The Discovery Process in Civil Litigation Reveals the Truth, Allows Injured Georgians to Hold Negligent Parties Accountable

Melton v. General Motors Cited as Prime Example of the Link Between the Civil Justice System and the Safety of Georgians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Chris Kelleher (770) 355-6052

Atlanta, GA – The Georgia General Assembly is currently considering House Bill 643, legislation that would severely limit the discovery process in all civil litigation and would allow wrongdoers to hide evidence without fear of penalty. And, despite being falsely portrayed as a common-sense, pro-business proposal, the potential far-reaching effects of HB 643 would be devastating for Georgians.

Georgia Trial Lawyers AssociationTake, for example, the case of Brooke Melton, a Georgian who was killed on her 29th birthday in 2010 as the result of a faulty ignition switch in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Though it was eventually discovered that General Motors first learned of this potential risk in 2004, the automaker failed to take adequate steps to ensure the safety of our drivers until the discovery process during the case of Melton v. General Motors Corporation revealed the depth and stunning length of GM’s inaction on this matter. Hiding behind procedural safeguards and failing to fully comply with the initial requests for discovery, General Motors evaded accountability for nearly a decade and ultimately put the lives of countless Georgians at risk. They likely would have continued to do so were it not for the light shined upon the truth by our civil justice system.

“The Melton case is the poster child for why the discovery rules in Georgia work to not only protect parties in civil cases, but also consumers,” said Attorney Lance Cooper. “Without the current discovery rules, the public would never have discovered the truth about GM’s knowledge of the safety defects in Brooke’s car, and GM would never have been pressured into recalling over 1.4 million cars.”

As a result of the facts eventually brought to light during the discovery process of Melton v. General Motors, GM has been compelled to recall over 1.4 million affected vehicles in the U.S. In addition, the National Highway Transportation Administration, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and the United States Attorney’s Office in New York have all opened inquiries or investigations into General Motors’ failure to act on their prior knowledge of this defect.

How many more lives would General Motors have been willing to risk before they admitted to their mistakes? Thankfully, the discovery process saved us from having to answer that question. It is our responsibility to ensure that our civil justice system and our courts demand accountability from irresponsible businesses and not allow them to hide evidence.

“House Bill 643 will make it more difficult to uncover relevant evidence in cases and negligent parties will be able to stonewall during discovery and evade responsibility for their harmful conduct with no risk of sanctions for doing so,” concluded Cooper.

Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Selects Inaugural LEAD Program Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Chris Kelleher
October 23, 2013
(770) 355-6052
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Selects Inaugural LEAD Program Class
ATLANTA, GA – This year, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association launched the Leadership Education & Advanced Direction (LEAD) Program. Designed to identify those with leadership potential from among the Association’s younger lawyers, the LEAD Program will train and equip those members to serve in future leadership roles in both GTLA and in the community. In order to qualify, applicants must have less than 10 years of practice experience or be 35 years of age or younger.
After a rigorous application and selection process, 16 attorneys were chosen to participate in the 2013-2014 GTLA LEAD Program. They are as follows:
 
Powers Law Group, Macon
Tracee Benzo
Hasner Law, Atlanta
N. John Bey
Bey & Associates, Atlanta
Jennifer Coalson
Parks, Chesin & Walbert, Atlanta
Buck Daniel
Howard Nations Firm, Atlanta
Ron Daniels
Burke Lasseter, Warner Robins
Jed Douglas
Adkins & Douglas, Valdosta
Morgan Duncan
Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, Columbus
 
Tedra Hobson
Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, Atlanta
Jennifer Ivey
Linley Jones, Atlanta
Michael Ruppersburg
Simon Law Firm, Atlanta
Fareesh Sarangi
Sarangi Law, Atlanta
 
