MY FOOTBALL LIFE THE LESSONS ANDMEMORIES FOOTBALL AFFORDEDME
I spent my entire football career on the offensive line. I liked being part of the action, defending my quarterback from ruthless linemen who were gunning for a sack. As a big guy, I was often delegated as a tackle until college, when the guards on the offensive line were getting bigger and taller. Then I was moved to the guard position, where I played through the remainder of my career. Sure, I rarely ever got the chance to touch the ball — unless I jumped on it during a fumble — but that position fit me like a glove. As a kid, I was engrossed in football, and I loved watching my Green Bay Packers. Jerry Kramer, who was a pulling guard for the Packers, was my hero, and I wanted to be a pulling guard just like him. All my friends played the sport, so I began in the peewee leagues. At home, I would often study football tactics and plays. I continued playing football throughout high school and into college at Western Carolina University. To this day, my 1969 team has the record for most wins in the school’s history, and in 2018, we were all inducted into the Hall of Fame. Looking back on my time at Western Carolina University, I believe we were truly honored to work with our coach, Bob Waters. He was a phenomenal coach and an even better man. Coach Waters knew exactly how to get each player to work toward his fullest potential, and he pushed us beyond the limits we had set for ourselves. Coach Waters passed away from ALS 10 years after I left Western Carolina University, but I’m so glad to have known him and have learned all I did from his teachings. After graduating, I was lucky enough to play in professional football leagues. I started my career as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons. The following year, I headed to the Jersey Jays, then signed
a contract with the New York Jets. From there, I ventured to Canada to play with the Edmonton Eskimos, and my last professional team was a World Football Team, the Chicago Fire. My professional career only lasted a few years, but it was amazing to be able to live out a dream I had since I was a little kid. Plus, I met some of the greats, like Joe Namath. Although, my time in the NFL was nothing like professional football is today! During the offseason, I had a part-time job as a probation officer, which ushered me into the legal field. Without football, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I will always be grateful for those who supported me throughout my entire career, including my mom, who never missed a game. I always enjoyed the mastery of the sport required, but I was also captivated by the camaraderie and team support. Football is still a big part of my life, even today. In fact, I help raise money for elder players who weren’t afforded pensions during the early years of the NFL and other charitable causes through the NFL Alumni Association. Football, the lessons it taught me, and the people who coached me through it are the reasons why I named my legal practice Don Turner Legal Team. I knew I wanted my practice built on the same foundation football built for my success. Every day, my team
–Don Turner I guess the only thing that has really changed is my position. Now, I spend my days on the defense. shows its strength and grit as we fight for our clients together. Nothing else could provide those lessons and determination like football does.
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THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO
HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a
dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org .
deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.
Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs,
and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris.
Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through
When you’re arrested, many questions can leave you unsure of what to do next. Of the many questions that crop up, you may be asking yourself, “Do I have to tell my employer?” An attorney can help you determine what the correct response is for your situation, but generally speaking, the answer is complicated. Georgia law gives employers the right to “employ at will,” which means they can hire or fire an employee for any reason, so long as it’s nondiscriminatory. In addition, many applications ask prospective employees to disclose their legal records. This can be a tricky thing to navigate as well, because whether you have to disclose is a case-by-case basis. For example, the arrest or conviction records for first-time offenders may be sealed, which means only law enforcement will have access to this data. In addition, first-time offenders are more likely to have their charges dismissed or reduced. However, it’s always best to adhere to a policy of honesty. If it’s necessary, admit to your arrest or convictions on an application and explain what happened, what you learned from it, and how you have grown. Most employers will appreciate the honesty. DO I HAVE TO DISCLOSE MY LEGAL TROUBLES TO MY EMPLOYER? TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL
you, but there is an exception: If you are licensed through Georgia as a
doctor, teacher, nurse, or other profession, you must disclose your arrests and convictions.
