Archive for the ‘Litigation’ Category
Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. is proud to announce that Melody A. Glouton, an exceptional lawyer with a wealth of experience in litigation matters, with an emphasis in estate litigation, has joined the firm. “We are excited about the addition of Melody and the wealth of experience she brings to our practice. Her strong ties to the community as well as her excellent legal skills made her a natural choice as we continue to grow the firm,” says managing partner Don Swift.
Ms. Glouton will continue her practice as a civil litigation lawyer, including an emphasis on contested estate, trust and probate litigation matters, contested guardianships and conservatorships, as well as providing legal counsel and advice to families of wrongful death and personal injury matters. “I am very excited to join the talented group of lawyers at Andersen Tate, & Carr and look forward to being a part of the firm’s continued success,” says Melody.
Trinity Hundredmark recently appeared as a legal analyst on Nancy Grace on HLN.
A criminal defense and family law attorney and Partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., Trinity discussed the case of missing Orlando mother Michelle Parker. At the time of the broadcast, new video was released that showed Michelle Parker’s car, its exterior altered, hours after her cellphone was dumped, and she was last seen alive at the home of her ex-fiancé. In addition, Trinity commented the suspicious disappearance and stunning discovery of the remains of the McStay family in the Mojave Desert. The McStay family had been missing since February 2010.
This week, a motorcyclist riding about 50 yards from a dirt road found two shallow graves containing the skeletons of Joseph and Summer McStay and two children believed to be their young sons, Gianni and Joseph Jr. Dental records confirmed the couple’s identities, and detectives have concluded that all four were homicide victims. No suspects have been identified.
Waterscape, [represented by Andersen, Tate & Carr attorneys R. Matthew Reeves and Robert D. Thomas], [recently asked the] Forsyth County Superior Court Judge David Dickinson to disqualify [attorney George] Butler from representing the [opposing party], on the basis that Butler had been a lawyer for Waterscape.
Waterscape sought dismissal of the appeals, saying that the disqualification order was not a final order, meaning that Butler and his clients had to obtain a certificate of immediate review or follow the application procedures for an interlocutory appeal. Butler’s clients argued that there was a conflict in Georgia case law on whether a disqualification order is directly appealable.
[In reviewing the brief filed by Mr. Reeves and Mr. Thomas], the Nov. 13 opinion by Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Branch, joined by Chief Judge Herbert Phipps and Judge John Ellington…sided with Waterscape, ruling that Butler and his clients could not appeal the disqualification order at this point in the litigation.
The cases are Settendown Public Utility v. Waterscape Utility, No. A13A0830, and Butler v. Waterscape Utility, No. A13A0831.
- photos and summary courtesy of the Daily Report (Nov. 19, 2013).
Patrick J. McDonough has appeared on Fox News as one of their Atlanta based legal analysts. Recently on Fox News, McDonough spoke on the issues surrounding revenge pornography. McDonough explained how currently there are civil remedies for victims, but that can be a costly endeavor and not available to most victims. McDonough did note the trend is for states to criminalize this behavior. First amendment advocates will surely challenge these statutes, but McDonough believes if the statutes are drafted narrowly they should withstand Supreme Court scrutiny. McDonough said the lesson is twofold: first, one should not take any uncompromising pictures of themselves and send them to current partners, and second, jaded ex-partners should think twice before posting these images.
Recently, a client approached us after losing his job as a cashier at a convenience store. He contended that he had been terminated over religious differences with his boss and coworkers. Our client was Hindu and his coworkers Muslim. As a result, he felt that he was routinely given the worst tasks of all of the staff, and ultimately, that he was fired for complaining about the discriminatory treatment.
This client relied heavily on his steady income and was suffering from its sudden loss. We agreed to pursue a claim of wrongful discharge based on religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In preparing a complaint and computing the damages to the client resulting from the loss of his job, we asked him more about his lost earnings – what was his hourly rate? how many hours did he work in a typical week? It became Immediately apparent that, not only had the client been unlawfully terminated, but, working 60 – 80 hour weeks at a “straight time” rate of $10.00/hr, he had not been paid overtime (or “time and a half”) for all hours in excess of 40/week in accordance with his rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Suddenly, this client’s case became focused on the three years of unpaid overtime to which he was entitled – a clear, easily calculated claim which was not dependent upon proving the discriminatory mindset of the employer.
Once an overtime violation is alleged by an employee, the burden shifts to the employer to disprove the entitlement to overtime and/or back pay. For that reason, FLSA allegations are notoriously difficult to disprove, and such wage and hour claims allow the plaintiff to seek back pay, front pay, attorney’s fees and liquidated damages.
In our client’s case, the violations were so blatant (the pay records, of which our client had copies, clearly showed up to 80 hours of work per week paid at a straight time rate) and serious (thousands of hours of underpaid overtime), that the claim was settled within two weeks and before a complaint was even filed. The resulting settlement to our client was substantial.
