They Say Imitation... We See You Looking Carolina Law Group

They say imitation is the best form of flattery. As I watched the morning news at my home in Greenville, #yeahthatGreenville, I always like to compare my fellow lawyers' commercials against our own. Yet this time,  I thought I was actually watching our commercial and found myself doing double takes.  

The first commercial is one Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC put together back in September 2014, with the help of our advertising team Martin Holland Advertising. We were so proud of this commercial and got such a positive response from everyone in the community for raising the bar on lawyer advertising. We should have known, creativity is hard to beat. Best to just imitate it. 

The second commercial was the commercial I saw recently (January 2016), by Carolina Law Group. I know those guys. I like those guys. I am simply calling them out. If I was a rapper, I would rap about them in my next song. ( I just watched "Straight Outta of Compton"). Wait, maybe I am a rapper. 

***Best if Hummed with Boyz-N-The-Hood*****

"Lawyers-N-The-Hood"

Woke up quick at about nine
Just thought that I had to be in Greenville soon
I gotta get to court before the day begins
Before the Judge pulls up in his Benz
About to go and darn near went blind
Young Lawyers on a commercial throwin' up lawyer signs
Ran in the house and grabbed my phone
With my finger on record, Im going to call out these clones
Decided to use the Internet as my weapon
Just as I thought, the Carolina Law Group kept steppin'
Jumped in the Audi hit the juice on my ride
I wouldnt know what to do w/ front back and side to side
Then I let Sirius Radio play
Bumpin' Backspin playin NWA
It was "Gangsta Gangsta" at the top of the list
Then I hummed my own song, it went somethin' like this:
 
Cruisin' down the street in my fourteen'
Listening to my wife saying don’t be mean
Went to E. Washington Street to get the scoop
Carolina Law Group out there cold shootin' some hoops
When the Audi pulls up, who can it be?
Nihar & Monty saying, I wish that was me. 
I rolled down my window and showed them my phone
It's all about makin' that imitation/clone. 

 [Chorus]

 
Cuz the lawyers n tha hood are always hard
You come talkin' that trash we'll call the Bar
Knowin' nothin' in life but the laws & writs 
Don't imitate us Carolina Law Group because that aint legit. 

 

 

This Expert Institute's 2015 Best Legal Blog Nominee Needs Your Votes

 

From a field of more than 2,000 potential nominees, SC Injury Law Journal Blog has received enough
nominations to join the 250 legal blogs participating in one of the largest competitions for legal blog writing online today. 

Now that the blogs have been nominated and placed into their respective categories, it is up to their readers to select the very best. With an open voting format that allows participants one vote per blog, the competition will be a true test of the dedication of each blog's existing readers, while also giving up-and-coming players in the legal blogging space exposure to a wider audience.

Each blog will compete for rank within its category, while the three blogs that receive the most votes in any category will be crowned overall winners.

The competition will run from August 27th until the close of voting at 12:00AM onOctober 9th, at which point the votes will be tallied and the winners announced.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

 

South Carolina's Golden Corner's Only Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2015

The triad of counties encompassing the Golden Corner of South Carolina, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens, only have one (1) attorney recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2015- Congratulations Trey Mills

Floyd S. Mills III, aka "Trey", has been recognized again in 2015 as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in South Carolina . As a partner at Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC, Mr. Mills practices only personal injury law which encompasses anyone harmed by the negligence, ignorance, or omissions of others. Trey loves fighting against faceless insurance companies that only seem to know one word, "No." 

The motivating factor that caused Trey Mills to become a lawyer was when he was dying of leukemia, more specifically ALL, at the age of 17 and heard his mother constantly yelling on the phone with insurance providers pleading with them to process payment to the wonderful medical facilities, medical workers, and doctors that were trying to save his life. The only reason that evil insurance company didn't make payment, delayed payment, or tried to deny payment was because it was very expensive to cover the costs of a dying human and insurance companies are in business to make money not save lives. Well fortunately, Mr. Mills lived but more importantly others impacted by the evil insurance companies can now have someone that is truly:

  • on their side, not on the side of the negligent party (Nationwide);
  • providing a helping hand and pat on the shoulder versus the good hands around your neck (Allstate);
  • your neighbor in Anderson & Oconee Counties, not in some call center in Duluth, GA (State Farm);
  • not going to equate you to a dog and pat you on the head to recognize good behavior (Travelers);
  • not going to have some crazy eyed, all white dressed woman named "Ho" to berate you (Progressive); or
  • not consider you to be the scapegoat for someone else's actions or lick his eyes with his tongue (GEICO).  

 

 

 

 

The selection process for being selected into this group is as follows:

The selection process for the Rising Stars list is the same as the Super Lawyers selection process, with one exception: to be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. All attorneys first go through the Super Lawyers selection process. Those who are not selected to the Super Lawyers list, but who meet either one of the Rising Stars eligibility requirements, go through the Rising Stars selection process. While up to five percent of the lawyers in the state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list

 

Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in South Carolina

A pedestrian walking across the street to Anderson University was struck on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, according to WSPA and other media outlets. 

pedestrian, or any person on foot, has duties just like those driving motor vehicles to be responsible, however, sometimes the higher duty and responsibility remains with the driver of the motor vehicle to be more alert and observant.

South Carolina Drivers' Manual is where we all started and had to learn the "rules of the road" before being granted permission to get our license. After the introduction, the manual goes into "General Information", more specifically the subsection entitled, "Sharing the Road" states:

It is your responsibility as a driver to be on the lookout and to take every precaution possible to not injure a person on foot. If you see a vehicle, pedestrian or children near the road, you should slow down and be prepared to stop. (General Information p.45)

The South Carolina Code of Laws sets forth a few reminders for all of us drivers on the roadways as it pertains to pedestrians:

  1. SECTION 56-5-3230. Drivers to exercise due care.

    Notwithstanding other provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shallexercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.

  2. SECTION 56-5-1520. General rules as to maximum speed limits; lower speeds may be required.

    (A) A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. Speed must be so controlled to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of a person to use care.

    (F) The driver of a vehicle shall drive, consistent with the requirements of subsection (A), at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow bridge, narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

South Carolina case law follows in line with the before mentioned rules in stating:

  • One operating a motor vehicle on a public highway owes an urgent duty to keep a proper lookout and to keep the vehicle under proper control.  Yaun v. Baldridge, 134 S.E.2d 248, 251 (S.C.1964).
  • Negligence is established as a matter of law if the only inference is that either the driver did not look or did so in such a careless fashion as not to see what was in plain view. Williams v. Davis, 243 S.C. 524, 134 S.E.2d 760 (1964).

No one may truly know what happened during the incident. However, this is a time to remind all of us who get behind the wheel to just remain alert and vigilant to our surroundings.

 

Trey Mills Retiring at 36

 It is with great excitement and a heavy heart that I share my plans to leave the Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC at the end of this month!  I appreciate the opportunity Ernie Trammell provided to this young law graduate eight (8) years ago with nothing but fire in his eyes and hatred in his heart for insurance companies.  I never thought I would live to the age of 30 so now as I turn 36 at the end of this month, I realize life is too short to continue to work every day doing work I feel God called me to do. No, I think now is the time to live off my wife's new profession of being a nurse anesthetist. The earning potential for my wife's new profession seems to be very high and I am sure she will be excited with my decision once I talk it over with her.

My wife and I don't have children yet, so I am looking forward to taking care of our two aging dogs every day, taking long walks both in downtown Greenville to oversee and provide free supervision to many of the on going construction projects and in our Lake Keowee subdivision where I know I will be welcomed with open arms by our neighbors. I may even be able to get  a Home Owners Association position or volunteer with other seniors like me. 

I am not sure I will be able to draw off of my 401K yet. I don't really fear the 10% penalty they may impose if I ask for it prior to their ridiculously mandated 65 year old rule. Who the hell wants to work that long! Plus, 10% of "not a lot" is a lot less than "not a lot".

For income, I guess I could apply for disability. My disability being that I can't fathom how the government did nothing to support my working so hard and being successful only to take my hard earned money from me. To add insult to injury, after the government takes my hard earned money they then turn around and spit on me by bailing out Wall Street ballers, fail to provide the home front with necessities before spending billions of dollars on other countries and wars, and constantly bicker with each other about what this country needs while sticking their heads in the sand after hearing themselves talk. There would be other reasons for my "disability". Those reasons would be dealing with insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, roster meetings, Roy Trammell, and how our law firm can spend so much money on overhead. 

Oh, no. My nerves are all tore up now and my body feels all "stove up". Too much stress just thinking about it all. Ahhhh but in only a few short weeks, I will be able to leave it all behind to live the life of leisure watching all those early morning lawyer commercials, "The Price is Right", one of those soap operas my grandmother use to make my grandfather and I watch when we came home for our hour break from his job as a mechanic ("As the World Turns" I think)-I was shop boy, and then I can try to grow sustainable crops on our 1/4 of an acre of asphalt. 

In the immortal words of "The Allman Brothers Band"...

Happy April Fool's Day!

