JULY 2016
2016 Legislative Update: Added Expense for Employer/Insurers in Workers’ Compensation  by: Chris Whitlock and Mark Potter

At the conclusion of the 2016 legislative session, Georgia’s General Assembly submitted several bills to Governor Deal which could impact the obligations of employers and insurers under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.  While the Governor vetoed headline grabbing proposals, such as the “Firefighter’s presumption,” several changes signed into law will increase overall costs for employers and insurers dealing with workers’ compensation claims.    Click here for full article.

Lynn Olmert is Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association for 2016-2017 and Carlock Copeland will be an exhibitor at the 2016 State Board of Workers Compensation (SBWC) Annual Education Conference on August 29 - 31 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Please join us at the 2016 SBWC Annual Educational Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta from August 29-31.  Carlock Copeland will be an exhibitor and Chris Whitlock, Lynn Olmert, Carrie Annis, Evan Beauchamp, Marcus Brown, Mark Potter, and Tracy Baker look forward to catching up with you at this event.  

Save the Date - September 15 

Carlock Copeland's Annual Seminar: Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith for Claims Professionals 

This complimentary seminar for claims professionals serving Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee will be held at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on September 15. 

Melissa Bailey, Jeff Crudup, Jack Daniel, Mike Ethridge, Robert Hawk, Suzanne Hogg, Bill Jones, Angela Kopet, Charlie McDaniel, Dan McGrew, Kimberly Reeves, David Root, Kristen Thompson, Fred Valz, Lee Weatherly, and Ryan Wilhelm will present.

Save the Date - November 17

Annual Risk Management for Design Professionals Seminar in Atlanta on November 17 

Kent Stair, Bill Jones and the Design Professional Group will present Avoid, Manage and Resolve Claims Against Design Professionals and lead a discussion regarding claims against design professionals which will include advice on the best practices to avoid claims, how to handle claims when they cannot be avoided, and the various ways to resolve claims. This event will be held at the Cobb Energy Centre on November 17 from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. There will be a reception following the program.

ABA Highlights:
President Elect of the American Bar Association Appoints Joe Kingma to Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability

The LPL Committee has ten members, six of whom are in private practice, and it hosts two major conferences each year. Joe has been active with the Committee for years,  suggesting topics and speaking or moderating panels at conferences across the country. Managing Partner, Dave Root, remarked, "The firm is proud of Joe’s commitment to ABA and his dedication to excellence in Professional Liability practice." The ABA has almost 400,000 members and Joe says he feels fortunate to be appointed. "The LPL Committee Conferences are a great forum for Law Firms, Insurance Brokers, and Insurers to meet, exchange ideas and work for the good of the profession. The Conferences draw 300-600 attendees and have special programs for Law Firm Managing Partners. The Committee also aids state bars and law firms around the country by: compiling data on claims; sharing information on E and O insurance policy provisions; and detailing best practices in risk management." Joe’s three year term will commence at the ABA’s Annual Meeting August 4 in San Francisco.  Please contact Joe if you are interested in learning more about the Committee.

Billy Newcomb  has been reappointed to the Revenue Enhancement and Products Liability Committees for ABA TIPS (Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section)  

Billy has been reappointed to the Revenue Enhancement Committee for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. He has also been reappointed as Vice-Chair of the Products Liability General Committee for 2016-2017. Billy’s terms on both of these Committees will commence on the last day of the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August. These leadership appointments are in recognition of Billy’s commitment to ABA/TIPS and his reputation among TIPS 20,000+ members. Click here for more information.

John Rogers serves as Chair, Professional Liability Insurance Committee, ABA TIPS  

John Rogers is completing his term as Chair of the Professional Liability Insurance Committee. The Professional Liability Insurance Committee is part of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. PLIC focuses on the liability of directors, officers, lawyers, accountants, agents, brokers, and other professionals--with special attention to the insurance and risk management issues associated with professional liability. John has been appointed to serve on the TIPS CLE Committee and also on its Corporate Counsel Task Force. John will also serve as the section's liaison to the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Mike Ethridge and South Carolina Bar Attorney Wellness Committee Receive National Recognition

The South Carolina State Bar’s wellness work is receiving some national recognition.  The American Bar Association (ABA) announced that the Attorney Wellness Committee of the South Carolina Bar (Living Above the Bar) will be one of the three recipients of the ABA’s 2016 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. This prestigious award honors excellence and innovation in professionalism programs, and is given to organizations that have distinguished themselves through the development of  high quality programming  relating to professional service.

Carlock, Copeland & Stair partner Mike Ethridge is the driving force behind the South Carolina wellness initiative and was the founding chair of the committee.  He credits the hard work of his committee for making attorney wellness not only a South Carolina priority, but a national conversation. Please click here for a link to Mike’s National Public Radio interview.

The E. Smythe Gambrell Professional Award will be presented on August 6th at this year’s ABA annual meeting in San Francisco. 

Carlock Copeland Welcomes New Attorneys

Stephen J. Cohen is Of Counsel in the Atlanta office of Carlock Copeland. Steve’s experience prior to practicing law provides him with a unique perspective for representing motor carriers and their drivers in personal injury litigation. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice he worked as a police officer where he investigated numerous traffic accidents. He then spent over seven years as a claims adjuster at a commercial automobile insurer while attending law school at night. The combination of skills learned in law enforcement and insurance have proved valuable in defending lawsuits against commercial drivers, trucking companies, motor coaches, public school and municipal bus authorities, para-transit providers, limousine services, and their insurers.

In addition to representing the transportation industry, Steve has also defended law enforcement officers in civil rights cases. His knowledge of the law and policies governing the conduct of law enforcement personnel in the line of duty allows him to represent police officers faced with claims of false arrest, excessive force, illegal searches and seizures, injury due to highspeed chases, and malicious prosecution.

Steve earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and University of Nevada. He earned his Juris Doctor at John Marshall Law School.

Samuel W. Hughes is an associate in the Atlanta office of Carlock Copeland. His litigation practice is concentrated in general liability defense including premises liability defense, automobile liability, insurance coverage issues and trucking and transportation litigation.  Prior to joining Carlock Copeland, Sam was an attorney with litigation firms in Savannah and Atlanta, where he practiced in the areas of automotive liability litigation, commercial litigation, and general liability litigation.  Sam earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. He earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Dayton School of Law, where he was a CALI Award Winner in Legal Profession, Immigration Law, and Secured Transactions.  

Michael “Mickey” Manfredi is an associate in our Atlanta office who focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on medical malpractice, premises liability, and general liability. Mickey has an extensive trial and appellate litigation background and has tried dozens of cases before judges and juries. He has represented state officers and officials sued for alleged constitutional violations and tort claims. His experience also includes investigating and mediating allegations of deliberate indifference, wrongful death and, professional negligence under the Georgia Tort Claims Act.

Mickey achieved multiple Not Guilty verdicts in multi-day, complex felony criminal trials. As an Assistant Attorney General, he garnered the fastest civil defense verdict in the Middle District of Georgia (according to Federal Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles). He has represented individuals on cases in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Georgia Court of Appeals, and one case that went to the Georgia Supreme Court. Mickey's numerous accomplishments in the courtroom earned him the designation as one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

An Atlanta native, Mickey graduated from the Marist School in 2002. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University in 2007. After college, he returned home for law school, graduating cum laude from the Georgia State University School of Law. While in law school, he was selected for membership on the Moot Court Board, and argued in the New York City Bar Association National Competition. He was subsequently elected by his peers to the position of Moot Court Vice-President and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming for litigation attorneys.

Mickey is active in Habitat for Humanity, teaches weekly faith formation classes to 4th grade students, and is a volunteer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach to young children. He is fluent in Spanish & Italian.

Megan A. McCue is an associate in our Atlanta office commercial litigation practice area. Megan earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2014. Megan graduated summa cum laude in 2010 from the University of Georgia majoring in Finance. Upon graduation, she clerked for the Hon. Judge Daniel J. Craig and the Hon. Judge J. Wade Padgett in the Superior Court for the Augusta Judicial Circuit. She now focuses her practice on commercial litigation and the defense of lawyers and accountants.

Alexander E. Davis is an associate in the Charleston Office. Alex earned his B.A. in History from Wake Forrest University and graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law. While in law school, Alex was a member of the South Carolina Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Wig and Robe and the Order of the Coif. His practice at Carlock Copeland focuses on construction, construction defect litigation and general civil liability. Alex has extensive litigation experience at all levels of South Carolina's state trial and appellate courts. He has represented clients in a variety of business and commercial tort claims, as well as complex insurance coverage disputes.

J. Andrew Yoho is an associate in our Charleston office. Prior to joining our office Andrew worked for an Beaufort SC firm specializing in construction litigation, private club defense, tax matters, and general insurance defense litigation. Andrew earned his Juris Doctor at University of South Carolina School of law. Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science at Charleston Southern University.

Dan McGrew and Spencer Bomar Win Defense Verdict for an Internal Medicine Physician

Dan McGrew and Spencer Bomar obtained a defense verdict in favor of an internal medicine physician in the Superior Court of Fulton County in a case alleging medical malpractice and wrongful death. Plaintiffs alleged that an internal medicine physician attending to a sub-acute rehabilitation patient discontinued a patient’s Heparin medication prematurely and that the patient died of an acute pulmonary embolism as a result. The jury determined that the internal medicine physician met the standard of care and did not cause or contribute to the patient’s outcome.

Laura Paton won a complete dismissal of all claims against her client in Federal Court related to the campaign for the North Charleston mayoral election.

Angela Kopet and Graham Thompson Win a Dismissal

Angela Kopet and Graham Thompson obtained a dismissal for their client.  Plaintiff filed suit claiming injuries in a car accident and requested damages in excess of $350,000.  The Plaintiff non-suited their case before trial.  When it was re-filed a year later, it was longer than the time frame permitted under the Tennessee Rules.  Graham Thompson was able to successfully argue before the Circuit Court that the Plaintiff missed the deadline for re-filing the lawsuit.  The Circuit Court agreed and the case was dismissed with prejudice and costs were awarded to our client.

Eric Frisch, Abby Grozine, Quinn Bennett, Rachel, Peyton BellAndrew Bagley, Jennifer Guerra, Andrei, Melissa Bailey, Brian Gedeon, Mitch and Alyssa Rogers volunteered for ServiceJuris on June 18, 2016. ServiceJuris Day is a service event for individuals or groups that work in or support the legal services industry. 
Joe Kingma was a host at the Intown Collaborative Ministries Arts & Eats Fundraiser on May 1 at the Atlanta History Center. Joe says, "It's a great cause with fun live auction items and real fun time. 
Editorial Staff
Eric Frisch, Partner

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The CCS  Newsletter is a periodic publication of  Carlock Copeland & Stair, LLP
and should not  be construed as legal advice or legal opinion  on any specific facts or circumstances. The  contents are intended for general information  purposes only, and you are urged to consult
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