Employers provide slam-dunk FLSA cases for disgruntled employees when they
- fail to pay 1.5x the “regular rate of pay” for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week;
- incorrectly calculate of “regular rate of pay” (which is more complicated than it sounds);
- use “comp time” in lieu of overtime;
- incorrectly classify employees as “exempt” (“exempt” means more than just “salaried and/or responsible”);
- make automatic deductions from pay for meals and breaks;
- permit, or require, “off the clock” work of any description;
- make deductions from pay for the cost of uniforms, damage to property, loss of property, violations of rules/policies;
- retaliate against an employee who complains of FLSA violations.
Employees who feel that their FLSA rights may have been violated should compile good records of their hours worked and pay received for the previous three years, before speaking to an employment lawyer. Employers should be proactive in consulting an employment lawyer to confirm they are complying with the FLSA.
Jim Joedecke, Liz Clack-Freeman and Eadaoin Waller represent both employees and employers regarding compliance with Title VII, FLSA and in other areas. By not limiting their practices to “one side,” they have a unique perspective to “both sides” of a claim or potential danger zone.
When I watch TV shows with my teenage boys, it drives me crazy that they are on their mobile phones, texting, Tweeting and Facebooking. We frequently have to back up the show when something funny or significant happens. Of course, when my wife and I suggest that they pay attention to the show, they strenuously argue, “I’m multitasking!”
Multitasking is the modern American way. Friends and colleagues frequently claim to be multitasking, as if bragging about their high efficiency. But decades of research by neuroscientists has definitively established that multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains are not designed to pursue two or three tasks at the same time. Our brains function best when doing a singular task.
The best example of this is texting and driving. You cannot give your full attention to the road in front of you and draft or read a text message. Surprisingly, the same is true of merely talking on your cell phone while driving, even if you’re using a hands-free device or Bluetooth through your stereo system. In fact, research has shown that driving a car while on your cell phone is the equivalent of being intoxicated. Sleights of Mind, What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about our Everyday Deceptions, Macknik, Stephen L.; Martinez-Conde, Susana; Picador ISBN 978-0-312-61167-5, 2011, p.87. www.sleightsofmind.com.
Neuroscientists refer to this principle as inattentive blindness. “We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing, that humans are not built to work this way,” says Russ Poldrack, a brain scientists at UCLA. “We’re really built to focus. And when we force ourselves to multitask, we’re driving ourselves to perhaps be less efficient in the long run even though it sometimes feels like we’re being more efficient.” Id, pp. 87-88.
Psychologists at Western Washington University conducted a fascinating experiment regarding inattentive blindness. They observed four categories of college students walking across the main campus square. One group was minding their own business and told to simply walk across the quad. A second group was walking in pairs and talking. A third group was listening to music on mobile devices. The fourth group was talking on cell phones. In each instance, a ridiculously costumed clown on a unicycle pedals in circles around the participants.
Which participants noticed the unicycling clown? The students walking in pairs were most likely to notice the clown. The students listening to music on their mobile devices were only slightly less attentive. Half of the students talking on cell phones entirely miss the unicycling class. Half! The cellphone users also walked more slowly, weaving as they crossed the square. Id., p. 86.
So if we are not going to notice a unicycling clown, we certainly are not going to notice the subtleties of the traffic patterns unfolding in front of us: the driver slowly decelerating, the car in front of us drifting into our lane or the commercial vehicle unexpectedly making a left turn into our lane.
Inattentive blindness is probably a factor in the vast majority of car accidents in metropolitan Atlanta, Gwinnett County and in counties all across Georgia. Multi-tasking drivers must be held responsible for the injuries they cause with their carelessness.
It is vitally important to retain a competent attorney to represent you in collision cases whether they involved 18 wheelers, other commercial vehicles or Passenger vehicles. Preserving and collecting the proof of cell phone usage in connection with car accidents is highly time sensitive. Cell phone providers only maintain data for a limited period of time. This data must be preserved, and in order to do so, you must put the at-fault driver and their insurance company on notice.
On March 21, 2013, thanks to the efforts of Tom Tate and other members of the defense team a federal judge in Louisiana decertified a class of plaintiffs who accuse Viking Range Corp. and its distributors of making slipshod appliances in order to create opportunities for repair work, finding the group of products being labeled defective was overly broad and could not be shoehorned into a single case.
English: The Dunwoody Farmhouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ATC litigation partner Matt Reeves represented Dunwoody City Council Member Dr. Adrian Bonser, a dentist, in getting ethics charges against her dropped. This was the first Board of Ethics matter in the new City of Dunwoody, and included approximately six months of proceedings and a four-hour ethics hearing in September. The dispute centered around complex Georgia Open Meetings Act and Executive Session issues.
Matt was counsel to the Georgia House Judiciary Committee Chairman during the 2008 Georgia General Assembly, when legislation was approved to create the City of Dunwoody. Matt has handled many governmental litigation matters, in addition to litigating eminent domain, business, real estate and probate cases.