 

 

 

Millions of Dollars Missing in Anderson, Oconee & Pickens Counties

People throughout Anderson, Oconee, & Pickens Counties are missing their money.  In fact, they’re missing millions.  For many, it’s a few thousand dollars…but for some, it’s a whole lot more.  And many of these victims don’t even realize their own money is gone.

How is this possible?  Money that is rightfully theirs—owed to them for any number of legitimate reasons—simply isn’t paid.  It happens every day, because no one stands up for the people who need it most.  In a lot of cases, it’s pure greed on the part of an employer or an insurance company

Every day, workers suffer injuries at on the job.  They are legally entitled to be paid because of those injuries, but insurance companies deny claims without even blinking.  Others have valid Social Security claims that are routinely dismissed.  And folks get hurt daily in car wrecks, slip and fall cases, and dog bite cases only to be told the insurance company won’t pay.

These people are legally entitled to collect money, but can’t do it on their own.  They don’t know how to fight the system, so they give up.  The Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC steps forward to help these victims, with great success.  Ernest Trammell, Trey Mills, Bradley Bledsoe and Roy Trammell have the compassion and experience to truly help.

In a lot of cases, insurance companies use complex legal language to deny claims.  The professionals at Trammell & Mills translate the legal talk into words anyone can understand.  They take the mystery out of legal documents, so people can make the right decisions.

The attorneys of Trammell & Mills are dedicated to helping the people who need it most.  And they believe in giving back to the Anderson community.  They actively support local groups like the Anderson Free Clinic,  Boy Scouts, Cancer Association of Anderson, Coaches 4 Character,  Miracle Hill Ministries, Tackling the Streets, The Leukemia & Lymphoma SocietyThe Red Cross, and YMCA.  They serve at church, on IPTAY and on bank boards.  They’re caring neighbors.

They believe in doing the right thing.  And that means standing up to the nameless, faceless insurance companies who make heartless decisions without thinking.  They help the people of Anderson County get the money they’re missing.  Learn how The Trammell & Mills Law Firm LLC can help you at www.trammellandmills.com or contact us at 864-231-7171. 

 

Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC Supports Fort Hill Clemson Club Scholarships to Students

The cost of higher education has increased significantly since the attorneys at Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC have attended universities throughout South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. In an effort to continually give back to those communities we work and live, T&M has sponsored the Fort Hill Clemson Club's fundraiser to provide scholarships to local students since 2011. This event centers around National Signing Day for college football recruiting, with Clemson coaches providing over 700 attendees with information about the newest recruits. More importantly the recipients of the Fort Hill Clemson Club scholarships are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. Feel free to contact T&M or the Fort Hill Clemson Club for additional information on how you can support the local Clemson community

 

 If you want to see some real talent, check out Trey Mills in the video of the sponsors (starting at 4:59-5:30) :

RECRUITING WRAP UP SPONSOR VIDEO 2013

South Carolina Lawyers in the Golden Corner of South Carolina

If you haven't seen our billboards yet, be on the look out for these four guys with Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC. We may be blanketing the Golden Corner of South Carolina but only in an effort to keep you informed and educated on how to battle against those evil insurance companies and corporate entities trying to minimize your settlement or verdict.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, interstate trucking accident, slip and fall, dog bite incident, product liability claim, injured at work, and/or totally disabled and turned down by the Social Security Administration, you may need to contact us or learn more about your legal rights.

We look forward to helping you. Ask around, I am sure you will find someone we have helped.

"Wrecked?" on Interstate 85 Illustrated in Reality

The Anderson Independent used today's front page article to help publicize and illustrate the reality of interstate 85 and the dangers that exist on this roadway in South Carolina every day. That is something Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC has been doing on that stretch of interstate for awhile as you can see with our billboard in the background:

When You Fall Head Over Heels, Call Trammell & Mills

We can't help you when you fall in love, or out of love, but we can help you.  What we do involves holding other individuals and companies responsible for their negligence, ignorance, or omissions that caused you harm. Yes, that really means the insurance company hiding behind the people and companies that pay for just that type of incident.  Those negligent, ignorant, or forgetful people and companies often have little to do with the decisions that make you whole again. A wide array of real world examples and some of the most common types of cases are below:

  • injured while working and not really getting straight answers from your employer or HR person;
  • another driver not paying attention and rammed their 3,000 pound hunk of metal into your only means of transportation. Now you can't move your neck or get to work;
  • a tractor trailer driver on interstate 85 nearly kill you when they were switching lanes while texting;
  • neighbor's dog get loose again and bite your child, leaving permanent scars and an infected wound;
  • finally realize you are in need of Social Security benefits and got denied;
  • can't believe a manufacturer would sell a product so dangerous;
  • slip, trip, or fall on someone's property that knew there was a problem where you fell;
  • get jumped on, beat up, called dirty names, and held without your permission until a large retailer realized you actually paid your bill.  Oops, they made a mistake;
  • something not true being written and/or said about you to others;
  • have to lay your motorcycle down because another driver didn't see you.

Those are just the top ten or more scenarios that have come into the office in the past couple months. I am sure there are more but I think you get the point. Enjoy your Valentine's Day and hopefully you never need us. HOWEVER, if you ever do, or know someone that does, just tell them to call us or visit our website.

 

What Economic Impact Do Lawyers Have on South Carolina?

The South Carolina Bar asked Dr. Joseph C. Von Nessen of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina just that question. Dr. Von Nessen's report, entitled "The Economic Impact of the Legal Profession on South Carolina", was recently presented at the SC BAR Annual Convention in Myrtle Beach.

Excerpts of the report have been posted below:

  • There are 9,941attorneys practicing in the State of South Carolina, this total considers all active and non-retired members, including judges & law clerks;
  • The combination of the direct, indirect, and induced impacts leads to a total impact of nearly $2.7 billion on the state of South Carolina that is associated with the legal profession;
  • Every $100 spent by the legal profession leads to an additional $60 in total economic activity;
  • The state of South Carolina was then broken down into regions to further quantify the economical impact;
  • The Midlands, Upstate, and Charleston regions were the top three major metropolitan impact regions;
  • The Upstate Region was made up of  Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, & Union;
  • As the second largest economical impact region, the Upstate Region has a total impact of $487 million in economic output, $217 million in labor income, and 4,161 jobs.

You can now take back all those nasty things you've said about lawyers. Next time you see an attorney, thank them for having such an immense economical impact on the growth and well being of this great state of South Carolina.

 

UPDATED with RELATED NEWS ARTICLE:

 

Fox Carolina News Reports on I85 Congestion

Fox Carolina News investigated the congested nature and much needed repairs of interstate 85. The report featured i85lawyers.com attorney Trey Mills and Michael Dennis with South Carolina Department of Transportation.

 

FOX Carolina 21

Upstate South Carolina Wreck Fatalities Continue in October

The Greenville News is reporting that four motor vehicle collisions over this past weekend claimed five lives:

  1. Lyle Thomas Torbenson and Susan Marie Torbenson of Zirconia, N.C were on a 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle when they collided with a 1988 Oldsmobile in Greenville County Saturday, October 13, 2012;
  2. David Hawkins of Greenwood, SC  was on a 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle when he crashed and died while exiting off  Interstate 85 in Anderson County on Saturday, October 13, 2012;
  3. William Nathaniel Miller of Chesnee, SC  was walking across the street when he was struck and killed by a 2006 Nissan truck in Spartanburg County on Saturday, October 13, 2012; and
  4. Jeffery Scott Orr of Piedmont, SC died when he crashed his all-terrain vehicle in Greenville County on Saturday, October 13, 2012.

Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC encourages everyone to slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and look twice to save a life.

 

Deadly Roads in Anderson County Start a Scary October 2012

The start of October 2012 in Anderson County has come with carnage and death most associated with the scary end of the month holiday.  The Anderson Independent is reporting on several motor vehicle collisions ending in death and serious personal injury:

Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC encourages everyone to slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and please don't text and drive.

Do You Know What Your Doctor Said?: Medical Records & Treatment

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Access to Doctor's Notes Aids Patients' Treatment", highlights an interesting topic of patients actually reading, or requesting,  their medical records from visits with their primary care physician

The study was entitled "OpenNotes" and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Ultimately the study concluded that an overwhelming 77% to 87% of patients felt more in control of their medical care and were more compliant with their prescription medication.  Initially, there were concerns from  physicians that their notes may offend or scare off patients but 105 primary care physicians participated in the study. Interestingly, the article points out that only about 34% of doctors nationwide have adopted electronic medical records.

From the perspective of this plaintiff's attorney, when you think about the other audiences reviewing your records:

  1. referring physicians to further your care; (Good)
  2. insurance companies and adjusters to deny your medical benefits to save them money; (Bad) and
  3. both plaintiff and defense attorneys for disputes in personal injuries, workers' compensation claims, and/or social security disability claims. (Good & Bad)

The only logical step is to ensure you as a patient are just as knowledgeable of your own records as the jack legged insurance adjuster combing through your file to find anything to deny you benefits you deserve, while falsely acting as if they have medical degrees.