Madeleine Simmons
Morgan & Morgan, Atlanta
Kelley Simoneaux
Harris, Penn & Lowry, Atlanta
L. Chris Stewart
Stewart, Seay & Felton, Atlanta
Brian Worstell
Phillips, Branch & Hodges, Columbus
“I would like to congratulate all sixteen attorneys who were selected as a part of our inaugural LEAD Program class. The qualifications of this year’s applicants were truly impressive, and as a result the selection process proved to be an enormous undertaking. With aspiring leaders such as these, I have no doubt that the future of our Association is bright,” stated Buck Rogers, President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.
“These participants represent a diverse group of GTLA members from firms, big and small, located all over the state and in a variety of practice areas,” continued LEAD Program Co-Chairmen Ryals Stone and Michael Geoffroy. “The goal of the GTLA LEAD Program is to challenge our participants to think critically about our organization, the practice of law and their personal role as a leader in their communities. Through participation in our program, these young attorneys will be poised for success, both in the courtroom and the community.”
The 2013-2014 LEAD Program consists of five sessions, and will begin on November 22-23 in Athens, Georgia. The program concludes with graduation at the GTLA Annual Convention & Gala in Atlanta on April 24-25, 2014.

Macon Dog Bite Lawyer Jeff Powers Helps Client in Pit Bull Attack

Macon Dog Bite Lawyer

Jack “Sonny” Henderson’s evening jog ended abruptly two years ago when a pair of pit bulls attacked him on Clinton Road.

Monday, Bibb County State Judge William P. Adams awarded the 65-year-old retired postal worker a $350,000 judgment based on his injuries, medical treatment and lingering effects.

Shortly after the attack, Henderson said he would have bled to death in the street if it weren’t for two women who stopped to help.

Macon Dog Bite Lawyer Jeff Powers Helps Client in Pit Bull Attack

Powers Law Firm Wins in Upson County

DUI Lawyer Macon GACongratulations to Jeff Powers and Adam Beecher on their $45,000 ($15k compensatory and $30k Punitive) verdict in Upson County yesterday.  As I understand it was a DUI case with $5k in specials and some difficult facts to overcome.  This is a great job in an extremely conservative venue.  Goes to show that you can get a good verdict in a conservative venue if you are willing to take the case the distance.

D. Chad Nuce
Pasley & Nuce, LLC
103 N. Center St.
P.O. Box 1168
Thomaston, GA  30286

Powers Challenges Alcatraz

Former Prosecutor challenges Alcatraz

Macon, GA – July 31, 2009 –  Attorney and former Bibb County Prosecutor Jeff Powers recently finished fourteenth in his age group and seventy-seventh in his third Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon & Swim on Saturday, July 12 in San Francisco, CA.  The event began with a one and a half mile swim beginning at Alcatraz and concluding at Crissy Beach, near the Presidio.  Following the swim participants tied on their running shoes and ran across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back for a total of seven miles.  Last year Powers finished in one hour and forty-five minutes and placed 50th overall in the competition.

Jeff Powers Alcatraz SwimmingPowers has been competing in triathlon events since 1988 as a student at Florida State University but fell away from competing in the intervening years.  “I was just glad to finish that first race,” Powers remembers.

Training for events like the Alcatraz Challenge is a year round endeavor.  “I swim at Northside Pool with a group of Masters Swimmers three days a week.  I also bike with a group several days a week.  Right now I am focusing on swimming and running,” says Powers, “In May, I competed in the Coliseum Hospital Rock N Roll ½ Ironman Race finishing third in my division for the swim portion of the race.  That was my warm-up for Alcatraz.”

“Running across the Golden Gate Bridge is exhilarating!  The Bridge literally moves while you are running and the wind and fog are coming in off the San Francisco Bay as you run out towards Sausalito.  This year the water was much more turbulent and the bridge was really windy,” grins Powers.

Powers future competition goals include a ½ Ironman Race and maybe even a Full Ironman at some point in the future.  “It takes a lot of training so I will have to work up to it but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” says Powers.

The Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon & Swim began in 1981 as the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.  The event has evolved over time dropping the bike event and becoming the Aquathlon it is today.  The venue allows racers to experience two of San Francisco’s pre-eminent landmarks – Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge – up close and personal.  Visit www.alcatrazchallenge.us for more information about the event.

Powers Law Firm Rated High by Peers

AV Overall Peer RatingJeff Powers Rated 4.8 out of 5
By Peers On Personal Injury Area of Practice

Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. Lawyer Ratings serve as an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability and are used by buyers of legal services to justify their hiring decisions. Combined with the Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings, self-reported professional credentials and other fact-based performance data, the Peer Review Ratings contribute to the comprehensive view of a lawyer.