingredient to get a light char, but be sure One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves. Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look. Bring Along Some Tools of Discovery Encourage Their Curiosity

to remove the charred skin of the tomatoes after grilling. Leaving it on can result in a burnt flavor rather than a smoky one.

Pro Tip: The hotter you can get your grill, the better. At 500–600 F, it may only take a


Keep Safety in Mind

Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike.

While you’re out on the trail, it’s essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of our wonderful Atlanta hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. Check out the Sweetwater Creek Loop Trail, the Arabia and Panola Mountain Trail, or the Indian Seat Loop Trail, and watch you child’s excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries right in our own backyard.

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WHAT DOES A VICTIM HAVE TO PROVE IN A FALL CASE? Law in Real Life Georgia Law dictates that victims are entitled to proper compensation after a business or landowner’s negligence leaves them injured. A plaintiff must show that the landowner had knowledge of the hazard in one of two ways: showing that the landowner or an employee was in the area but failed to clean up the hazard or showing that the hazard was present for a length of time in which the landowner should have been aware of it. A plaintiff claimed he was injured when he slipped and fell in a puddle at a grocery store. Video evidence shows a store employee walked past the spill and didn’t clean it up moments before the plaintiff fell, but the grocery store argued its employees were in the middle of cleaning the floor. The store produced an electronic log, which detailed how their cleaning procedure correlated with the fall. However, another piece of video evidence showed the employee who claimed to be cleaning the floor was actually helping customers and manning the register at the time. Store management had no explanation for this and later claimed the floor cleaning may not have even happened. The court sided with the plaintiff in this case, and a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia decision confirmed this outcome. The appeals court explained that it is on the plaintiff to prove the defendant knew about the hazard, which gives the defendant the right to refute this claim. This does not mean that the plaintiff is responsible for showing how long a hazard was present if the defendant cannot present a guaranteed inspection and cleaning procedure. Ultimately, the courts ruled that the grocery store, in this case, could not use their cleaning procedure protocol as justification that the liquid was being attended to by an employee, because it wasn’t concrete. You deserve to land back on your feet after a fall leaves you injured, and at The Simon Law Firm, we have advocated for victims’ rights for decades. Learn more about how our experts can help you by calling 404-259-7635 for a free consultation. The Court Says … But, as the following recent Georgia case illustrates, sometimes this burden of proof isn’t always so clear-cut. The Facts







Tomato Basil Salad

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

DIRECTIONS 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. | 3

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How Far Can You Take Freedom of Speech? 1 Get Even More Out of Your Grill This Grilling Season!

Hiking With Your Kids 2 Paleo Tomato Basil Salad

Georgia’s Stance on Fall Cases 3 Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool 4


As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 degrees F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve.

easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 degrees F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.

Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 degrees F — the average high for the country — packing is

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