Newnan Pratlaw's Posts On Hot Legal Topics

June 28, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — thebigpraetor @ 1:17 pm

The Supreme Court just issued a decision on the Chicago Gun Ban case that concerned an elderly gentleman’s desire to have a persuader, a peacemaker, to help him encourage local ‘utes to leave his property when he tells them to go.  For some time it appears they have made their way to his home and taken what they want while he protested and filed police reports to no avail.  Chicago needs to get a clue.  I am sure that the ‘utes who don’t care for property rights will change their ways now that the Supreme Court has told the elderly gentleman that he can back up his directives with a peacemaker and make fewer reports, click on:  DECISION

June 17, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — thebigpraetor @ 10:22 am

A Heck Of A Lot Of Bank Money To Buy One Of These!

The Wall Street Journal Blog has a “hot off the presses” article on the first indictment in this arena: ‘click’ ARTICLE.  It will not be the last.  I remain surprised at the apparent reluctance of shareholders and account holders  who have lost money either in loss of stock value or interest lost as a result of a takeover or closing who apparently have not called a lawyer to discuss the loss.  I guess the old statistics are holding true:  only 1 in 3 people who have a legitimate claim ever seek an attorneys advise and counsel regarding it.  Go figure.  All businesses go to a lawyer as soon as any matter gets a tad grey or a tad ‘hot’.

May 4, 2010


The Natural Order of Things

This recent article out of south Florida supports a number of recent posts I have made regarding the exposure of failed bank boards and officers and attendant thereto, Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage they had before take over or closure:  ARTICLE Call Prater & Associates today, 770-253-7778,  if you lost money in a failed bank, not only do shareholders have a possible cause of action but so to do depositors who lost interest money.

April 19, 2010


This is the beginning of a long struggle to determine whether Banks will get away with the fraud committed on their investors and the general public over the past few years, here is a recent article: LATEST ARTICLE

March 7, 2010

NEWNAN| Increase your uninsured insurance today!

Plain and simple:  call your insurance agent today, right now and get as much uninsured/underinsured [it’s the same thing] coverage as you can get!
Why?:   Have you seen some of the cars on the road and the people driving them?; etcetera.  Your uninsured motorist carrier steps into the shoes of the uninsured person who caused the collision, and becomes his/her coverage for the purposes of the claim.  If the claim exceeds the coverage of the person who caused the wreck then your excess coverage will step in up to its limits.  A common concern that I hear from clients when discussing their pursuit of an uninsured motorist claim is “I don’t want to make a claim against my insurance company because they will raise my premiums!”  I have had more than one client tell me that is what their agent told them.  This assertion/belief is absolutely 100% false. A “UM” Claim will only cause your premium to increase when you are found at fault.  If the uninsured/underinsured party is found to be “at fault”, the Insurance Commissioner regulations prohibit a rate increase of the victim’s insurance rates:  And that is the way it should be.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage is that coverage which “kicks in” after the negligent party’s insurance carrier has tendered it’s policy limits which are inadequate to compensate the insured for his/her injuries. The UM Limits though must exceed those of the defendants policy limits in order for coverage to apply. Here is an example of how this works:
Hershel is insured with Mann and has UM limits of $250,000.00. He is rear ended in a terrible accident with Lindsey who is insured with Allstate. Lindsey’s liability limits are only $25,000.00. Hershel’s medical bills alone are $35,000.00. He also has thousands of dollars in lost earnings. In this case it is likely that Allstate will offer to pay Lindsey’s policy limits of $25,000.00 to settle the case on Lindsey’s behalf. If Hershel accepts that offer without waiving his right to proceed against Lindsey for the true value of his case he can then make a claim for Underinsured Motorist Benefits with Mann for up to $225,000.00 ($250,000.00 minus $15,000.00 received from Allstate).  The “rub”/problem here is that Allstate will do all it can to force a settlement agreement that restricts Hershel’s right to pursue the claim further and Hershel’s insurer can technically withhold any payment until Hershel gets a judgment in his case with Lindsey – this is not the case in the majority of jurisdictions in the US, where Hershel would not have to go through getting a judgment in order to get his insurer to deal with him in good faith.  Georgia legislators, however, appear to care less about its citizens and  there are statutes that actually help Insurers turn the screws on their own insureds by limiting damages to virtually nothing if they deal in bad faith with the insured and by requiring that an insured get a judgment before an insurer has to pay its insured a dime regardless of whether the insurer is dealing with its insured in bad faith!  So get a personal injury attorney involved in the claim from the outset in a serious injury case!
So, again, get your coverage increased today! And get an attorney involved in a serious injury collision case as soon as possible.
Call Prater & Associates today!| to discuss your case:  770-253-7778 | before evidence disappears and memory fades from the minds of important witnesses.

March 4, 2010

The Beginning of the Toyota Saga || “Christine”

Unsafe At Any Speed?