In the end you know, it is your body and your life. Yes, you are legally entitled to those records, too.

 

 

Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" Turns to Hardcore Porn on Dish Network

We have recently been retained by a family that had their three minor children (ages 22 months, 3, & 5) exposed to graphic pornography while watching an otherwise G rated Disney movie, "Lilo & Stitch"

The air date of the "Lilo & Stitch" movie was Friday, September 7, 2012, from 12:30pm-2:00pm. The satellite company is Dish Network, LLC. A technician from Dish Network, LLC came out shortly after the incident and inspected the receiver and history of the receiver finding no error on the part of the family. The technician could not explain how this occurred.

Having actually seen a video taped version of what those minors saw, it is appalling. If you or anyone you know also witnessed this incident through Dish Network, LLC please give our office a call toll free at 1-800-483-0880.

 

Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC: The Only Name You Need to Know

As of June 1, 2012, our law firm has undergone an incorporation of a new name-mine. I started working with Ernie Trammell straight out of law school seven years ago and the rest is history.

We service primarily the northwest corner of South Carolina, commonly referred to as the Golden Corner, along with the neighboring Georgia counties (as we are licensed to practice law in South Carolina and Georgia). The corridor of interstate 85 runs through the county of our headquarters and keeps us busy with car accidents and trucking cases. There are no shortage of want to be "autobahn" drivers on i85.

When it comes to other practice areas, Ernie Trammell has amassed over 30 years of practicing law and primarily focuses on workers' compensation claims. Ernie has achieved the highest rating through Martindale-Hubbell, with an "AV" rating.

Given the nature of personal injuries and on the job injuries, it seems an easy transition to someone not being able to work any more as a result of their traumatic injuries. Brad Bledsoe heads up the social security disability department of the law firm and has vast experience in working with totally disabled clients. Both Ernie and Brad are licensed in Georgia.

We have continued to diversify our civil law practice by assisting those injured by dog bites, defective products, and premises liability cases involving negligent landowners.

Please continue to keep up with our firm through the many social media avenues found at our website:

http://www.trammellandmills.com/

 

South Carolina Roadways Considered 'Poor and Failing'

The Greenville News recently reported on the conditions of South Carolina roadways and aptly determined those deteriorating and substandard conditions present  "excessive safety problems."  The reported 41,000 miles of roadways covered by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) were recently graded an "F" by their own highway engineers.

It would appear given the media coverage and the SCDOT's own admissions of the substandard conditions of the roadways the problems are no hidden secret. However, from a legal perspective, anyone using those roadways and injured as a result of their deteriorating conditions must first look over the South Carolina Tort Claims Act, S.C. Code Ann. 15-78-10, before proceeding.

Confusing? Wait, it gets better. Please read SCDOT's Mission taken straight from their website:

Pursuant to SC Code Section 57-3-10, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is charged with the responsibility of the systematic planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the state highway system and coordinating mass transit services. SCDOT operates and maintains 41,459 miles of roads and bridges, which ranks as the fourth largest state-owned highway system in the nation according to the Federal Highway Administration. The agency emphasizes the importance of safety, environmental stewardship, and system maintenance and preservation through its “Fix It First” strategy. (emphasis added).

The SCDOT provides a brief "Snapshot" of their organization:

• 4th largest state-maintained highway system in the Nation
• 41,459 miles, including 8,344 bridges
• 4,985 permanent employees
• $1.05 billion budget from state & federal sources

The best thing you can do for you and your fellow travelers on South Carolina roadways is to be vigilant about any roadway, shoulder, ditch, bridge, and secondary road issues you notice by mailing a certified letter , or traceable mailer, to the SCDOT. That helps in two ways:

  1. It provides the SCDOT with volunteer assistance without raising taxes; & 
  2. It puts them on notice of dangerous conditions in that area that need to be remedied.

I would be happy to compile those notices if you want to email them or post them as a comment on this article.

Plus in the interest of objectivity in my "reporting", that notice also helps others if they are injured by that same problem clear the hurdles in navigating justice through the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year Award Presented to Jennifer Ashburn

Trey Mills presents the South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year Award to Jennifer Ashburn at the SC Bar House of Delegates Meeting in Columbia, SC on May 3, 2012: 

 

Crashes and Falls Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injuries are said to be the leading cause of death in South Carolinians from the ages of 1-44, per statistics from the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina. The known leading causes for TBI are said to be falls and motor vehicle collisions according to the Brain Injury Association of America

As illustrated in a recent article in The Greenville News, TBI affects a range of cognitive, behavioral, emotional and physical functions, which can include anything from problems with short-term memory, personality changes and speech impediment to lack of coordination and persistent fatigue.  As awareness of these type injuries is increasing, there are still believed to be over 60,000 South Carolinians living with traumatic brain injuries.

Rebecca Hadel was in a t-bone collision when she sustained a traumatic brain injury, along with other severe physical injuries. The Greenville News article, "Recovering, Step by Step", highlights her personal story along with information about TBI.  As Hadel states in the article:

“Brain injuries don’t ever go away...”

 

To learn more about traumatic brain injuries and the resources available, click on any of the below links:

 

 

2012 South Carolina Rising Star by Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

For the particular subset category of Super Lawyers "Rising Star", selection is made from those attorneys under 40, practicing less than 10 years, and only the top 2.5% of that group are selected for inclusion. To be included with such a talented group of attorneys,  I feel honored and humbled by such an accolade.

Now as we collaborate in the practice of law under Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC,  I can bring something more to the table as, Ernie Trammell had already achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating

 

South Carolina's "Alive at 25" Campaign Making a Difference

"Alive at 25" is a driver's awareness course developed by the National Safety Council and focused on young drivers from the ages of 15-24. The course curriculum focuses primarily on these three areas:

  1. Defensive driving;
  2. Decision making; and
  3. Responsibility taking.

The South Carolina Chapter of the National Safety Council runs the "Alive at 25" program within the state and so far has over 79 high schools that are participating. The hard facts illustrated on the website are alarming:

  • Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the U.S;
  • Young drivers are involved in fatal crashes at more than twice the rate of all others;
  • Young drivers are involved in nearly 28% of all crashes, even though they represent only 14% of the nations’ licensed drivers; and
  • 172 young drivers in 2010 were killed in vehicle collision in South Carolina.

The Greenville News & Pickens County Courier recently reported that Pickens County School District will require students in the next school year that want to park at the district high schools to complete the "Alive at 25" course before hand. This would encompass the following high schools in the upstate:

The facts are hard to argue against helping teens in any way make better decisions on the roadways in this state.

Since the implementation of this program in 2007, the state's death toll among drivers 15-24 has dropped by 38%.

Any life saved is worth the $35 for the cost of the course and 4 1/2 hours the program takes to complete. Ask your high school about this course or get a group of friends together and take this course. You never know-it could save your life or the life of someone else. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

As the nation celebrates on Thanksgiving, this the fourth Thursday of the month of November, let us all give thanks.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:48
 

We hope you all enjoy your time with family, friends, and loved ones.

Pedestrian and Motorcycle Deaths on the Rise in South Carolina

The injuries from a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle collision and motorcycle vs. motor vehicle collision are never minor. I just settled a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle collision that occurred in the Five Points area of Columbia, South Carolina. The client was lucky to be alive but his injuries were in no way minor and he had to undergo surgery.

As everyone knows in upstate South Carolina, especially throughout Anderson, Abbeville, Belton, Clemson, Easley, Iva,  Oconee, Pickens, Seneca, and Westminster,  rural roads can be the most dangerous. As The Greenville News indicated in their Sunday article entitled, "Highway Deaths Start to Rise":

South Carolina led the nation in the fatality rate on non-interstate, rural roads in 2009 with 4.7 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, according to numbers released earlier this month by the Washington-based nonprofit TRIP.

The news article was prompted from two separate motor vehicle collisions recently that resulted in five fatalities, the statistics are alarming for South Carolina drivers on rural roads.

I have had dozens of motorcycle collision cases and 99% of motorcycle drivers will tell you that they have to constantly watch out for other drivers in upcoming intersections, stop signs, and lane changes.

As for pedestrians on the rural roadways, you need to take every precaution possible. Since most rural roads dont have sidewalks, make sure you are facing oncoming traffic while walking so that you have time to react as the vehicle approaches. South Carolina Department of Transportation is doing their part with infrastructure and enforcement as indicated with the article "Safety Programs Target Rural Roads in South Carolina" listing these improvements:

  • Adding paved shoulder and safety edge to most rural roadways through roadway resurfacing program to address run off road crashes and shoulder drop-offs;
  • Installing rumble strips on all high speed rural roadways where adequate shoulder is available to address run off road crashes; and
  • Provide funding for overtime speed enforcement by the South Carolina Highway Patrol of high crash rural road corridors.

 

 

 

 

South Carolina Dog Bite Law: Landlords and Common Areas

South Carolina dog bite law adheres to strict liability when it comes to dogs biting or harming people, S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110:. The only defense would be if the dog was provoked in some way by the person that it attacked.

