Obiorah Fields, LLC - January 2020

OBIORAHFIELDS.COM | 404-994-6218 | JANUARY 2020

GOOGLE DIDN’T PASS THE BAR EXAM WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BELIEVE ALL THE LEGAL ADVICE YOU READ ON THE INTERNET

D on’t believe everything you read on the internet. It’s a piece of advice everyone thinks they know, but, time and time again, I get clients who decide that some piece of legal information they found online is the gospel truth. Jan. 25 is Opposite Day, and if our firm were to observe that holiday, one piece of advice that I would give clients would be to always trust what they read on the internet — because it’s certainly not something I would tell them any other day of the year. While not everything you read online is false, your primary search results won’t necessarily contain the best or most accurate information about a topic. Many times, they’re just the most searched results, or the results that have paid the right people to be the first result that pops up online when you search for a certain topic. Many people have a false sense of security when they get their info from the top search results, but the fact is, whatever they learn might not be in line with what they could learn from a legal professional. You would think that if someone is calling into or visiting our office they would do so because they’re deferring to our expert opinion on the law. However, plenty of people call in only to eschew our help in favor of some other advice they found themselves. Many people don’t like it when we offer information contrary to what they already think

they know. I once had a gentleman call into our office wondering about the legitimacy of a letter he had received in the mail that said he had won a free car. I told him it was probably a scam. He then proceeded to argue against every objection I made until I finally just told him to go for it. For some reason, that finally got him to agree with me. Anytime a client starts arguing about legal topics with me, I usually just tell them to follow their own advice, and then they’re pretty receptive to what I have to say. their advice. You don’t start telling them what you learned from WebMD and expect them to corroborate it. The same goes for visiting with a lawyer. I don’t mean to sound like I’m calling anybody out or like I’m just complaining about my clients. Danielle When you visit the doctor’s office, you listen to what they say and you follow

and I both spent years in school studying law so we could have the expertise to fight against any injustice our clients face. We can’t do that if everyone takes the word of a random website on the internet over our own. Google has its place, and Wikipedia is great. You can learn a lot from all the sites on the internet, but you have to take the information you find there with a grain of salt. If you want to research your legal situation online, you are absolutely free to do so. It might give you more insight into your situation and help you form some good questions before you visit with an attorney. Just remember it’s our goal to give you the best legal advice possible — and you can trust what we say over your top search result.

–Teri Fields

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If you or a loved one served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and were issued 3M Dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs and suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus, then you may be eligible for legal compensation. Veterans suffering from permanent ear damage are not alone: More than 2,050 lawsuits have been created against the 3M Combat Arms company, which bought out Aearo Technology, the original designers of the dual-ended earplugs in the early 2000s. At first, the versatile design of the earplugs seemed appealing and simple. The olive side was claimed to protect its wearer from all sound, while the yellow side was supposed to protect the wearer from explosions but allow verbal commands and nearby enemies to be heard. Unfortunately, that isn’t what the earplugs actually do. In 2016, Moldex-Metric Inc., another company which produces hearing protection products, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against 3M and Aearo, uncovering evidence that 3M had been aware that their earplugs were defective. In fact, back in 2000, they knew they wouldn’t meet the Noise Reduction Rating requirements (NRR), but it was required in order to sign a contract with the US military. Instead of conducting testing on their ear plugs through an independent lab (like federal law requires), they did their testing in-house. HUNDREDS OF AFFECTED VETERANS ARE FILING LAWSUITS Lawsuits tell us, of course, the testing results were skewed. Multiple court sources tell us that the stems of the earplugs were too short for a proper fit. During testing, Aearo staff would roll back flanges from the noninserted side (yellow or olive) to stop the earplugs from loosening. American combatants, however, were not notified of the defects PRODUCT FRAUD: MILITARY ISSUED EARPLUGS

STAY ACTIVE DURING YOUR GOLDEN YEARS 3 PART-TIME JOBS FOR RETIREES Whether you want to generate some extra income during your retirement or just keep yourself busy, getting a part- time job can be a great way to spend your golden years. But why settle for just any opportunity when you could stay mentally and physically active and give back to the community? If that sounds like your ideal way to spend retirement, here are a few options to consider. Many community colleges and community centers offer part-time teaching opportunities for those who want to share their field of expertise with others. Many of these positions don’t require a teaching degree or certificate — just a wealth of knowledge from your years in the workforce. Alternatively, if you want to help younger students with their academics, you could also work as a tutor or a teacher’s assistant at a local school. Coaching can be a satisfying way to spend your retirement and support younger athletes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to be a coach. You might need to pass a background check, and you’ll probably need to know first aid as well. While the pay isn’t incredible, the time you’ll spend sharing your passion for sports with young people is more than worth it. PASS ALONG YOUR KNOWLEDGE AS A TEACHER. SHARE YOUR PASSION FOR SPORTS AS A COACH. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay active and have a more direct impact on people’s lives, you can try being a personal care aide. Personal care aides help elderly and disabled people with everyday tasks, such as shopping, doing laundry, and bathing. Many people who require this assistance prefer older aides who can empathize with their struggles, so it’s a great job for recent retirees. GIVE BACK AS A PERSONAL CARE AIDE.

or instructions when the earplugs were obtained through an exclusive military contract in 2003.

