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BARNES LAW GROUP SELECTED TO LEAD THE OPIOID LITIGATION IN GEORGIA

 

Carr Announces Selection of Legal Team to Assist in Opioid Investigation and Litigation

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that he has selected outside private counsel to serve as co-counsel in an investigation and litigation involving the manufacture, marketing, sale and distribution of prescription opioid products in the state of Georgia. John Bevis of the Barnes Law Group will be appointed as Special Assistant Attorneys General (SAAGs) pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 45-15-4. The Barnes Law Group will work in conjunction with The Cooper Firm, Franklin Law, LLC and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. 

“As Attorney General, I have dedicated every available resource our office has to fight the opioid epidemic – whether by increasing communication and coordination through our Statewide Opioid Task Force, cracking down on illegal prescribing through our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit or conducting training opportunities for law enforcement and prosecutors through our national partnerships,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “As my office pursues legal action against those who may have had a role in fueling this epidemic, I feel very strongly that this legal team’s combined experience and expertise will help put our legal team in the best position to ensure the interests of Georgians are protected.” 

Qualified attorneys were invited to submit proposals to the Office of the Attorney General on or before Friday, May 18, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. to include the following information: educational and professional background; particular abilities and experience relevant to representation of the Georgia Department of Law for purposes of conducting the investigation and litigation; the firm’s experience with the pharmaceutical industry; state consumer protection laws, including the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act; Medicaid and false claims laws; damage and economic loss recovery; the firm’s trial and appellate experience; and the firm’s arrangements for large and complex litigation matters (including the adequacy of financial resources for such litigation).

The Attorney General and staff reviewed 20 proposals. After reviewing, the Attorney General invited seven in for an interview before making a final decision.

A portion of each selected firm’s “About” section is listed below for reference. You can learn more about the firms by visiting their respective websites.

Barnes Law Group

The attorneys at Barnes Law Group have the unique charge of Making It Right for the citizens of Georgia and across the country. They are an unrelenting collection of individual talents that make up one of the most powerful and varied groups of litigators that always fall on the side of consumer advocacy and the rights of the individual. Our legal team is made up of the best legal minds in Georgia.  Our lawyers and experienced staff have literally spent decades working in both the public and private sectors on behalf of those who have been wronged by others’ actions.  As a result, Barnes Law Group is highly regarded as a top national law firm that provides results for our clients.

The Cooper Firm

We are a personal injury and wrongful death law firm that has successfully won multi-million dollar awards and settlements on behalf of our clients nationwide. Lance Cooper founded The Cooper Firm in 2006. With experience in substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases, he has represented plaintiffs in numerous civil jury trials and has successfully prosecuted hundreds of cases and gained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Mr. Cooper has built a practice that brings together a team that combines legal expertise and compassion to ensure clients receive the benefits of a large firm with the personal attention of a small firm. With this in mind, The Cooper Firm represents a select few clients in order to ensure that each client receives the attention they deserve.

Franklin Law, LLC

Franklin Law is a Georgia law firm operated by the father-daughter team, James (“Jimmy”) B. Franklin and Rebecca Franklin Harris. Franklin Law was formed by Rebecca in 2009 and Jimmy joined as Of-Counsel to the firm several years later. Together, the duo brings more than 65 years of experience in representing individual clients, businesses, and government entities. Specifically, the duo has substantial experience in product liability litigation and other complex matters.