Recently the South Carolina Supreme Court rendered an opinion that helps in better illustrating the specific phrase of the dog bite law, "other person having the dog in his care or keeping." In Clea v. Odom Opinion No. 27029, the court determined that claims for strict liability and common law negligence could move forward against the landlord for a tenant's dog that attacked a child in the common area of the apartment complex. Citing Harris v. Anderson County Sheriff's Office, 381 S.C. 357, 364, 673 S.E.2d 423, 427 (2009) the court stated, the presence or absence of a duty determines liability in situations that involve a statutory claim against a person having the dog in his care or keeping.  Id. at 365, 673 S.E.2d at 427.  There are three scenarios under § 47-3-110 when the attack is unprovoked and the injured party is lawfully on the premises:

First, the dog owner is strictly liable and common law principles are not implicated.  Second, a property owner is liable when he exercises control over, and assumes responsibility for, the care and keeping of the dog.  Third, a property owner is not liable under the statute when he has no control of the premises and provides no care or keeping of the dog.

Although each set of facts in a case are unique to that particular case, the SC Supreme Court helps limit the dark corners for the at fault owner or keeper's liability insurance company to hide.

 If you know liability insurance companies trying to hide from their duties to pay a fair and reasonable amount for the negligence of their insured, let me know.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

 

Dogs Bite, Owners Pay: South Carolina Dog Bite Law

 

 

Deadly Interstate 85 Takes More Lives This Weekend in Anderson County

On Saturday, July 30, 2011, a driver of a northbound 18 wheeler apparently fell asleep at the wheel causing his large tractor trailer to cross the median and run head on in to another semi-trailer traveling southbound on I-85 in Anderson, South Carolina.  After the two 18 wheelers collided, the southbound semi-trailer's back end jack knifed and collided with an SUV towing a boat.  Unfortunately, the drivers of the SUV and 18 wheelers were killed in the collision. Anderson Independent and Channel 7 News reported on this collision  shortly after it happened and provided on the scene video of the incident, detailing the carnage and wreckage at the sight. 

Channel 7 reports that the northbound tractor trailer driver that crossed over the median into the southbound traffic has been identified as 69-year-old Eddie Wyatt, of Rockmart, Georgia. It is believed from the Anderson County Coroner's Office  autopsy Monday that Mr. Wyatt did not have any health problems and most likely fell asleep at the wheel.

Additionally, the driver of the northbound tractor trailer has been identified as Clay Johnson, 38 of Charlotte, North Carolina.  The third victim, Jeremy Scott Wilson, 33 of Blacksburg, South Carolina, was driving the Toyota Tundra involved in the accident.  Medics airlifted two other people to Greenville Memorial, who were in the SUV. It was a couple from Simpsonville Chris Schulve is listed in good condition at Greenville Memorial and his wife has already been released. 

Driving interstate 85 every day from Greenville to Anderson for my daily commute to Trammell Law Firm, P.A., I can personally attest to the massive amounts of unpredictable traffic. You never can predict the actions of others but always be alert to others around you. 

Anderson Independent published the picture below, video and story entitled, "Three Killed in Accident on Interstate 85"

 

 Please Click on the link below for the video:

http://www.independentmail.com/videos/detail/three-die-in-head-on-i-85-truck-collision/

 

RELATED ARTICLES

"Wrecking" Havoc on Interstate 85 in Upstate South Carolina

My House in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina is For Sale- You Want It?

I  am fortunate to be getting married soon and in doing so we are moving to another home in downtown Greenville which we are renovating. Having enjoyed this one for close to three years, it's time to move on to the next rehab project.  Real estate is my second professional passion after practicing law.

I bought this 3BR/2BA home from a Greenville County Master In Equity Foreclosure sale in early 2008 and before I left the courthouse that day was offered $20,000.00 more then I paid for it. I guess that was a good sign, I made a good buy.  (That particular bidder had gotten there after bidding on this home ended, lucky for me). However, I wanted this house for my primary, residential home to live and walk downtown. It was an investment but not purely an investment. I wanted to enjoy it, too.

My best friend and I from college, Christopher Smith, started Smith & Mills, Inc. out of college rehabbing and buying foreclosure homes in 2000 when there was a slight recession and credit was good because we had no cash. We have never really profited any substantial gains on these properties but we keep our fingers crossed that they will be just as good as an IRA.

When I moved to Greenville, I was lucky enough to meet Royce & Jackie Dessaure because they have been a blessing when it comes to dependable, trustworthy, and cost minded contractors. They helped me jump into 103 Arlington Avenue and remove all the carpet, white tile, counter tops, and start the whole interior over again. We ended up putting in all hardwoods, except in the kitchen and bathrooms where we used slate flooring to provide that earthy, warm look. Then went with custom lighting, granite counter tops in kitchen & baths, fenced the yard, repainted the whole home, scrapped the ceilings to have the smooth finish, made a walk in closet off the master, satin nickel plate hardware and switch plates, landscaping and created a "dry bar" out of nook in the hallway.

All this could be yours. I talk and negotiate money everyday with insurance companies so I am just giving this home away at $183,900.00. Now of course we can negotiate some but you got to remember what I got into it. Bought for $95,000.00 + Repairs, fence, appliances, landscaping $75,000.00, + mortgage interest for three years $12,000.00. Hence you have the price listed above. Make me an offer I can't refuse and if I do refuse it, just keep moving up with your offer.

103 Arlington Avenue, Greenville, South Carolina 29601

 

South Carolina Litigation Firms Admit They Only Litigate for Insurance Companies

Today several news outlets are reporting that the "ivory tower" defense firms are finally coming clean with their smoke and mirror marketing and admitting that their term "litigation firm" means-only litigating against everyday people for the all powerful insurance companies that pay them hundreds ($300's) of dollars an hour.

This fact is commonly known throughout the hard working, for the people, doing it for justice, workers against evil, otherwise known as Plaintiff's Attorneys, who strive to right the wrongs of the Evil Empire, aka insurance companies. A big move that has many lawyers scratching their heads as to why these firms made of gold, silver, and ivory off the sweat and torture of young associates for 7-10 year spans, all on the promise of a few gold coins more,  would come clean after all these centuries.

Ben Dover of Soma, Baughty, Goinia, Paye, LLC, said, "Well, it doesn't appear like the public is getting any smarter and they sure do forget things pretty quickly. We didn't think this would be any different. Stupid is as stupid does."  Mr. Dover has a point considering the inundated insurance jingles and coarse hands that consumers seem to believe over actually seeking out the advice of an attorney that works for them and educates them on how insurance companies make money.

Mary A. Richman and Robin Banks of Wie, Love, Monet, agreed that it was time. "Given the amount of money we spend on a yearly basis to take those fools to strip clubs in the Legislature, just to have them at our call and beckon, we knew no one could beat us in making laws, through legislators, " said Richman.

No comment could be found available through any of the following litigation firms: Smith More Leatherwood, LLP, Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A., Gallivan White & Boyd, P.A., McAngus Goudelock Courie, LLC, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, Nexsen Pruet, and  McNair Law Firm, P.A. .

If you see any of the above attorneys out and about please ask them about this most recent development on this, the 1st of April, commonly referred to as "April Fool's Day".

 (Last year on this same day, I was hired by Allstate to handle their claims.)

Moped Deaths in Greenville and Anderson Bring Focus on Laws and Insurance

The rash of moped fatalities, hit and runs, and just plain moped accidents have been on the rise this year in South Carolina. The Greenville News brought focus on this issue in their article, "Moped Deaths Raise Safety Concerns." I don't think I realized how flexible South Carolina laws are on moped drivers:

Drivers with suspended licenses can ride mopeds for up to six months before they have to get a moped license. The minimum age for driving a moped is 14, a year younger than in Georgia and two years younger than in North Carolina.........only moped drivers under 21 must wear helmets under South Carolina law.

None of the moped drivers involved in the fatal accidents wore helmets and all were under 21. I guess that goes towards the old saying that, "the only good laws are those that are enforced."

Another interesting point is that all these moped drivers are not required by law to carry liability insurance on their mopeds.  Although they havent been the ones causing the accidents there are little to no options if they were to cause accidents or were involved in accidents with vehicles that have no insurance.

South Carolinians Make Sure You are Registered to Vote for November 2nd Elections

One thing I try and avoid is conversations over politics and religion. I am not registered to any political parties and I have voted for Republicans and Democrats in the past few elections. That being said, I am a proponent of democracy and having the right to vote.

Please make sure you take advantage of the rights fought so hard for you and your family by ensuring you are registered to vote in your specific county by October 2, 2010. South Carolina has a website that is so easy to navigate and verify your registration in less than a minute: http://scvotes.org/.

As the Anderson Independent pointed out in it's article,"Voter Registration Deadline is Oct. 2", It's important to remember that you will need to register to vote if you have moved from one county to another (need to register in the new county).

If you are not registered, there are several, quick and easy solutions that only require a few minutes of your time. You can also read over proposed 2010 State Constitutional Amendments.

