Author Archives: Heidi Boe

Who Really Loses When Medical Funding Becomes an Issue at Trial?

BY CHARLES E. “TRIP’ JOHNSON, III Notwithstanding the collateral source rule, evidence of medical bill funding by a “litigation investment company” is admissible in a slip-and-fall tort case in federal district court, according to a recent ruling by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.1  The plaintiff sued Publix in state court, alleging injury after slipping on liquid in a grocery ...

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Using Simple Technology to Pick a Better Jury

BY JAMES STONE The one aspect of a jury trial that is undeniably the most important is the jury selection process. Because of this, lawyers can find themselves married to a particular method or process when selecting their juries. While some may be willing to change and adapt and incorporate new ideas for this process, others might consider their way ...

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Exploding Takata Airbags: From Cover-Up To Accountability 

BY CHRIS GLOVER Airbags are supposed to keep you safe, but in 2004, a driver from Greenville, Alabama1, learned what happens when a safety product malfunctions. The driver was operating a vehicle manufactured by Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda), which incorporated a defective Takata airbag. The driver’s side airbag exploded, injuring the driver and becoming the first incident in what ...

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Hernandez v. State: Empowering Jurors to Seek the Truth

BY HON. WESLEY C. TAILOR AND HON. ROBERT C.I. MCBURNEY STATE COURT OF FULTON COUNTY; SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY Georgia’s pattern jury charges enshrine the notion of “a fair-minded, impartial juror honestly seeking the truth.” Our Supreme Court agrees: “the factfinder does have the task of seeking the truth” (Moore v. State, 283 Ga. 151, 155, 2008). Truth-seeking for ...

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Leading the Jury Down the Right Path: Framing Your Case During Voir Dire

BY LLOYD N. BELL, BELL LAW FIRM Voir dire is the single most important phase of trial, followed closely by opening statement. Without an open and honest jury that is emotionally available and willing to receive your case, the likelihood of obtaining a favorable verdict is almost non-existent.But identifying your favorable jurors and striking those whom you determine are hostile ...

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Defeating Reptile Theory Motions in Limine

BY KURT KASTORF Most trial attorneys are familiar with reptile theory, an approach to trial that seeks to invoke the jurors’ primal instincts of safety and self-preservation. Defense counsel know the strategy as well, and many regularly file motions in limine in the lead up to trial to preclude its use. Regardless of whether you intend to employ reptile theory ...

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Voir Dire In Low Speed, Soft Tissue Injury Cases

BY MATTHEW E. COOK AND KATE S. COOK We recently tried a low-speed, one-level cervical fusion case in Cobb County and received a verdict of $2.7 million. This case presents issues that frequently arise in jury selection, including preconceptions about low-speed “whiplash” crashes, conservative venues, racial bias, pre-existing conditions, and resistance to significant pain and suffering awards. This article will ...

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Look Before You Leap: Conducting Jury Focus Groups Before Trial

BY RYALS D. STONE Once you have completed your initial venue research, it can be extremely beneficial to test your case with Jury Focus Groups consisting of similarly situated mock jurors to see how they respond to your various claims of liability against the Defendant(s) for causing your Plaintiff’s injuries as well as your damages presentation. This should be done ...

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Sometimes the Sudden Emergency Isn’t So Sudden

BY MICHAEL L. NEFF An elderly, retired postal worker lives in Ohio. Loving baseball, come March there’s no place he’d rather be than spring training in Florida. So, each year, he packs up his Toyota Highlander SUV and drives south, through Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, to reach his destination. Unfortunately, on March 20, 2014, something catastrophic happened. As the man ...

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Slip and Fall Case

Jury award of $600,000 in damages, which was 13 times the special damages, for minor patron who slipped and fell in McDonald’s was not excessive given her persistent pain. By Shaun O’Hara Vineyard Indus., Inc. v. Bailey, 806 S.E.2d 898 (Ga. Ct. App. 2017) In this case, a mother filed a negligence action against Vineyard Industries, Inc., d/b/a McDonald’s on behalf ...

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