The story starts in August 2009 when a respected Highway Patrol Man, his wife, child and brother-in-law died in his 2009 Lexus which went out of contol, the accelerator stuck and the brakes not working as the poor family traveled to their doom at speeds over more than 100 mph.  In the 911 call from their vehicle the deceased can be heard describing the events as they approached their deaths, their last words before crashing and being burned alive were “everybody hold on” and “let’s pray”.  The vehicle burst into flames after hitting another vehicle, the end of the road barrier and a steel barrier; read the article here|| Toyota’s Recall Starts

The problem with Toyotas and Lexus’ is not some small incidental quick fix.   Don’t let any0ne try to downplay it.

March 3, 2010

RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN || Bearing Arms without infringement

The Supreme Court’s review of Chicago’s law making it illegal to possess a handgun in the city limits, McDonald v. City of Chicago, is the “Hot” case in this term of the Supreme Court’s appellate review of lower decisions.  Many people don’t know that the 14th amendment guarantees that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  The 2nd amendment states that ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”    There is an argument afloat that the right of the people to keep and bear Arms without infringement is qualified by a State’s ability to regulate Militias and that a right of  “the people” is not a right to each person.  The NRA and others hope that the Supreme Court will not just overturn Chicago’s gun ban law but will in fact actually state that the 14th amendment secures the right to bear Arms without infringement to the individual.  In Mr. McDonald’s case , what I recall from listening to the brief interview of him by Nina Totenberg (PBS),  the right seems self evident:  as I recall hearing, he is an elderly man robbed by “utes” 3 times, the last time they just strong-armed him, ignoring his demands that they leave his home.  He thought Mr. Colt’s equalizer might make his words a little more heeded the  next time “utes” came to his home to “visit”.

advertisement:  Call Prater & Associates today if you have a legal issue of any kind @ 770-253-7778 or email us by going to our website and using the handy form found there || PRATLAW ||  call your local attorney now before evidence gets “lost” and witnesses memories fade.

February 26, 2010

TOYOTA LAWSUITS||Class Actions? Or Individual Consumer Suits?

THE BIG NATIONAL CLASS ACTION FIRMS HAVE FILED MULTIPLE CLASS ACTION SUITS AGAINST TOYOTA IN AN EFFORT TO BE THE FIRST TO BE CERTIFIED A CLASS ACTION.  Class action suits have their place in litigation but they often result in minimal return to the individual class member and huge attorneys fees to the lawyers.  The service they provide is that they keep corporations at least minimally honest.  Let’s face it:  if class actions did not exist or were substantially curtailed the United States business world would make the town business and politics in the HBO series “Deadwood” look like a church fellowship.  The problem with a vehicular class action is that each member has been substantially harmed in a significant financial way, the Toyota debacle is not something that a $10 coupon off your next purchase is going to fix.  It may be smarter for the individual to file suit … but then a million lawsuits will surely do the company in and it will file a chapter 11 bankruptcy in Northern Michigan and everyone will have to file for relief there or be subject to that Judge’s decision(s) to mandate that the suits proceed there.  WOW what a dilemma.  At any rate, the causes of action for an owner would include Breach of Warranty; Fraud in the Inducement to Buy; perhaps even RICO based on the floor mat excuse.  The first thing that needs to be done from this writer’s perspective is to get the guy or others out of jail that are there because nobody believed them when they said it was the car and not them that caused the wreck.

Call Prater & Associates today, serving the ATL:  770-253-7778 or email us by clicking to our WEBSITE with your legal issues before evidence goes missing and the memory of witnesses fades.

February 24, 2010


People Made Jokes About This?


Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat ofher grandson’s car when she was severely burned by McDonalds’ coffee inFebruary 1992.  Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was servedin a styrofoam cup at the drivethrough window of a local McDonalds.

After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward andstopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to hercoffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, oftencharge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was inmotion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.)  Liebeck placedthe cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid fromthe cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilledinto her lap.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused. During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonalds’ knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard. McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees. Further, McDonalds’ quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the “holding temperature” of its coffee. Plaintiffs’ expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck’s spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn. McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving. McDonalds also argued that consumers know coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way. The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer thirddegree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of the cup was not a “warning” but a “reminder” since the location of the writing would not warn customers of the hazard. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds’ coffee sales. Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonalds had dropped to 158 degrees fahrenheit. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 — or three times compensatory damages — even though the judge called McDonalds’ conduct reckless, callous and willful. No one will ever know the final ending to this case. The parties eventually entered into a secret settlement which has never been revealed to the public, despite the fact that this was a public case, litigated in public and subjected to extensive media reporting. Such secret settlements, after public trials, should not be condoned. —– excerpted from ATLA fact sheet. © 1995

February 22, 2010

A Familiar Ring||Toyota saved 100 million at whose expense

Is This The New Toyota?

For those of us old enough to remember, Ford internal documents said that Ford could save millions at the cost of only a few burned alive deaths.  Now Toyota documents show they saved 100 million by risking only a few deaths by sudden acceleration?  Of course  Ecclesiastes is true and tells us there really is absolutely nothing new under the sun, over and over again.  || ARTICLE ||

Call Prater & Associates today if you have a legal case you want looked into, before evidence goes missing or details are forgotten:  77o-253-7778

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