As mentioned before, it’s always better to err on the side of complete transparency, but your personal life is yours to keep personal. Do keep in mind that employers, like all other citizens, have access to public records, which includes unsealed arrest and conviction records. Furthermore, some employers require their employees to disclose an arrest or conviction. Not doing so would be in violation of a company’s policy, which is grounds for termination. Protecting your employment is dire for everyone. If you remain honest with your employer, you may find they are very understanding. But before you make any disclosures, you should consult with your attorney. Schedule a free consultation regarding your rights with Don Turner Legal Team by calling 770-594-1777, or visit DonTurnerLegalTeam.com to learn more.
If you are currently employed, legally, the decision to disclose an arrest or conviction to your employer is completely up to
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A LIFELONG DEVOTION
Meet Our Newest Attorney, Carl Chapman
The law has always been part of Carl Chapman’s life. Growing up in Georgia, his father was in law enforcement, and Carl interned with a judge when he was in college. Carl knew he was destined for a career in the legal field, and he ultimately decided that he was better suited defending citizens in court. Carl joined the Don Turner Legal Team this July, and he will be using his expertise to represent our clients facing criminal charges. A graduate of Georgia State University Law School, Carl has four years of experience representing defendants in the courtroom. In addition, Carl defended a client in Georgia’s longest criminal trial, which lasted more than seven months. Carl comes to our team on a hot streak. At the time of writing this, he has won 10 out of his last 11 jury cases. Anyone with an understanding of the legal world will know convincing a jury of your client’s innocence is no easy feat. “In the criminal defense world, the cards are usually stacked against you. That’s the nature of the game,” Carl says. “Your job is just mitigation. [...] I’m excited. I enjoy what I do.” As for the opportunity to work with Don Turner Legal Team, Carl says he’s looking forward to working on a wider variety of
criminal defense cases. For the past year, Carl has been working on his own, and he says he is excited to jump back into practice with an attorney who has decades of experience representing clients. When he isn’t working a 14-hour day or arguing in the courtroom, Carl can probably be found exploring with his three dogs, Champ, Daisy, and Lily. Champ and Daisy are Labradors, while Lily brings up the rear of the pack as a mutt half their size. (She was an adorable gift to Carl from his girlfriend this past Valentine’s Day!) If he’s not with his dogs, there’s a good chance Carl is rooting for our Atlanta sports teams. We’re excited to have a dedicated lawyer like Carl join our team, and we cannot wait to see how he continues to influence the lives of his clients for the better. Welcome to the team, Carl!
CLASSIC APPLE CRISP
What do you do when apples are in season but you don’t have time to make a pie? You opt for a crisp, of course.
INGREDIENTS Filling: •
5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• • • • •
• • • •
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins. 3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for
the topping. Mix in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1 Don Turner Reflects on His Career on the Gridiron 2 Honoring the Canines of 9/11 Do You Have to Tell Your Employer About an Arrest? 3 Meet Our Team’s Newest Member, Carl Chapman Classic Apple Crisp 4 NFL Lowers Concussion Rates in 2018
Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle. Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game- costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape. Despite the backlash, offseason reports may suggest that these rules have influenced concussion rates. The NFL reported a 24% decline in the number of concussions between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, lowering the total from 281 in 2017 to 214 in 2018 when combined with preseason play. In the regular season alone, the number of reported concussions was 135 compared to 190 from the year prior. However, it’s worth noting that 2017 saw high recorded rates of concussions. Figures going as far back as 2012 indicate that 2017 was one of the most concussed years in recent football history. A Head Above
THE NFL’S NEWEST RULE CHANGES TO DECREASE CONCUSSIONS
Still, NFL and medical officials point to 2018’s decrease in concussions as a positive sign that league initiatives are working. Officials say the new rules helped push the numbers down, and the use of more sideline concussion protocol testing and increased advanced helmet technology aided in this boost. The NFL reported that 74% of its players were now wearing its latest protective headgear, a 33% increase from 2017. According to USA Today, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, also indicated that medical teams across the league performed more sideline concussion tests than any year prior and saw a 75% decrease in diagnosing. The league is considering testing mouthguard technology that would give medical teams more information for diagnosing concussions. As we prepare for another season of football, there’s no telling what 2019’s numbers will show about the NFL’s latest safety protocols, but if 2018 was any indication, they just might be headed in the right direction.
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