South Carolina General Elections are Tuesday, November 2, 2010.  Read up on the candidates and vote.

 

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."    Thomas Jefferson

 

 

Surgery Checklist Implemented in South Carolina Hospitals

South Carolina hospitals are addressing an issue that may save hundreds of lives by simply looking over a checklist after surgery. Much like a pilot does prior to take-off, surgeons would have a checklist devised by an international patient safety guru, Dr. Atul Gawande. It appears Dr. Gawande has even written a book entitled, "The Checklist Manifesto". As Malcolm Gladwell comments about the book:

Gawande begins by making a distinction between errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don’t know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). Failure in the modern world, he writes, is really about the second of these errors, and he walks us through a series of examples from medicine showing how the routine tasks of surgeons have now become so incredibly complicated that mistakes of one kind or another are virtually inevitable: it’s just too easy for an otherwise competent doctor to miss a step, or forget to ask a key question or, in the stress and pressure of the moment, to fail to plan properly for every eventuality. Gawande then visits with pilots and the people who build skyscrapers and comes back with a solution. Experts need checklists–literally–written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure.

Liv Osby of The Greenville News wrote an article on Sunday, September 19, entitled "List Could Put Check on Surgery Deaths".  In her article it was interesting to read phrases like "serious surgery complications", "we're doing the right thing for the patient", and "this could save many thousands of people from harm".  All due to a simple checklist of 19 functions, including marking the area to be operated, verifying the patient's identity, and discussing any special risks. 

This is not a new concept as a very similar article on the same subject was written by the The Washington Post entitled "Surgery Checklist Lowers Death Rate",  back in January of 2009. However, I was happy to not hear anything about Medical Tort Reform and this being a result of trial lawyers but a simple article indicating accidents happen in the medical field and they happen at a high rate. As the article indicates:

..every avoided complication saves $13,000.00 on average, the checklist would also cut annual health care costs statewide by more than $50 million....

Another important point made by Dr. Gawande, is that every professional could benefit from a checklist of the simplest tasks that would avoid a great deal of trouble down the road.

 

Anderson, South Carolina: Traffic Citations Equal Big Money

After reading Rick Spruill's article in the Anderson Independent about the revenue brought in from traffic citations in Anderson, a line from the song in The Dukes of Hazzard, came quickly to mind:

"Making their way the only way they know how but that's just a little bit more than the law will allow."

Mr. Spruill reported that over the past few years, Anderson has brought in over $1,868,218 in revenue from traffic citations. More specifically the break down is as follows:

 

Anderson city traffic fines, 2005-2009

2005: $306,506

2006: $343,566

2007: $313,139

2008: $468,968

2009: $436,039

 

So we had a recession and some money had to be made up somewhere? The best part of the article is the last paragraph where Mr. Spruill was inquiring with Capt. Jim Stewart about quotas. Capt. Stewart denied that there were in ticket quotas but said they do compare from year to year.

Capt Stewart stated:

“We keep count to see how we compare and to track trends,” he said. “The number one priority of road patrol is not to issue tickets, it’s to reduce injuries and fatalities. There are a lot more cars on the road and a lot of our wrecks come as people are entering and leaving a business.”

 

 

If You Are Injured After a Wreck, Dog Bite, Slip & Fall or _______:Seek Medical Attention

It sounds so simple but so many people I interact with from Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, Seneca, Clemson, and the remainder of South Carolina, have a hard time understanding that lawyers are not doctors

If you are hurt, hurting, in pain, or otherwise not in the same physical, mental, or emotional state you were in prior to some traumatic injury, or incident, then you should seek medical advice.  Doing this simple act can help you on several fronts:

  1. This helps diagnose and assess your problems;
  2. This helps you get better; and
  3. This helps objectify and validate the change(s) in your condition.

Having grown up in the rural area of Prosperity, South Carolina and now working for people from similar areas of the state, the comment:

"I dont like going to the doctor. They are just going to give me medication and run up a lot of bills."

is a comment I hear all too often. However, try telling that evil insurance company that you are hurt, hurting, in pain, or otherwise not in the same mental, physical, or emotional condition you were in before ____________. (fill in the blank-wreck, slip & fall, dog bite, injury at work, and/or negligent product).

Try figuring out a reasonable and fair amount to be compensated for your injury when you are the only voice or piece of evidence in your favor. Think that evil insurance company will believe you more or a disinterested third party that has no interest in the outcome?

I know, most times the evil insurance adjusters wouldn't believe they were on fire if they saw their skin melting but you can only do your part as a reasonable person. Leave the insurance fighting to those that do it all the time and fight for your rights--trial lawyers, aka Trey Mills.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's South Carolina Man & Woman of the Year!

Now-a-days people always talk about everyone being a winner and I am not someone that subscribes to that theory. In competition, not everyone can be a winner. However, participating in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society South Carolina Man & Woman of the Year Fundraiser may be a more appropriate time to indicate everyone as winners.

There were five contestants, two females and three males, vying for the title but more importantly they were doing so by raising money for the fight against blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The South Carolina Boy of the Year was Josey Hale. The South Carolina Girl of the Year was Nadia Morris-Young.

The turning point in all this was realizing close to 15 years ago, I was a patient that was recognized to give a face to the fundraising and physical efforts to a Team in Training as they prepared for a marathon.

As I talked with Josey and Nadia last night, it struck me how many blessings I had been given to be healthy and in a position to help an organization that assists so many. It's nice to be reminded of the wonderful opportunities every day brings.

The opportunity to see life come full circle from patient to Man of the Year was amazing. No doubt a wonderful reminder of God's grace, glory, and presence. I certainly felt a momentary shudder as I had a sense that my Mom was looking down on me, as well as, a good friend that lost her battle with cancer as we were going through the trenches together.  Peace be with you.......

 

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Fundraiser

Every 4 minutes one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

I was one of those people 14 years ago and as of March 13, 2010, I am embarking upon a ten (10) week fundraising effort to raise $15,000.00 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Every dollar counts as one vote, and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of ten weeks; the top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles.

Funds raised by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year participants are used for:

  • Lifesaving blood cancer research
  • Financial assistance to cover patient expenses for transportation, medication and testing
  • Free educational materials and events for patients and their families
  • Local programs such as Family Support Groups and First Connection, a peer-to-peer counseling program
  • Comprehensive, personalized assistance through our Information Resource Center

Get in the game and start supporting this cause. If not for me, for the cause itself.  I would appreciate any financial assistance you could provide. Yes, I am financially contributing thousands of dollars that I am not counting towards the $15,000.00 goal, so you are  not alone.

 

Go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year personalized website to donate! Or by clicking here.

http://scar.mwoy.llsevent.org/pledge/index.cfm?mid=TREYMILLS

I have previously written about my cancer experience and after you donate money feel free to read it. If you don't donate money, you can't read it.

(Bad Word) If You Have Never Had Cancer!

 

Felony DUI in Anderson Car Wreck Leaves More than Injuries

The Anderson Independent was reporting that a young lady, Julie George, was charged with one count of felony driving under the influence involving a death for an accident that occurred in Anderson County on Friday, March 5, 2010.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, this was the tenth death in a motor vehicle crash this year in Anderson County, the highest year-to-date of any county in the state. Ms. George admitted to texting while driving in the moments before the wreck and was unable to pass preliminary alcohol tests. 

The driver that Ms. George struck head on and fatally injured had a 7-month old child and fiancee. 

 

 

St. Francis of Greenville Emergency Room Visit

I was stepping out of my car onto a curb the other day in downtown Greenville, South Carolina and heard my left foot "pop" three quarters of the way up the foot on my left side.  I immediately felt pain and could not put weight on my foot.  I went straight to the nearest emergency room, which was St. Francis Hospital

The nursing staff and front end people were amazing. They got me in, took my information, got me back to a room in less than thirty minutes. The x-ray technician came and wheeled me into the x-ray room and then carted me back. All that was done within an hour and half. Amazing and I was impressed (at that point).  

Then I felt I was living in Dr. Seuss' "Waiting Place" from Oh! The Places You Will Go. Finally a PA, or physician's assistant, came in and pushed around on the area I indicated was in such pain. I jumped around of course as she did that and she made the comment that maybe she should go look at the x-rays. Really!? The ones you ordered before you ever saw me?

Lastly a nurse comes in and gives me an Ultram tablet and says they are going to wrap the broad side of my foot in an ACE Bandage. Really!? Why? What was the results of the x-rays? Why can I not put weight on it?

No doctor, no consult as to the result of the x-ray, no explanation as to what is wrong with my foot if nothing was broken. Or were they just going to send me home with a fracture to follow up? Did I mention that outside of nursing staff I had billing come back and take my $250.00 co pay for my ER visit?  Money paid and claims will be filed on my health insurance but for what? I got a form that says I saw a doctor. I never saw a doctor. Do you think I will be charged for seeing one? 

When I responded I wasnt leaving until someone explained the results of the x-ray, the possible diagnosis, what I could do to get better, and what I needed to watch out for, they sent the PA back in.  She apologized for it being so hectic (calmest ER I have ever seen and my mother was ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center for 15 years-so I have seen hectic ERs) and then told me I had a sprain.

