“SHARE THE ROAD! Drivers and Cyclists Must Work Together to Stay Safe” by Nick Booth
On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, WSB-TV Atlanta released astonishing video footage showing an alleged road rage incident in Cobb County where a driver pulled in front of a cyclist on the road and then abruptly “brake checked” him, causing the cyclist to forcibly crash into the back of the driver’s truck, breaking his neck and sustaining serious injuries. The driver then fled the scene, leaving the cyclist unconscious in the road.
Such incidents involving negligence and road rage committed by drivers against cyclists are all too common, though they are preventable. New concepts of urban planning involving the implementation of experimental infrastructure like roundabouts and partitioned bike lines have shown great promise in their ability to reduce traffic congestion and make travel safer for vehicles and pedestrians alike. In fact, many cities throughout Georgia have embraced the presence of bicycles as a means to solve such problems as well as to provide a boon to local businesses. However, there are still many places in the state which are not so accommodating to cyclists. While Georgia may not boast the infrastructure of a town like Copenhagen along all of its roads, bikers in Georgia still have been accorded clearly defined legal rights, and such rights must be acknowledged and respected by drivers on the road.
In Georgia, like in most states, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle. This means that, except for persons ages 12 years or younger, bicycles are not allowed to be ridden on a sidewalk, and cyclists must share the roadway with automobiles. Georgia has laws in place which specifically address how cyclists and drivers are supposed to behave on the road together. For instance, when overtaking and passing a bicycle, drivers are to leave a “safe distance,” defined as not less than three feet, between them and the bicycle when feasible. (Footnote for drivers: if passing a bicycle while maintaining a safe distance is not feasible, it is likely best to be patient and maintain the cyclist’s pace until it becomes so.)
Moreover, the Georgia legislature has passed laws which address instances of road rage and criminalizes aggressive and/or reckless driving. In the case of the driver in the WSB video, his conduct could potentially subject him to liability for these offenses, and afford the cyclist with a cause of action against him for battery, pain and suffering, and a host of other counts.
It is important for both drivers and cyclists alike to know their rights, and to be cautious while out on the roads. Cyclists should wear a helmet on the road at all times, equip their bikes with proper lighting and reflective tape, and, if possible, keep a camera with you so that you can keep documentation of everything, like the cyclist in this case did. But most importantly, cyclists and drivers alike should remember to constantly be vigilant of their surroundings, be courteous to others, and share the road!
“I’m Named As The Executor In A Will But I Do Not Want To Serve” by Leslee Hungerford

Administering the estate of a loved one can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Additionally, acting as Executor of an estate subjects the individual serving to various duties and liabilities. If you have been named as the executor in a last will and testament you are not automatically required to serve or even probate the estate. However, it is important to note that if you are in possession of the Last Will and Testament, you are required to file the will with the probate court of proper jurisdiction. (See, O.C.G.A. §53-5-5 – “A person having possession of a will shall file it with reasonable promptness with the probate court of the county having jurisdiction.”) If the Last Will and Testament is offered for probate (either in solemn form or common form) and you are the named Executor, you may file a renunciation of your right to serve as the Executor. The renunciation must be in writing, state your intent to renounce your right to serve, and be notarized. To learn more about the probate process and your rights as the named Executor, please contact O’Dell & O’Neal.

O’Dell & O’Neal’s own Justin O’Dell presents oral argument before the US Federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Justin O’Dell appeared before the Federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on October 4, 2008 for an oral argument in the matter of Antonio Duscio, et al v. Al Hill, et al, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Case No. 17-13651-F. O’Dell & O’Neal is currently representing investors who have been defrauded in a Ponzi scheme related to the sale of life settlement policies and securities.

The appeal stems from an Order of the District Court approving the Receiver’s Motion to Approve Claims Process and Plan of Distribution by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The Order approving the claims process and distribution plan was entered in a receivership proceeding ancillary to a Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) action brought against Defendants for matters involving fraud and investment schemes, including Defendants’ business of selling interests in specific life insurance policies. Our clients are investor/victims in that scheme and claimants to the fund. The distribution plan sets forth a plan for the final distribution of Receivership assets, including the determination of investors alleged fictitious profits and proposal for the sale and assignment of certain life insurance policies owned by the investors. The determination of the ownership of our clients’ and other Direct Investor’s property rights and the decision that our clients and other investors would be required to pay back certain “fictitious payments” or be required to turn over their policy was made prior to any notice or opportunity to be heard and present meritorious defenses. The appeals centers around the lack of due process provided to our clients and other investors and their ability to have their claims heard.
To listen to Justin O’Dell’s oral argument, click here.
2019 Cobb County Factbook

                                                           Check us out in the Cobb County 2019 Factbook. If you haven’t received a copy and want one, give us a call and you’re welcome to come by and pick up one of our extra copies.

Proud sponsor of the 2018 Superior Plumbing Charity Classic

Proud sponsor of the 2018 Superior Plumbing Charity Classic held Monday at the Marietta Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Attorney Leslee Hungerford, pictured below with teammates Jason Albritton and Wes Collier, won first place!

“Thinking of an Appeal? Think Carefully!” By Nick Booth

In almost every case that reaches a judge, one side will leave the courtroom unhappy with the outcome.  While this is often not due to any wrongdoing on the judge or attorneys’ end, sometimes a judgment is handed down that fails to consider key evidence or relies on faulty legal precedent.  In such cases, an appeal may be an appropriate option to consider.  However, there are numerous different types of appeals depending on the nature of the case and judgment entered, and each comes rife with its own set of procedural “traps for the unwary” that can keep your appeal from moving forward. The timeline for filing an appeal starts the moment the judgment is filed, and it is extremely important for the appealing party to understand the type of appeal that they are dealing with, and have a comprehensive grasp of the appellate rules to follow to ensure that their appeal is not dismissed for failure to follow the proper procedures.

Justin O’Dell interviewed on 11 Alive Action News

Justin O’Dell was featured on 11 Alive regarding the Secretary of State app linking to Kemp’s campaign for governor.

https://www.11alive.com/video/news/politics/verify-secretary-of-states-app-has-links-to-kemps-social-media-accounts-for-campaign/85-8204693

Justin O’Dell’s interview with 11 Alive on the “Resign to Run” rule regarding Brian Kemp.

https://www.11alive.com/video/news/politics/can-you-run-for-office-while-running-the-states-election-system/85-8204653