The Moldex-Metric Inc. lawsuit ended with a $9.1 million settlement in July 2018. The evidence uncovered during these court cases benefits not only past and present cases, but future cases as well. If you’ve been affected by 3M’s negligence to defenders of this country, we can evaluate your case for free. Give us a call at 404.698.4938.

Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can no longer bring value to your community. With all the time you have on your hands, you could become one of your town’s most valuable assets.

2 | ObiorahFields.com | Your Rights, Our Fight

HARD AND FAST FACTS: DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A DUI MISDEMEANOR AND A FELONY

From celebrity commercials to our parents, we’ve heard it several different ways: Having a couple drinks and getting behind the wheel is never a good idea. However, DUIs can be charged in a couple different ways — and some factors of your DUI can affect your life more drastically than others. In Georgia, your first three DUI offenses will be counted as a misdemeanor. The consequences of getting a misdemeanor vary widely depending on whether it is a first offense or not. You’ll get up to one year in jail, a fine ranging from $300 to $5,000, up to five years of license suspension, 40–240 hours of community service, 12–36 months of probation, a DUI education course or substance abuse treatment, surrender of license plate, up DUI MISDEMEANOR

to five years of driver’s license suspension, and possibly an Ignition Interlock Device.

for life. You’ll also have restrictions on adopting a child, voting, holding a professional license, and other benefits can be stripped or restricted from you.

However, no matter the final jurisdiction, having a DUI record can negatively impact your job, family life, insurance rates, and ability to travel.

SHOULD I REFUSE A BREATHALYZER TEST?

DUI FELONY

No, you should always take the breathalyzer test. If you’re pulled over by a cop for DUI suspicion, comply. Georgia state law says that if you refuse a test, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year right off the bat. Your license suspension is handled by the DMV and separately from the court, so you can’t get that year back. If you or a loved one have been affected in a DUI-related accident, you don’t have to be alone. Let our super lawyers at Obiorah Fields fight for you.

If you get a fourth offense, or if you kill or seriously injure someone under the influence, then you have committed a DUI felony. You can spend up to five years in jail with up to $5,000 in fines, 10 years of driver’s license suspension, 480 hours of community service, mandatory counseling for alcohol and drug abuse, and any other reasonable penalty associated with a felony conviction. A felony is a criminal offense, thus you could be considered a convicted felon

At Obiorah Fields LLC, we’re not your standard, run-of-the-mill law office. We don’t just do what’s required of us — we go the extra mile to make sure justice is served in every case we take on. If you’ve worked with us before, and you know somebody who could benefit from taking us on as their legal team, please don’t hesitate to give them this newsletter and show them who we are! We want to help as many people as we can. We’re just one phone call away from new potential clients. If they contact us through our website and give us their name, contact info, and a brief description of their situation, we will give them a free case evaluation and report. Don’t hesitate to refer us! DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS OUR HELP? GIVE THEM THIS NEWSLETTER!

NEED A SPEAKER? If you are interested in having Teri Fields speak to your organization about legal issues, please contact us at 404-994-6218.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Don’t Believe All the Legal Advice You Read on the Internet

1

Stay Active During Your Golden Years

2

3M Earplugs Mass Tort Overview

The Differences Between a DUI Misdemeanor and a Felony

3

Do You Know Someone Who Needs Our Help?

Do You Know the History of the Straw?

4

HOW A SUCKY INVENTION CHANGED THE WORLD THE HISTORY OF THE DRINKING STRAW

People don’t often wonder about everyday objects, like the seemingly inconsequential drinking straw, but National Drinking Straw Day falls on Jan. 3 and gives people a chance to scrutinize the growing concern over straws’ contributions to global pollution. THE STRAW’S ORIGIN While the drinking straw has been around for centuries — dating back nearly 5,000 years to ancient Sumerian times — it wasn’t until 1888 that the first drinking straw was patented. Marvin C. Stone, a manufacturer of paper cigarette holders, created a prototype straw by wrapping strips of paper around a pencil, gluing them together, and removing the pencil to create a hollow cylinder from which people could drink. THE STRAW’S INDUSTRIAL BOOM By 1890, Stone Industrial was producing Stone’s paper straw in massive quantities, surpassing the production of cigarette holders. Stone’s straws were effective for glasses or containers that were difficult to drink from, and as a bonus, they didn’t leave any gritty residue like previous prototypes. Their popularity grew, especially among children and hospital patients who found it challenging to drink directly from a glass. Straws became even

more accessible in the 1930s when they were manufactured with the ability to bend. THE STRAW’S CONSEQUENCE It wasn’t long until the rapidly growing plastic industry saw an

opportunity. Not only were plastic straws more durable than their paper counterparts, but they were cheaper to make. Unsurprisingly, the mass production of plastic straws starting in the 1960s contributed to worsening pollution. Today, the National Park Service estimates that Americans use nearly 500 million straws every day. Most of these straws are then discarded, joining millions of tons of plastic materials that wash up across the world’s beaches. To help reduce the amount of plastic in use, people are taking action. Several cities across the U.S., including Seattle, have banned plastic straws in bars and restaurants. Many alternatives have also taken to the market, such as metal or silicone straws that can be used more than once. If you want to help contribute to alternative solutions, most local grocery stores, as well as big manufacturers like Amazon, sell metal or biodegradable straws for less than $10.

4 | ObiorahFields.com | Your Rights, Our Fight

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