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Beware of law firms not licensed in Georgia but advertising for Georgia cases

Recently a Texas law firm has begun aggressively advertising for Georgia trucking accident cases through Google and Youtube, directly soliciting for Georgia cases even though that firm has no Georgia attorney and no Georgia office.

To a consumer looking at the Texas firm’s web content, without reading the fine print, it looks like the firm is in Atlanta or Savannah. However, the Texas firm has no “boots on the ground” in Georgia. This presents a substantial danger for consumers responding to that firm’s advertising.

While Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are the same throughout the nation, the laws of torts, civil procedure and evidence vary from state to state. We don’t market to target cases in other states. When we get cases in neighboring states, the first thing we do is associate local counsel with intimate familiarity with the specific court where the case would be tried.

Although an out of state firm has some latitude in handling matters up to the point of filing suit, ignorance of local rules and practice creates great danger for anyone hiring a Texas law firm for a Georgia case. Lack of familiarity with Georgia laws, court rules, legal culture and practices can be deadly.

If you have a serious case in Georgia, you need a seasoned Georgia trial attorney who knows the lay of the land in Georgia, and who is known in Georgia.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people in tractor trailer, big rig, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

He has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).

A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.

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