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Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
Women's History Month 5 FAMOUS WOMEN FROM AMERICAN LEGAL HISTORY
March is Women’s History Month, which means I have an excuse to do one of my favorite things: Read up on legal history. Yes, I’ll admit it again: I’m a huge history nerd! It was one of my majors in college, and I still enjoy reading biographies and historical nonfiction books to this day. For Women’s History Month, I went down the rabbit hole and discovered five inspiring women who made a mark on the legal field decades ago. I think everyone should know about their contributions. So, I’m sharing them here! I hope you enjoy this episode of “Legal History With Kevin” (we may have to make it a new series). Margaret Brent: America’s First Woman Lawyer Margaret Brent began making history the minute she arrived in Maryland from England in 1638. She claimed her own land, refused to marry, and asked in court for the right to vote! She was also the first woman in recorded American history to practice as a lawyer. According to the Maryland State Archives, “She appeared in court to sue for debts and to protect her interests and often acted for her brothers as well.” PracticePanther claims her practice included over 100 cases, and she was the only woman lawyer on record until the mid-1800s. Lemma Barkeloo: One of the First Women to Apply to Law School In 1868, Lemma Barkeloo made history when she applied to Columbia University Law School. She was the first woman to
do so, and two others quickly followed in her footsteps. They were all denied entry, but Barkeloo didn’t give up — even though Harvard turned her down, too. In 1869, she and another woman, Phoebe Couzins, enrolled at Washington University as first-year law students. Myra Bradwell: An Early Fighter Against Discrimination In the 1872 case Bradwell v. State of Illinois , Myra Bradwell went to bat for women lawyers everywhere. At the time, Illinois (where Bradwell lived) refused to let her become a licensed lawyer. She claimed that went against the 14th Amendment. Her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which sided with Illinois’ discriminatory policy. Even though she lost, Bradwell paved the way for future wins against sexism. Lyda Burton Conley: A Pioneer for Native Americans in Law In 1910, Lyda Burton Conley stood before the U.S. Supreme Court on a critical mission: saving her tribe’s ancestral burial ground, where her mother was laid to rest. The cemetery was at risk because in 1906, “Congress approved legislation to sell the land and move the bodies buried there,” according to WomensHistory.org. Conley became perhaps the first Native American woman lawyer in the hopes of protecting it. Though she lost her case in the Supreme Court, she won the heart of Kansas state Senator Charles Curtis, who introduced legislation to protect the Wyandotte tribe’s cemetery.
Genevieve Rose Cline: The First Woman to Become a Federal Judge Until 1928, every federal judge in the United States was a man. That all changed when President Calvin Coolidge nominated Genevieve Rose Cline for the United States Customs Court. Cline was an impressive woman who fought for consumer protection, women’s rights, and the suffrage movement, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. She served as a judge for 25 years. I learned a lot while researching these women, and I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I did. Thankfully, women’s representation in law has come a long way since the early 1900s. When I went to law school, women comprised roughly 50% of my class, and I’m privileged to have Sharon and Natalie, who are strong, hardworking women in my law office today. I couldn’t do this work without them.
Happy Women’s History Month!
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
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You Have the Right to … What Now?
UNDERSTANDING AND USING YOUR MIRANDA RIGHTS
If you watch a lot of procedural dramas on television, you can probably recite your Miranda rights by heart: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. But why are these words so ubiquitous? What do they mean in the real world? And do you really need to worry about your rights if you haven’t committed a crime? Miranda rights originated in 1966 through the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. Police arrested Ernesto Miranda on kidnapping charges, and after two hours of questioning, he eventually confessed to the crime. His attorneys argued that Miranda did not understand his rights at the time of the confession, so the courts should
disregard it as evidence of his guilt. The Supreme Court agreed, saying that one cannot sign away their rights without first understanding them. The right to remain silent originates from the Fifth Amendment right to not self-incriminate. In this context, “staying silent” means not answering questions from the police. Though experts recommend silence from the beginning, a person can invoke their rights partway through an interrogation. The right to an attorney means you do not have to go through questioning, hearings, or a trial without representation — and if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will provide you with a public defender. Ironically, to invoke your right to remain silent, you have to talk — simply not speaking isn’t considered sufficient. A person needs to say as clearly as possible that they are invoking their rights and want an attorney.
Many people waive their rights because they know they’re not guilty — or they think that speaking with the police will make them look innocent. Criminal defense attorneys strongly advise against this. Body language, off-handed statements, or inconsistent recounting of events can be used as evidence of guilt. And sadly, many innocent people have been sentenced to time in prison. If you’re ever arrested or questioned in connection with a crime, the best way to protect your rights is to invoke them right away. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney or ask the court to appoint one for you. The lawyer will review your case, help you understand the charges, and provide expert guidance on your next steps. Don't feel bad about doing so — these rights are enshrined in the Constitution. They're just that important.
This Is Your Sign: Read a Fantasy Book With Your Kids!
The ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians’ series by Rick Riordan — This series about a funny young boy thrown into the world of Greek gods and epic adventures is recommended for kids ages 9 and up.