Beasley Allen Law Firm

In 1979, Jere Locke Beasley founded the firm, which is now known as Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. The firm represents plaintiffs and claimants in civil litigation. The firm employs more than 75 lawyers and over 200 support staff. Our primary offices are based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama, although we work with attorneys and clients throughout the country. Our Atlanta office focuses on cases in the state of Georgia and especially in the metro area. Beasley Allen represents plaintiffs and claimants in the following areas: Business Litigation, Personal Injury and Product Liability, Medical Devices and Drugs, Fraud, Employment Law, and Environmental. Our attorneys are leaders in complex litigation in courtrooms around the U.S., including state and federal courts. Our attorneys and cases have been profiled in major national media such as Time Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, Forbes.com, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, New York Times, National Law Journal, New Orleans Times-Picayune, CNBC’s “The Closing Bell,” 60 Minutes, NPR, CNN, Headline News, NBC’s “Today Show,” MSNBC, ABC’s “Good Morning America” Fox News and Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” We have also represented clients testifying before U.S. Congressional committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Read more by clicking the link above.

UPDATE to DeKalb TSA Plan Litigation

On June 1, 2018, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an Opinion that (1) overturned the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims; (2) determined that the District is liable as  a matter of law for breaching its legal duty to the employees; (3) ruled the Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability in their favor, with only issues of damages calculations remaining for trial by jury; and (4) ruled that the trial court must reconsider class certification in light of this Opinion.

 

Georgia Watch Challenges Public Service Commission

On behalf of Georgia Watch, Barnes Law Group has filed a petition to contest in court a decision of the Georgia Public Service Commission approving the continuation of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project despite a near doubling of the original budget, expansive execution risks due to a recent bankruptcy and a five-year delay of commercial operation. According to the filing, the Commission’s decision violates Georgia law and the Commission’s own rules. “In both process and outcome, the PSC unfairly tilted the scales in favor of Georgia Power’s shareholders,” says John Salter, an attorney at the Barnes Law Group who is representing Georgia Watch along with former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.

http://www.georgiawatch.org/georgia-watch-challenges-public-service-commission-decision-on-plant-vogtle/

New York Times Exposes Scheme To Cheat Servicemembers – and YOU – out of Legal Rights

When the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Services are protecting our country, they should not have to worry about financial frauds and schemes at home. To alleviate some of this burden, Congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which grants certain legal protections to members of the military. Unfortunately, corporations including USAA and JPMorgan Chase have found a way to violate the SCRA law without being held accountable — forced arbitration.

The New York Times exposed this abusive practice in a front page story that you can read below.   As you will see, this is not limited to servicemembers’ rights. This could – and likely does – apply to you because forced arbitration is found in everything from cell phone contracts, to bank terms of service, to even nursing home admission forms.

Failed by Law and Courts, Troops Come Home to Repossessions, New York Times, March 16, 2015.

US TERROR VICTIMS WIN BATTLE OVER SYRIAN FUNDS

Congratulations to John Salter, for your hard work and MAKING IT RIGHT. John Salter said, “Representing these brave, patient and determined women is one of the greatest privileges of my professional life. Thanks also to Roy (Barnes), for trusting me with the case, our great staff and my very able co-counsel. But especially thanks to my clients for never giving up.”

JEEP RECALL

On June 6, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested a recall of 2.7 million Grand Cherokee (model year 1993 – 2004) and Liberty (model year 2002 – 2007) Jeeps.  The government says 51 people have suffered fiery deaths from a rear end collision because the gas tanks ARE mounted behind the rear axles AND MAY EXPLODE ON IMPACT.  Chrysler initially refused but has now agreed to recall 1.6 million of the vehicles to inspect and, if necessary, make repairs on the vehicles.  Rather than placing a steel plate over the plastic gas tank, as public interest groups like the Center for Auto Safety had called for, it will simply install a factory trailer hitch to provide some protection in the case of a low-speed, rear-end collision.

As always, there is never a cost or obligation just to talk with our lawyers and case managers.

 

 

UPDATE To All Class Members in Payday Lender Case

Congrats to Roy Barnes, John Bevis and Cam Tribble on a victory at the Georgia Court of Appeals against Georgia Cash America, a large payday lender.  The Court of Appeals agreed with BLG after reviewing a persuasive, well researched brief by Cam Tribble, that the borrowers’ claims against Georgia Cash America should be tried to a jury.  After 8 years of litigation, Georgia Cash will not be able to escape a jury’s determination of their many violations of law.   Read More!