Fast forward two weeks and I am still in pain and can not put much weight on my foot. I go to Anderson Medical Center, they refer me to Blue Ridge Orthopedics and low and behold, x-rays reveal a broken metatarsal bone in my foot (one of the bones that leads to your toes).

Important things to take from this:

  1. This is not worthy of medical malpractice. Medical professionals range from good to bad just like all professionals.  St. Francis provided poor care. That's it. Move on.
  2. If you have a personal injury, only you know how your body feels.
  3. If you are unhappy with services provided to you, try another hospital, doctor, or medical provider.

 

Drunk Driving Kills People and Puts Drunk Drivers in Jail

An interesting thing happened while I was sitting and enjoying live music by Swift Robinson at the Esso Club in Clemson, SC after the Clemson vs. Wake Forest game; a girl at our table pulled out a breathalyzer to test everyone's alcohol level.  Several people at the table registered double the legal limit and thought it was funny because they felt they could still operate a 5,000 lb vehicle on the roadways of South Carolina. Fortunately for my friend, I was not drinking but the couple that had pulled out the breathalyzer later left together and drove home (even though they both registered over the legal limit).

This happens in every state, college town, social scene, professional night out, etc. We have all done it and I am not one to point fingers without admitting to my own ignorance in getting behind the wheel when there could be a question as to my level of impairment.  However, what none of us think about are the consequences of killing someone and going to jail for an innocent night out for a few drinks. I never thought about it and thank God everyday that as dumb as I have been on occasions, I have been fortunate enough to only harm myself. (fortunate compared to the alternative).

I am willing to bet the two drivers that got charged with felony DUI's this past weekend in the upstate did not think they would kill someone when they got behind the wheel.  YET THEY DID.

  • Douglas Dodgens, 52, was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The 30-year-old driver of the car that hit Dodgens’ car was charged with felony driving under the influence. -as reported by The Greenville News;
  • Zion Faith Mills, 17-year-old Lyman girl, was killed and five people were injured in a wreck outside Greer. The driver in the one-vehicle accident has been charged with felony driving under the influence. -as reported by The Greenville News.

My buddies in New York are amazed at the amount of drinking and driving down South and attribute it to our lack of knowledge in using public transportation.  I often refute that public transportation is not as readily available down here as up there but nonetheless, they are right.  Call a cab, friend, or just have a sober driver.

Felony DUI charges are not cheap to fight, civil lawsuits and settlements against the at fault driver's insurance company are not going to replace the lives lost, and jail is considered a punishment because no one wants to be there, neither do you.

Be smart, spend $20-50 on a taxi vs. $30,000 on a criminal defense attorney and living with the knowledge of what you have done to someone and their family.

 

 

Joel Bieber Law Firm Cleared on Questionable Advertisement

The Greenville News reported:

The South Carolina Supreme Court dismissed disciplinary charges Monday against an Upstate personal injury lawyer known for his catchy television ads, putting an end to a years-long legal battle over whether one of the attorney’s ads aired years ago made misleading promises about protecting jobs.

This investigation arose out of a letter from an anonymous complainant (most likely a competitor) that argued an advertisement Joel Bieber began running in December of 2003 left the impression that hiring Bieber would mean a client wouldn't lose his job. 

Joel Beiber's ad stated this:

It's not your fault that you were hurt on the job, but I know you're afraid to file a job injury claim. You're afraid your boss won't believe you're really hurt, or worse, that you'll be fired. We'll protect you against these threats and these accusations and work to protect your job.

Bieber, who pulled the ad following the complaint, stated that the ad asserted only that he would work to protect a job and offered no guarantees.

All lawyers, more specifically as it pertains to advertising personal injury lawyers, must adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Those Rules specifically outline communications lawyers can make as to their services.

 

A lawyer shall not make false, misleading, deceptive, or unfair communications about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication violates this rule if it:

(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;

(b) is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;

(c) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

(d) contains a testimonial; or

(e) contains a nickname, moniker, or trade name that implies an ability to obtain results in a matter.

 

 



Charity Events Don't Just Help the Cause-They Help the Contributor

At some point every male that participated in the Outstanding Men of Greenville Bachelor Auction  last night was propositioned, pinned, cajoled, and otherwise guilt tripped into helping out for a good cause by Shay Hewitt.  I got caught when I was hanging out at the bar at Rick Erwin's after a sales pitch by Chris Norton of Walton International. Ms. Hewitt came over working the crowd and discussing the amazing things that she has been involved in with her designing and event planning for good causes.

Next thing I know, I am at Sassafras in Greenville walking in front of a bunch of women with wine and other drinks trying to raise money by auctioning off myself. Fortunately for the fundraising part of this event, all was not lost and even I brought in several hundred dollars in bidding. I didn't even have to give the signal to my cousin in the crowd to keep me from going too low. ( I had provided her with crisp 100's to assist with a recession like market).

This week is/has been full of charity events and pro bono opportunities. (Don't forget about the YMCA's Blue Jean Ball for Camp Greenville). It's good timing for giving back considering the recent passing of a local physical therapist, Scott Shuey. A man that lived his life in such a way to make you envy the purity and goodness of it.  Scott worked several doors down from my office and I would see him come in after receiving both his diagnosis and subsequent treatment. He went from a physically fit man to a physically fit bald man. He continued to do the things he loved and garnered the love and support of his community as his positive spirit and triumphant attitude reigned supreme.  Then news came from MD Anderson that all had been done that could be done. Scott returned back to his earthly home before returning to his heavenly home.

This week has been hard for me as a cancer survivor.  I am reminded of my mortality, my second chance at life and the most precious thing of all...... time.  The extra time I have been given to share with those I love. The extra time I have been given to help those in need. The extra time I have been given to make a positive impact on this world. 

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

I Won't Cheat; Just Say No; Appalachian Trail/Argentinian Tail

Watching the Little League Baseball Tournament this weekend you couldn't help but notice those patches stating, "I Won't Cheat."  They made me think back to a time when I was growing up and they had the "Just Say No" crew come in and give a pep rally of some sort to us in elementary school.  That was a good time to catch us because we were energetic and wanted the t-shirts but the peer pressure hadn't really started to come yet. Give it a few more years and the majority of students chanting "Just Say No" had turned that into, "Just Give Me Blow". 

I am not proud of myself but two short years after this courageous campaign by Nancy Reagan with "Just Say No", I gave up trading baseball cards to selling smokeless tobacco and cigarettes. I never did either but saw an opportunity to make a buck (sound familiar Philip Morris?), used the five finger discount from local stores and sold them to kids in school. It was a good market till someone snitched and I took a five finger lesson to the face from my mother.  I don't think I ever stole anything again after that lesson.  Plus I had to pay back the stores. No slogan needed, experience took hold. 

I have always enjoyed being an entrepreneur and little did I know as I got older, politicians make the rules so you don't have to steal "illegally" anymore. You play by the rules and you can do just as much harm. The first non-profit I formed was not to give back to the kids but to help with tax breaks. What's the difference in stealing and doing a good deed? Legislatures already beat me to that moral decision, you can do both at the same time just play by the rules. 

Mark Sanford, our infamous South Carolina governor, forgot about those strong family values he had platformed on for so long. He traded those in for infidelity and adultery. I am sure he knew the Ten Commandments and right vs. wrong. Yet, still he stands as this state's governor.  It just goes to show no matter what catchy slogan, guidelines, Commandments, or rules you try and memorize, if you don't follow them and let your actions do the speaking, then catch phrases are just cheap sew ons.

 

If You Can't Drive in the South, Don't Leave the State

I just came back from vacation to New York City and Rio de Janeiro. As far as my experiences that relate to this blog, I was amazed at how aggressive, reckless, and yet effective the drivers of any form of transportation drove in those areas without colliding with ANYTHING.

I have traveled by taxi in NYC before but Rio made NYC look like a kiddy ride. Three lanes of traffic, meant 5 wide and motorcycles racing in between. This included the mass transit buses that weaved in and out of traffic better than the motorcycles. We took the subway, taxis, buses, and walked throughout each city and I could not help but thinking about all the wreck cases I get in a small, rural community in the Golden Corner of South Carolina.

However, in these huge metropolitan cities I never saw an incident. I am sure other bloggers in those areas could fill me in with statistics but from a brief observational standpoint, you would think incidents would be higher. Yet, considering the majority of the drivers are professional, ie taxi cab drivers, mass transit, and other courier services, that could be the reason. 

Regardless, I encourage all my past, present, and future clients to take advanced driving courses before they head out of the state or out of country with the intentions on driving;

  • The 80 year old, driving the Cadillac in the left lane may be pummeled;
  • I can't even think about the young, teenager that just got his license- ouch; or
  • The texting driver not really paying attention.

Happy Trails to you.

 

2009 Annual Covention of the South Carolina Association of Justice

All this week and through the weekend, South Carolina attorneys that fight for the rights of those harmed by the ignorance, negligence, or omissions of others are learning, being reminded of, and networking with like minded professionals.