Sometimes when I’m working on a case with a client and they’re having a tough time, I like to make a joke to lighten the mood. A little humor can go a long way! One thing that always works for me to make adults and kids chuckle is a Harry Potter joke. With my height, pale skin, and red hair, I look a lot like the character Ron Weasley from the “Harry Potter” books. So, I like to lean in and say, “Congratulations, kids, you’re in magical hands today — you have a lawyer that looks like Ron Weasley!” Harry Potter is cross-generational and usually gets a laugh from everyone. Of course, sometimes this works against me. Growing up, I could never escape the Ron Weasley comparisons! Fantasy books can be a great way to bring families of all ages together. “Harry Potter” is the perfect series to read with your kids, and I plan to introduce mine to “The Lord of the Rings” when they’re older, too. Those two are classics, so you might have already read them. If so, here are a few more series to read together at bedtime or enjoy alongside your teenagers. For older kids, consider making a family book club and discussing each book after reading for a true bonding experience.
‘The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel’ series by Michael Scott — This series stars teenaged twins, a 700-year-old magician, and a quest to save the world. It’s recommended for kids 12 and up.
The ‘Ranger's Apprentice’ series by John Flanagan — In these books, a 15-year-old named Will is chosen to join a mysterious group known as the Rangers. But can he really help them protect their kingdom? Kids 10 and up will enjoy this ride. Your kids might also love the “Falling Kingdoms” series by Morgan Rhodes and “Flame in the Mist” by Renée Ahdieh , which both include plenty of magic and teen protagonists. Happy reading!
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404.566.8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404.409.3160.)
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Thank You for Posting With Caution! A Legal Reminder About Social Media
Here at Kevin Patrick Law, we often say that we have the best clients in Atlanta — and we mean it! Other lawyers have told our team horror stories of clients who didn’t listen to their legal advice and put their cases at risk, for example, by posting unwisely on social media. That’s something we rarely have to worry about. So, thank you for posting with caution! As you may remember if you’ve worked on a personal injury case with us, we recommend against posting about your case or even your personal life on social media while the case is active. This is for your own protection. Under the Georgia Civil Practice Act, social media is almost always admissible in court during the discovery process. That means anything you post online can be uncovered by the other side’s lawyers and used against you in court.
Even innocent posts letting friends and family know you’re okay after a car crash or showing off your dance moves can get you in trouble if you were injured in a wreck. The other side can use those things as evidence to prove you weren’t hurt very badly or at all, even if your “okay” was only an exaggeration to keep your mom from worrying. Social media comes up all the time during legal cases. We even use it to check what the defendants in our cases were doing before and after car crashes. Every so often, we learn something that can be helpful. For example, if the person who hit you posted a photo taking shots at a bar before the accident, that can help prove they were driving under the influence. For these legal reasons and others, it’s a good idea to be very, very mindful of what you post on social media. You should also set your accounts to private if you haven’t already. That won’t keep lawyers from accessing them, but it will limit what they can access without jumping through legal hoops. To make things easy on yourself, next time you’re in a legal battle, avoid posting altogether while your case is active. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Easy March Madness Chili
Take A Break
Cheer on your favorite team and chow down in minutes with this easy chili recipe!
Ingredients • 2 lbs ground beef • 2 tbsp chili powder • 1 tbsp Creole seasoning • 1 tsp ground cumin
• 2 16-oz cans diced tomatoes • 2 16-oz cans small red beans • 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
Directions 1. In a deep pot, brown the beef, stirring often. 2. Once beef is cooked, add chili powder, Creole seasoning, and cumin, cooking for 1 minute. 3. Stir in diced tomatoes, beans, and tomato sauce and bring the mixture to a boil.
4. After the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and let chili simmer for 15 minutes. 5. Serve with toppings of choice, like cheese, sour cream, or chives.
Caesar Equinox Flowers Forward
Gold Green Irish Lucky
Mars Rain Sprout Women
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Inside This Issue 1 Meet 5 Incredible Women Lawyers 2 What Do Your Miranda Rights Mean? Kevin’s Fantasy Book Recommendations 3 Social Media and Your Legal Case Easy March Madness Chili 4 Enjoy Spring Weather — Even From Work
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Enjoy Warm Weather While Stuck Indoors
Take a break. You’ve still got to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a few minutes outdoors. Use your break for an outdoor stroll; if possible, you can also walk or bike to work. At the very least, park farther away to give yourself time to enjoy the weather. Volunteer to do a coffee run, pick up lunch, or take out the mail — you’ll be an office hero while catching some rays at the same time.
The weather is warming up, the sun is out — and you’re trapped inside. Most of us have jobs that leave us stuck indoors during spring's prime midday hours, and it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on the season’s best parts.
Unfortunately, your boss probably won’t give you the day off just because of the gorgeous weather. So, we’ve compiled the next best thing — some tips to enjoy the season as much as you can while also getting your job done. Bring the outdoors in. When the weather is nice, open as many curtains and blinds as possible. The natural light will warm up the room and brighten your mood. While you’re at it, try opening the windows and positioning yourself near one. If you can’t be outside, the spring breeze on your face is the next best thing. Plants decrease stress, and having them on your desk might also trick your brain into feeling less cooped up.
Try working outside. If your boss will allow it, there’s probably some opportunity to do a bit of work outdoors. Meetings and conference calls might offer your best option. For in-person meetings, your coworkers will also likely relish a chance to take it outdoors. In the event of a conference call, you won’t need to convince anyone else — grab your laptop and go! It’s not the same as enjoying the weather while you’re off the clock, but it’s a lot better than being cooped up inside.
With any luck, these tips will help you make it to Friday with your sanity intact. And luckily, the weekend is always just around the corner.
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