Veteran Challenges Title Loan Company In Court

Click here to read an article appearing in the Marietta Daily Journal by Katy Ruth Camp about Army Staff Sgt. Jason Cox’s lawsuit pending against Community Loans of America.

Army Infantryman Strikes Back against Illegal Title Loans

Ft. Benning, Ga. (11/11/11) – Exemplifying his Infantry motto, Follow Me, United States Army Infantryman and Purple Heart recipient, SSG Jason Cox, hopes to stop predatory title loans from being made to members of the military and their dependents. Flanked by Georgia’s former Governor, Staff Sergeant Cox filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against the Atlanta-based title pawn lenders Community Loans of America, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, Alabama Title Loans, Inc., and 900 related corporate entities operating in 22 states.

The federal court suit, filed on Veteran’s Day in Columbus, is based on the special lending protections given to active duty service members and their dependents under the Military Lending Act of 2007, a federal law that prohibits creditors from charging more than 36% APR on title and payday loans and requiring service members to give up the title to their vehicle as security of the loan. Lawmakers passed the MLA after the Pentagon reported in 2006 that “Predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force.”

As title loans go, Cox’s story is not unique. To help meet family financial obligations, Cox initially borrowed $3,000 against his 2002 Dodge Durango that he owned free and clear. Cox was charged over 100% APR for each 30 day loan period. After rolling the loan over multiple times, and paying hundreds of dollars each time, Cox could no longer afford to keep making the monthly payments and the Durango was repossessed from his on base housing at Ft. Benning, while he was at work and on duty. SSG Cox is asking a federal judge for permission to represent all active duty service members and their dependents in 22 states who had similar loans, and to declare the loans and the unlawful.

This case challenges the practice of making illegal “vehicle title loans” to active duty service members and their dependents in violation of the Military Lending Act. Unlike other laws where the victims of predatory lending are not allowed to go to court, the MLA expressly bans lenders from requiring service members to arbitrate without a court’s involvement. The suit is asking a federal judge to force vehicle title lenders to comply with the requirements of the MLA, stop repossessing service member’s vehicles on the loans that don’t comply, and return the money that was wrongfully taken.

The suit, jointly filed by Roy Barnes, Georgia’s former Governor, and John R. Bevis (Barnes Law Group, LLC) and attorneys Scott C. Crowley and Kyle S. Fischer (Day Crowley, LLC), is the first of its kind. Asked why he filed suit, Barnes said “It’s simple, really. Every day we ask the military to fight for our freedoms. Now it’s time for us to step up to the plate and fight for theirs.  Predatory lending against our service members and their families violates all notions of decency and ethics. This is not only wrong – it is tragic. And it must end.”

BLG Wins $400 Million for Al-Zarqawi Victims’ Family

On a cool morning in September 2004, Marietta subcontractor Jack Hensley performed a daily ritual: he walked out of his house in United Arab Emirates to start the generator for he and the other subcontractors living there while they helped rebuild Iraq.  But this morning was different.

Jack was surrounded by al-Quaida militants and, along with his fellow housemates, abducted.  A few days later, Jack was gruesomely beaten and beheaded.  His death played out in a video that played across international television screens.

Left to pick up the pieces, Jack’s widow, Pati, and daughter turned to BLG for justice.  In a trial that took place in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, BLG partners Roy E. Barnes and John F. Salter sued the country of Syria for aiding and supporting the terrorists who abducted and killed Jack.

Judge Rosemary Collyer awarded Pati and the family of another slain American subcontractor over $400 million in damages in 2008.  After two years, the appeals process has finally concluded.

As partner John F. Salter stated, “It is an extraordinary testament to the fortitude of these families. No one should ever have to witness a family member suffering such unspeakable brutality. They hoped the judge’s order would send a message. Together, I think we did exactly that.”