The South Carolina Association of Justice conducts its annual convention down in Hilton Head Island, usually during the first weekend of August. A wonderful lineup/itinerary for all trial attorneys that provide assistance to plaintiffs in the state of South Carolina and throughout the United States.

Fortunately the backdrop of this convention is set in Hilton Head at the Westin Resort on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.  In an effort to fight more fervently for my clients and those future clients I may have, I have reluctantly forged down to the coast for this "intense" weekend of learning, networking, and being reminded of why I work so hard.

*A picture of Westin Resort in Hilton Head Island, SC.

Bon Voyage Roy Trammell: Quasi Attorney/Paralegal/Runner

Today, a boy heads off on his journey to become a man. Actually he is already a man but he leaves the nest to forge out into the unknown realm beyond the darkness, aka the real world.  Our sometimes legal advisor, sometimes paralegal, sometimes runner, sometimes receptionist and most times web surfer extraordinaire; completes his four year post graduate internship to follow in the footsteps of his father and embark upon law school. 

Roy and I started working at the Trammell Law Firm, P.A. about the same time in 2005.  I was new to the Anderson area and he was an excellent host.  It was hard to manage the employer/employee relationship given our interconnected social explorations in the hot Electric City nightlife but all worked out just fine. One thing is for sure, he would answer the call late into the night and come bail you out of any trouble.  The sign of a true friend.

I will miss the "What's going on, dude!?", salutations I often overheard Roy solicit to clients, staff, attorneys and the like.  My nerves may be a little more at ease from not worrying about his caring and kind heart wanting to reach out and help someone, albeit at the expense of providing them legal advice or direction over the phone.  Hopefully before he leaves he will give me one more, "What you got going on this weekend, dog?"

Well wishes and high marks are wished upon you, Roy. May your travels up to the Northern states be safe and your pursuits at Thomas Cooley Law School be successful. 

Trammell Law Firm, P.A. Joins Facebook

Given all the local marketing we have done lately, Trammell Law Firm, P.A. wanted to take that a step further and join the World Wide Web of marketing and social networking. Enter Trammell Law Firm, P.A. to Facebook. Become a Fan of Trammell Law Firm, P.A. today and keep up with the exciting lives of those working hard to fight off the evil empire of insurance companies.

 

"Wrecking" Havoc on Interstate 85 in Upstate South Carolina

In the past 24 hours, two people have died as a result of traffic fatalities on I-85 in or around Anderson County:

The South Carolina Department of Transportation provides "real time" traffic cameras for stretches of I-85 in Anderson County.  However, the most dangerous stretch of I-85 starts at the Georgia border to about Exit 19 in South Carolina. Road construction is being performed from Exit 11 to Exit 19 on I-85, as indicated on the SCDOT Traffic Advisory website.

Given the varying construction projects that are ongoing in the area and the myriad number of tractor trailers that pass through this stretch of interstate on any given day, several legal issues could arise:

  • South Carolina Tort Claims Act, as set out by S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-40, indicates the State, an agency, a political subdivision, and a governmental entity are liable for their torts in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, subject to the limitations upon liability and damages, and exemptions from liability and damages, contained herein;
  • S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-40- provides those exceptions to the waiver of immunity; and
  • Negligence - duty, breach, causation, and damages.

These were recent pictures taken of I-85 from Exit 19 to Exit 11. Working in Anderson County, we are familiar with the area, law, and roadway conditions.

 

South Carolina Experiences Lower Traffic Deaths at Mid Year 2009

The Anderson Independent was reporting "Traffic Deaths Down in South Carolina for First Half Year":

  • the state had 439 traffic deaths for mid year 2009;
  • a decline from 492 during in the same period in 2008; and
  • an even stronger decline from the 553 in the first half of 2007.

However, there were 11 traffic related deaths in the state of South Carolina during the Fourth of July Holiday weekend.  As far as Upstate South Carolina is concerned, those traffic deaths have included:

South Carolina Highway Patrol considered these declines in traffic fatalities to be in strong part due to seat belt use and sobriety enforcement being at an all-time high in the state.

I encourage everyone to wear your seat belts and don't drink and drive! Let's keep these numbers dropping every year.

As Tim Morgan, a spokesman for the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department, said in regards to traffic fatalities:

“If you have one, if it is your family member, that is one way too many. We don’t wait to look at numbers. We get involved.”

Graduation Speech for Mid-Carolina High School 2009

I graduated from Mid-Carolina High School in 1996 after having gone through some trials on a personal level and then actually living to come back 13 years later as the commencement speaker was not only emotional but very special, to say the least.

It was great seeing all the talented, hard working, dedicated, and truly special teachers that impacted my life a decade or more ago, still passing along their gifts.  The new high school facility is amazing and I am so happy to see those educators, administrators, students, and parents being provided the framework. They already had the content, now they have the beautiful exterior cover.

Thank you Mid-Carolina for having me. I have posted the transcript of my speech online and you can click on Mid-Carolina Graduation Speech 2009-Trey Mills  for those that had requested same.

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina's Deadly Upstate Roadways

The amount of traffic and pedestrian fatalities seemed to be one article after another this past week/weekend.  As summer begins don't let your focus change. Always remember your duties to be responsible on the roadways of South Carolina. Here were some of the articles reported by The Greenville News & Anderson Independent:

  • Easley Man Killed on 183- a one car crash involving Mr. Oswaldo Carrera Hernandez, speed was indicated as a factor in the wreck;
  • Motorcyclist, Moped Rider Die in Taylors Crash-the motorcyclist, Joe Pannell, who was wearing a helmet, died of blunt-force trauma on the way to the hospital Friday. The moped driver, Brian Cote, died Saturday morning, about 11 hours after the crash. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Bryan McDougald said Cote, was eastbound in a 35 mph zone on East Main in Taylors when he turned into Pannell's path. Cote was not wearing a helmet;
  • Pickens Man Dies in Moped Crash- A 41-year-old Pickens man was killed Saturday night when the Honda moped he was riding crashed on Mount Bethel Road, when he lost control of the moped and hit a ditch. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The article went on to report that, "Nationally, there were almost 5,200 motorcycle deaths in 2007, up 6 percent from the almost 4,900 deaths from the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."
  • Dodge Ram Sought in Fatal Greer Hit-Run-State troopers are investigating a Greer pedestrian's death as a hit-and-run and are trying to confirm who was driving the pickup that struck him.The driver of the Dodge Ram left the scene after striking the man, who was westbound on the shoulder of State 290 at 8:55 a.m. Sunday.  The pedestrian has been identified as James Roper James, 49, of Greer;
  • Brothers Killed in Westside Crash- Two brothers from Mexico were killed in a freakish three-vehicle accident on Farrs Bridge Road near the Greenville-Pickens line on Wednesday evening. Jesus and Juan Zamora-Barrera were killed when their Ford pickup collided with the cab of a tractor-trailer cab that was towing a backhoe on a lowboy trailer; and
  • Belton Woman Faces Charges After Fatal Wreck-as reported by the Anderson Independent-A 21-year-old woman, Kelly McCoy of Belton, was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence and open container after a wreck that killed 56-year old Jack Hall Jr. of Fork Shoals. McCoy was driving her 2005 Honda north on Fairview Road when she crossed over the center line and struck Hall’s Chevrolet pickup truck, killing him instantly.  

If you, a loved one, friend, family member, and/or enemy need a free consultation after having been injured as a result of someone's ignorance, negligence, or omission, please feel free to call upon an experienced personal injury attorney that can assist you in this delicate and confusing process.

Remember:

"Insurance companies don't make money paying it out in claims. They make money, keeping it away from you. Personal Injury attorneys make money based on a percentage they get for you from the insurance companies. Whose interest are aligned with yours and whose interest are not aligned with yours?"  --Trey Mills

 

Governor Sanford Fought the Law and The Law Won!

Our South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, has been in a long and very publicized battle with the General Assembly over how to appropriate the State Fiscal Stabilization (SFS) funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, aka Federal Stimulus monies, allotted to South Carolina.  The battle has finally come to a head with the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling in Edwards and Williams v. State and SCASA v. Sanford:

We hold under the circumstances presented that a writ of mandamus is warranted and issue a writ of mandamus* to compel Governor Sanford to apply for the SFS funds and take all legal and necessary steps to effectuate the State’s receipt of the SFS funds for the purposes as set forth by Congress.

*(Excerpt from the case explaining writs of mandamus)

The Supreme Court has the power to issue writs of mandamus.  S.C. Const. art. V, § 5; S.C. Code Ann. § 14-3-310 (1976).  Mandamus is the highest judicial writ known to the law.  Brackenbrook N. Charleston, LP v. County of Charleston, 360 S.C. 390, 400, 602 S.E.2d 39, 45 (2004).  It is a coercive writ which orders a public official to perform a ministerial duty.  Wilson v. Preston, 378 S.C. 348, 354, 662 S.E.2d 580, 582 (2008); Ex Parte Littlefield, 343 S.C. 212, 222, 540 S.E.2d 81, 86 (2000). 

