All law is politics, or so a professor once told us. One member of the crack editorial staff has decided to use his supposed expertise (at least that's what the big piece of paper on the wall and the bar card in his wallet say) to provide regular updates on the local legal scene. Every now and then, if he's feeling bold, you may even get some analysis.
First up is a heads-up from an anonymous source that a really big products liability trial will be coming soon to a courtroom near you. Namely the Athens-Clarke County State Court. Pending some possible procedural hurdles (the case is technically still up on interlocutory appeal of some pre-trial issues), the court is planning to begin trial on November 14, 2005. The trial is expected to last 4-6 weeks. The case involves a woman who was killed when her 1985 Mercury Marquis was hit from behind by a truck, and the fuel tank exploded. The suit alleges several product defects against both Ford Motor Co., the manufacturer of the vehicle, and Draw-Tite, Inc., the manufacturer of a trailer hitch that was installed on the vehicle and is alleged to have contributed to the fuel tank explosion. The law firm handling the plaintiff's case routinely gets multi-million dollar judgments in similar cases.
The crack editorial staff urges any of you who have the time to spend a day or part of one watching this or any other trial in the local courthouses. First of all, once you get past all of the preliminary stuff, it usually makes for pretty good theater (except it's not made up, it's people's lives). But more importantly, the judicial branch of our government needs to be monitored by its citizens just like all the others. Like voting and jury duty (and emailing your M & C), this is another way to be a good citizen.
More legal updates soon...