The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. August 2018

18 aug

Road to justice |

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Serious Claims Require Serious Attorneys

All personal injury claims are serious, but none more so than wrongful death cases. As the name implies, these claims are brought about by surviving family members in the event of their relative’s premature death. Wrongful death cases can be tremendously complex, which is why it’s so important that you work with an experienced attorney

familiar with these types of cases.

“Nobody deserves to lose a loved one in a manner that could have been prevented, but these tragedies do occur. When they do, you have every right to hold the responsible parties accountable.”

Nobody deserves to lose a loved one in an untimely manner, especially when that death could have been avoided. To pursue a wrongful death claim, you’ll need to prove that the decedent’s passing was caused by negligence or purposeful action on behalf of another party. Wrongful death claims may arise as a result of automobile accidents, defective products, dangerous premises, falls, drowning, criminal acts, and more. Obviously, the decedent cannot bring about these claims for themselves, so the case needs to be initiated by a surviving spouse, child, or other next of kin.

attorney will not only help you receive a fair settlement, but they’ll make sure it’s structured in your best interest.

As sad as it is, wrongful death claims aren’t always straightforward affairs. You can bet that the insurance companies will begin building a case against your claim as soon as possible. To give yourself the best chance, you need to do the same. Do not put off hiring an attorney immediately after a wrongful death, as there is a strict statute of limitations on these claims. These tragedies do occur. When they do, you have every right to hold the responsible parties accountable. The outcome of a wrongful death claim will likely have a major impact on the standard of living for the surviving children and family. You can’t leave that outcome up to chance. Our team

Unlike most personal injury cases, wrongful death settlements are structured into two portions. The first, called a survival action, is a claim on behalf of the decedent. Basically, a survival action represents the claim the decedent would have filed on their own behalf had their injuries not been fatal. The other half of the equation is the claim brought on behalf of the surviving family. This portion of the case involves final medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and emotional distress brought on due to the loss of the loved one. Understanding the distinction between these two factors is crucial to receiving the full compensation you deserve. Compensation awarded as part of the survival action will be released to the estate of the decedent. Any money from this portion of the case is subject to estate laws, including probate. Most claimants hope to structure their settlement with a higher percentage of compensation allocated to the loved ones and next of kin, avoiding a protracted process. An experienced

won’t rest until you get the best possible result. What you’re going through is difficult enough as it is. Let us handle the legal issues so that you can worry about paying tribute to the memory of your loved one.

–Jim Snell | | F: 803-359-7691 | P: 803-753-1476 1

Transportation Safety Tips

Protect Your Children During Their Commute

Knowing basic bus safety will help kids be mindful when taking the bus. Before the school year starts, take your children to the bus stop and show them where they should stand when the bus approaches — a minimum of three large steps or 6 feet from the street. Tell your kids about the importance of sitting still and not standing in the bus while it’s in motion. KIDS ON THE ROAD Whether your child is biking, walking, or even skateboarding, it’s vital that they know and follow the rules of the road. All children should practice road safety behavior, such as riding on the right side of the road, wearing helmets, stopping at stop signs, and watching out for cars. Internalizing these habits will help them stay aware of their surroundings when traveling to and from school. SHARING THE ROAD When school starts, the roads become even more cluttered than usual. On top of people heading to work, there are large buses making frequent stops, parents rushing to drop their kids off, and young kids biking or walking to school. With the added tension on the road, it’s important to be alert and move cautiously. Slowing down in school zones or around young pedestrians will keep you vigilant and could potentially save lives.

With the school year fast approaching, families are in preparation mode. Parents are busy buying new clothes and school supplies and thinking about the best way to get their kids safely to school. Keeping your child safe on their commute starts with knowing the transportation method that works best for you and the rules that accompany that method. TAKING THE SCHOOL BUS According to the United States Department of Transportation, the school bus is the safest means of transportation to and from school. Buses are built to withstand a hit and distribute the damage throughout the vehicle, keeping its passengers safe and sound.

Teach your kids to be prepared and safe on the road to ensure that they have a healthy and safe school year.

When we opened our new office, we spent a lot of time deciding how we would decorate it. Given that Jim and Lee are both art lovers, there was no question that we wanted to hang up some paintings, prints, and sculptures. Lee has always had an affinity for dragons, and after doing some research, she came across the incredible paper sculpture of Jeff Nishinaka. We reached out to Jeff to commission a piece. When we contacted Jeff, we knew that we’d end up with a jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind sculpture. What we didn’t know was that in addition to being an incredible artist, Jeff is one heck of a nice guy. “It’s always awesome to know that your work is going to a good home,” Jeff says. “You can’t always be sure, but in the case of the Snells, I had the pleasure of meeting them in person. When they were in Las Vegas for Lee’s birthday, they were kind enough to make the trek down to LA and have dinner with me. It was a blast, and I was very flattered that they wanted to spend time with me.”

Jeff’s desire to work with paper came about as the result of a class he took on a whim. “I was studying painting and illustration when I took a class on different media,” he recalls. “We had an assignment to make a relief work using anything we wanted. After seeing a few examples, I decided to give paper a shot. I instantly had an affinity for the medium, but I knew I had a lot to learn. I gave myself 3–5 years to make a go of it, and here I am 36 years later. And the nice thing is that I’m still learning to this day.” Humility aside, Jeff is truly a master of turning a humble medium like paper into a breathtaking creation. We encourage you to check out to see his sculptures. Just maybe don’t do it at work since it’s very easy to spend hours marveling at his art.

Jeff Nishinaka AnArtistWhoBrings PapertoLife

Thank you so much, Jeff. We’re honored to have one of your pieces in our office.

2 The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC | P: 803-753-1476

The Oldest Games You Can Play Today Game Night Goes (Really) Retro

People love to play games.When you play Angry Birds while waiting in line at the grocery store, you are actually participating in a long history of gaming that dates back to the earliest civilizations.Through the discovery of ancient game boards, archaeologists learned that the ancient Egyptians played a game called Senet in 3500 B.C.The rules were lost to time, but fortunately, there are plenty of other ancient games we still have the rules for! SNAKES AND LADDERS Sometime during the 2nd century A.D., people in India started playing a board game associated with aspects of traditional Hindu philosophy—namely, the contrast between karma (destiny) and kama (desire).A dice was rolled to navigate a game board where good virtues, represented by ladders, allowed players to move up on the board, and evil vices, represented by snakes, would drag pieces back down.The phrase “Back to square one” is believed to have originated from this game. Snakes and Ladders made its way to England before

being brought over to the United States, where it was introduced as “Chutes and Ladders” by none other than Milton Bradley in 1943.

BACKGAMMON A blend of luck and strategy, backgammon originated in the Middle East around 5,000 years ago. Possibly an evolution of the ancient Mesopotamian game, the Royal Game of Ur, backgammon has players take turns rolling the dice to move their pieces off the board while trying to outsmart their opponent. Backgammon grew in popularity, spreading from the Middle East to the rest of the ancient world, and is still played by many today. GO Originating in China around the 5th century B.C., Go — or “weiqi,” as it’s called in China — focuses on the virtues of balance, discipline, and focus. Two players go head-to-head, placing their pieces on the board to claim as much territory as possible while simultaneously capturing their opponent’s pieces. Go is likely the oldest board game still being played today, with an estimated 40 million players worldwide. Though the rules are simple, the strategies take a lifetime to master. These are a just a few games that people have been playing around the world for centuries. If you’re ready to add something new to family game night, try something old instead!



drawing conclusions

Grilled Halibut

If you’re tired of grilling hamburgers at this point in the summer, try using your grill for something a little different. This easy halibut recipe is a great change of pace.

Which famous courtroom artist was present for the trials of O.J. Simpson, Charles Manson, Imelda Marcos, and Michael Jackson?


1/2 cup hearts of palm, drained Basil leaves, for garnish

4 boneless, skinless halibut fillets, about 5 ounces each 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Send your answers to Shannon (

1. The first correct answer wins a $25 gift card to Starbucks.

2. All other submissions are entered in a drawing to win a second $25 gift card to Starbucks. 3. The funniest wrong answer will be chosen by Shannon and will also win a $25 gift card to Starbucks.

1 lemon

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

2 pounds mixed tomatoes, sliced


4. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, hearts of palm, juice from lemon, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish salad with basil. Spoon salad over grilled halibut. Serve.

1. Lightly oil grill grates and heat grill to medium. 2. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest onto halibut fillets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 3. Grill halibut, turning just once, for about 5 minutes on each side.

All entries must be sent to Shannon by 8/24/18, and the winners will be announced in our next edition.

Congratulations to last month’s winner, Laura Newton

Inspired by Bon Appetit magazine. | | F: 803-359-7691 | P: 803-753-1476 3


The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC 123 Harmon Street Lexington, SC 29072

Don’t hesitate to give our office a call! 803-753-1476

Inside this Issue

The Basics of Wrongful Death Claims PAGE 1

Keep Your Kids Safe on the Way to School Meet Jeff Nishinaka PAGE 2 Have You Played the Oldest Games in the World? Summer Grilled Halibut PAGE 3

Snell Law Office Happenings PAGE 4

Every year, South Carolina attorneys are required by law to complete a minimum of 14 hours of continuing legal education (CLE). There is no shortage of local classes and seminars you can take to fill up these credits. The problem is that the “education” you’ll receive in some of these classes involves little more than learning how to complete your credits painlessly. At the Law Offices of James R. Snell Jr., we believe these credits should be used in a way that will benefit our clients. That’s why attorneys Jim Snell and Vicki Koutsogiannis traveled to Harvard for the summer session of the National College of DUI Defense. The event featured the nation’s leading experts in DUI defense, including Roger Dodd, author of “The DUI Trial From Beginning to Winning.” DUI cases are constantly evolving, so it’s important for attorneys to stay informed of the latest tools and tactics the police are using. You don’t want an attorney defending your case in 2018 with methods from 1999.

When done correctly, the skills we learn in the classroom benefit our clients in the courtroom. That was certainly the case when Vicki Koutsogiannis defended a client facing DUI charges earlier this year. The prosecution thought they had an open-and-shut case in front of them. Vicki was able to poke holes in their case and redeem our client with a “not guilty” verdict from a jury that left the prosecution aghast. While we can’t guarantee results like this on every case, it’s proof that we’ll do whatever it takes to provide you with the best defense possible. CLE may be a requirement for all attorneys in this state, but we prefer to view it as an opportunity. There’s no limit to what you can learn to make yourself a better attorney, so going through the motions with your CLE is a waste of 14 hours that could be spent improving your skills. Our clients deserve great representation, which is why we take CLE so seriously.

DUI Cases in Theory and Practice From the Classroom to the Courtroom

4 The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC | P: 803-753-1476

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