For a writ of mandamus to issue, the following must be shown: (1) a duty of the Respondent to perform the act; (2) the ministerial nature of the act; (3) the Petitioner’s specific legal right for which discharge of the duty is necessary; and (4) a lack of any other legal remedy. Wilson v. Preston, 378 S.C. at 354, 662 S.E.2d at 583.  A ministerial act or duty is one which a person performs because of a legal mandate which is defined with such precision as to leave nothing to the exercise of discretion. Id. at 354, 662 S.E.2d at 583

(Picture from The State article entitled, "Stimulus Battle Might End by Weekend + Video")

Dog Bites Against Postal Workers on the Rise in South Carolina

The Greenville News reported on the alarming rise in dog bites against US Postal Carriers

The postal service’s Greater South Carolina District, which has 995 city carriers and 1,448 rural carriers, has had a “shocking” increase in dog bites in recent months, the agency said......

Harry Spratlin, spokesman for the USPS Greater South Carolina Performance Cluster, said it’s difficult to pinpoint a cause for the rise in dog bites to letter carriers.........

“Even small breed dogs have the potential to inflict injuries that can threaten a carrier’s career. Our best approach is to issue an appeal to all dog lovers: please, be responsible owners: control your pets.”

If you have been attacked by a dog, either on the job or off the job, you may have a cause of action against the dog's owner or keeper.  South Carolina's law on dog bites is clear:

S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110: Liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping.

Whenever any person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. .... If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.  (emphasis added).

I have covered this topic in a previous post in more depth. Please click on the link below to learn more about South Carolina's law on dog bite incidents.

Answers for Costly Prescription Medication

The Greenville News had an interesting article entitled "Medicine Too Costly for More Patients". The article stated:

The national recession is forcing more people to seek help getting their medications or to leave the drug store without their prescriptions once they learn what they'll cost.

The article referenced the Partnership for Prescription Assistance as an option for those without insurance or health benefits.  However, I found some of the most helpful resources to be in the comments part of the article.

  • Klady wrote: "CVS, Walmart, Target and Walgreens all have a generic program in which you can receive a 90-day supply for $9.99 as long as your medication is on the list. The list has about 300 medications on it, so there is a good chance that doctors would prescribe something off of this list if you ask."  (My research showed that Walmart & Target actually offered $4 generic drugs and Target had the most consumer friendly website)

  • Isuheidi wrote: "AnMed Health pharmacies also offer more than 230 generic drugs for only $5. You can find a list of the $5 medicines at www.anmedhealth.org."

The rest of the comments debate the health care industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Another time and place for that article. 

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs has a list of all the Free Medical Clinics by county. Some of the relevant ones are pasted below:

  • Anderson
    Anderson Free Clinic
    414 North Fant Street
    Anderson, SC
    864- 226-1294

  • Greenville
    600 Arlington Ave.
    Greenville, SC
    864-232-2989
  • Oconee
    Rosa Clark Medical Clinic
    210 S. Oak Street
    Seneca, SC
    843-237-2672
  • Pickens
    Pickens County Free Medical Clinic
    303 Dacusville Highway
    Easley, SC
    864-855-7936

 

 

An aside: I find it to be quite racist that the SC Commission of Minority Affairs thinks only minorities need Free Clinics. This listing should be on all the public health and community related websites paid for by SC gov.

 

Christopher Adams of Starr Dies in Moped Wreck

WSPA Channel 7 and the Anderson Independent are reporting that:

Christopher Adams, 35, of Starr suffered multiple injuries and died in surgery at AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson shortly after 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

The accident happened around 9:45 p.m. Friday when the driver of the pickup truck, Robert Sisk III, 30, was traveling east crossing over S.C. 81 South at True Temper Road about four miles south of Anderson, said Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The 1999 Ford truck struck the 2008 mo-ped, which was traveling north on S.C. 81 South, Gaskin said.

Sisk, of Airline Road in Anderson, is charged with failure to yield the right of way.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families as they deal with this difficult time. Unfortunately, one never knows when a freak accident can occur. Please make sure you have your loved ones, friends, and even your enemies taken care of in times of need. It starts with:

  1. Full Coverage Automobile Insurance;
  2. Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P)/ Medical Payments;
  3. Handling Your Property Damage Correctly; and
  4. Avoiding Allstate Insurance Company Because They Suck

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, or as a result of another person's ignorance, negligence, or omission, please feel free to call upon us at 864-231-7171 or toll free at 1-800-483-0880.

 

Teenage Driving Deaths Alarming in Greenville- Better in Anderson

The Greenville News reported on the morbid subject of teen driving fatalities in some upstate South Carolina counties and how to make younger people more aware of these realities. The article indicated that:

Despite adults' best efforts, the number of teens who died in Greenville County traffic wrecks barely budged in 2008, even as overall traffic deaths fell 20 percent. The numbers were better in Anderson County, where teen traffic deaths plunged 73 percent.

Parents, educators, legislatures, comment makers, and students are offering solutions and ideas:

  • required safety courses and defensive driving classes;
  • seat belt awareness and support;
  • mortality awareness for the male drivers;
  • more parental oversight and management of younger drivers; and
  • a scholarship opportunity focused on shedding the light on this grim subject matter.

 Related Articles and Resources:

Wren Student Deaths are Reminder of Community's Tragic Past

Welcome to the Unofficial Guide to Your South Carolina DMV - (all you need to know about South Carolina's Department of Motor Vehicle's rules and regulations for young drivers.)

 

 

Trey Mills is a Personal Injury Lawyer: Not a Singer/Realtor/Florida Attorney- Or Is He?

  1. If you or your loved one has been injured as a result of another person's ignorance, negligence, or omission, please feel free to call upon this Trey Mills. That would include accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, product liability issues, and other personal injuries that result in losses and harms to you or your loved ones. if you need a phone number: 864-231-7171.
  2. If you want someone that sings, you need to visit this Trey Mills. He actually took the web page I would like to have but I guess in all fairness, it was his first. This Trey Mills sings and has Trey Mills myspace pages, Trey Mills Facebook pages (totally different than this Trey Mills Facebook page), and other Trey Mills singing related links.
  3. If you want a Realtor to assist you with purchasing homes in the Lake Conroe area of Texas, you need this Trey Mills. This Trey Mills has a website called http://www.justasktrey.com. That is a pretty cool marketing twist for a Trey Mills. I guess I can mark that one off. If you need a phone number: 936-788-4712.

Those are the top three Google searches when you Google "Trey Mills". However, it is weird that I have met another Trey Mills that also graduated from Clemson and is a lawyer. Not quite the game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but interesting all the same. Then again, since I am officially Floyd S. Mills III and I go by "Trey", sign my name "Trey", and introduce myself as "Trey", does that make me THE TREY MILLS?

Well, I guess this should be lead article in any Google searches of "Trey Mills".......................... and your Google Juice is mine.

Client Stealing Attorneys, The Worst Kind of Attorney-SC Rules of Professional Conduct

Recently two things happened that made me realize I should help highlight this point for my fellow South Carolinians.

  1. A horrible head on collision in Anderson County where deaths were reported; and
  2. Georgia attorney, Ken Shigley's, blog post entitled "What to Do When Legal Vultures Descend on You After a Tragic Accident"

In Mr. Shigley's article he highlights the pertinent parts of the Georiga Rules of Professional Conduct that are very similar in South Carolina.  The most important thing to remember is that, as attorneys, we can not contact you or have someone (investigator, life planner, "fill in whatever foo foo bullshit title") contact you on our behalf after you or a family member has been in an accident. 

There are stories about the Graniteville train accident, where out-of-town law firms had "runners" working cover as Red Cross workers to get clients. That's wrong! (It was said, "All you had to do was look at the airplanes parked at the small community airport to tell something was up.") 

Last year, I personally had a local attorney solicit a client away from me and I reported them for their bullshit, selfish, arrogant, and unethical act. They had an investigator waiting on my client when she got home that informed her that he had been working on her case and had an attorney that had also already been working on her case. (They didn't anticipate her coming to a law firm prior to them getting to her.)  That attorney came to her house, signed her up, and said they would take care of the "other attorney", aka ME! 

I expressed it with comedy in my rewriting of "I Already Got an Attorney?" but it really pissed me off. I just could not handle getting in another fist fight and having my name in the paper, so I put it on my blog.

 

Rule 7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Clients

(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:

(1) is a lawyer; or

(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.

(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by direct written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone, telegraph, facsimile or realtime electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:

(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer;

(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress, harassment, fraud, overreaching, intimidation or undue influence;

(3) the solicitation concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person solicited or a relative of that person unless the accident or disaster occurred more than thirty (30) days prior to the solicitation;

(4) the solicitation concerns a specific matter and the lawyer knows, or reasonably should know, that the person solicited is represented by a lawyer in the matter; or

(5) the lawyer knows, or reasonably should know, that the physical, emotional, or mental state of the person makes it unlikely that the person would exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer.