A significant factor to consider when evaluating a case, in particular for purposes of settlement, is whether the opposing party intends to utilize expert witnesses. The inclusion or exclusion of opposing party's expert witness in some instances may make or break a case. The lack of an expert witness such as an economist may prohibit a plaintiff from proving future lost income which would significantly diminish the value of the case. Or failing to disclose a orthopedist as a testifying expert may preclude an injured plaintiff from establishing causation. Alternatively, the use of such expert witnesses by the plaintiff may significantly strengthen their case and convince you or your client that settlement is more advantageous than proceeding to trial. The use of an expert witness becomes even more important when the other side intends to use one. There are countless instances where juries put undue weight on the testimony of an expert merely because the other side failed to present similar testimony to rebut the expert's opinion. This makes the disclosure of an expert witness critical for evaluating a case for settlement. ... Continue Reading
Many business owners in Georgia create legal entities under which they do business. While some business owners choose to create these entities for tax benefits, what seems to be the chief reason business owners incorporate is to avoid personal liability for their business's obligations. However, the mere fact that you created a separate corporation or limited liability company ("LLC") will not always shield your personal assets from a lawsuit against your company. ... Continue Reading
Whether it is a defective product, an unmaintained piece of equipment, or even a security tape, failing to preserve evidence relevant to the claimant's injury may be devastating to your case. When a party destroys or fails to preserve material evidence, even if the conduct is not intentional, a court is authorized to impose a wide range of sanctions against the offending party. ... Continue Reading
For some, the Christmas season is considered the most wonderful time of the year. But for many businesses, especially in the retail and hospitality industry, the season is their busiest time. According to the National Retail Federation, most retail businesses see a 30 percent increase in sales in November and December as compared to the rest of the year. For this reason, it is not uncommon for many businesses to hire seasonal employees. The increase demand requires additional workers, albeit on a temporary basis. Many companies rely on temp agencies to fill these gaps in workers. Many of these employees are hired as 1099 independent contractors, while some are merely contracted out from the temp agency. But the relationship between your business and the temporary hiring agency may raise several concerns. What happens when one of these temporary employees gets injured on the job? Who is responsible for compensating the employee? And how can you help to shield your business from any liability? ... Continue Reading
The Journal is a publication for the clients of Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. It is written in a general format and is not intended to be legal advice to any specific circumstance. Legal Opinions may vary when based upon subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
H. Michael Bagley