Georgia Injury Lawyer Blog

Georgia Employment, Education, Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers

Williams Oinonen LLC helps protect the rights of our clients who have been injured or harmed due to a wrong or injustice. We specialize in employment law, education, business disputes, injury & wrongful death. We fight to protect our clients' best interests and help them obtain the justice they deserve. Williams Oinonen LLC cares about each of our clients. The respect and aggressive advocacy we provide reflects the commitment we bring to winning their case.

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Good Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyers from Williams Oinonen LLC are honored to represent the family of Cameron Massey, wrongfully shot by a police Chief Ralph Connor who had been previously investigated for shooting and killing an innocent black man in the back years prior. These clients marched in today’s Martin Luther King parade in Alabama.

Their story, in addition to many of our other civil rights victims’ stories, are often featured in national and international media. Today’s story in the Huffington Post tells the story of Cameron Massey which you can read right here. 

CEO Donald Watkins also has written a copyrighted article on Facebook you can also read here, where he tells the story where he investigated Police Chief Connor back when he was a police officer for the Montgomery Police Department and Watkins was a City Councilman. Watkins writes: “Not surprisingly, Chief Connor has a history of excessive force regarding the use of firearms. Cameron is the second innocent black man Connor has shot during his career as a police officer. While serving as a Montgomery, Alabama police officer in 1983, Connor shot a 23-year old black male. Connor claimed that he mistook the victim for a jail escapee. I investigated this police shooting as a Montgomery City Councilman. My investigation of the shooting revealed the following: (a) the victim, Bobby Joe Sales, had committed no crime; (b) he was unarmed at the time of the shooting; (c) he was not threatening Connor in any way: and (d) he was shot in the back. I reported to the City Council that Connor was a danger to himself and the citizens of Montgomery. I knew that Connor had a propensity for violence that would one day lead to the death of an innocent person. It finally happened on October 15, 2013 in Eufaula.”

The family prays that there will be good and just people of Alabama sitting on the jury someday.

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Congratulations to Mario Williams of Williams Oinonen LLC for winning the Clarkston City Council vote on November 3rd. He will be sworn into office on January 5, 2016.

Mario Williams first moved to Georgia two decades ago where he graduated with honors from Morehouse College obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Upon graduating from Morehouse, he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America for two years. Upon completion, he obtained his law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Afterwards, he served as an international human rights advocate in Latin America. His work included drafting successful human rights complaints on behalf of indigenous people before the Inter American Human Rights Commission.

Approximately seven years ago he moved back to Georgia where he and his wife Julie started a law practice with a special focus in civil rights work. He is currently an attorney and partner at the downtown Atlanta law firm of Williams Oinonen LLC where he practices civil rights law, business law and government. Mr. Williams and his wife Julie are ranked by Superlawyers as Georgia Rising Stars, an honor solely awarded to 2.5 percent of lawyers in our state.

Councilman Williams and his wife chose to make their home in Clarkston, being drawn to it for the diversity and strong community. Having dedicated his entire life to Human Rights, Councilman Williams considers his role as a public servant a continuation of his advocacy work and is honored to serve the people of Clarkston.

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Mario Williams was a panel speaker on the recent “Media, Black Manhood, Racial Violence, and Social Justice” program for the inaugural John Lewis Fellows program with Humanity in Action (HIA), in partnership with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR). 
 
The John Lewis Fellowship is a collaborative, human rights focused educational program for American and European university students and recent graduates that is bringing together a leading international educational organization, HIA and NCCHR, a cultural institution that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to broader international human rights movements. With HIA and NCCHR, the fellowship aims to explore diversity, human rights, and social justice and tasks the fellows with using their knowledge for the common good in their respective communities and countries. 
Mr. Williams has spent most of his life involved in human rights work and is currently a partner at the law firm of Williams Oinonen LLC. The law firm of Williams Oinonen LLC is proud to be a supporter of the John Lewis Fellows Program, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Congressman John Lewis. The law firm was privileged to serve the Congressman as their client, providing opponent research and campaign strategy during last election campaign season.
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Richard Belcher, chief investigative reporter for WSBTV featured our client Ms. Millini Matheny and her courageous whistleblower activity. After Ms. Matheny reporting illegal activity within DeKalb County Schools she was subsequently terminated in retaliation.

See below for a copy of her legal pleadings filed:

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International musicians and entertainers Elton John and Michael Stipe have released a joint statement in support of our client Zahara Green (featured in the above photograph), in addition to all transgender prisoners in the state of Georgia, following harrowing reports about the way inmates have been treated there. “Transgender women in male prisons have an equal right to protection from violence and abuse in prison, yet they continue to face horrific injustices,” the duo wrote.

In it, they reference Ms. Zahara Green, our client whose story gained national spotlight when Buzzfeed reported that she – an inmate at a Georgia prison for men – had requested protection after being allegedly sexually assaulted but was then moved to a cell with the man she claimed had raped her.

An article in Rolling Stone magazine featured their statement which continues:

“The experiences of Ashley Diamond and Zahara Green cast a harsh light on the brutality, torture and horrible conditions inside Georgia prisons today,” John and Stipe wrote. “They are emblematic of the continued discrimination experienced by transgender inmates – who are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted while incarcerated.” They go on to say that most sexual assaults are not reported, because, they claim, members of the prison staff are often the perpetrators.

“This is outrageous, and the message it sends is horrific: that violence against and discrimination of trans people is not only allowed, but sanctioned,” the musicians wrote. “We applaud the U.S. Department of Justice for supporting Ashley Diamond and the trans community in arguing that Georgia’s policy of denying transgender inmates their medically necessary hormone treatment is unconstitutional.

“But we must do more to end the culture of violence and discrimination surrounding gender identity and expression,” they continued. “We urge the state of Georgia to embrace desperately needed changes to their correctional system.”

Michael Stipe and Elton John’s advocacy for Ms. Green is also featured in this New York Daily News Article and in Breitbart.

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A Federal District Court has ordered a trial in a wrongful death civil rights case brought by our client, Lena Williams, individual and as administrator of the Estate of her son, the Decedent, Mr. Melvin Williams. On May 14, 2010, an officer of the East Dublin Police Department fatally shot Mr. Melvin Williams.

Plaintiff argued before the District Court that the officer’s conduct was unreasonable and thus violated the constitutional and state law rights of the Decedent. The officer attacked the Decedent, who is heard on the video repeatedly screaming, “what is wrong with you?” Then seconds later, the officer fatally shot the Decedent while standing numerous feet away, and while knowing the Decedent was unarmed. The alleged criminal violation at issue was a “rolled” stop sign about 10 minutes prior to the attack on the Decedent. We dispute that a traffic violation ever occurred because all the independent evidence demonstrates that no traffic violation occurred.

One interesting aspect of the case is that, at the time the officer attacked the Decedent, the officer did not have his general police powers or specific powers of arrest under Georgia law, according to the District Court’s factual findings.

Plaintiff argued that because the police officer did not have his general police powers or specific powers of arrest, he should not have been attempting to arrest or stop anyone in his capacity as a police officer on that day.

The District Court agreed that a jury should decide this case and thus ordered a trial. The Defendant has appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Below is a viewable copy of the District Court’s order.

Order- MSJ-3

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evidence.jpg Evidence is what you need to win your case. Evidence provides proof to support the claims you have made against a defendant. Obtaining relevant evidence, however, is not as simple as merely asking your opponent to give you everything he/she has after filing a lawsuit. To the contrary, pre-litigation strategy is mandatory.

A good lawyer knows that, before filing a lawsuit, action must be taken in order to help ensure that evidence is available during a lawsuit. One way to accomplish that objective is to send “spoliation letters” to persons/companies who may possess evidence that could help your case.

Spoliation letters instruct a person/company to preserve certain evidence that relates to your case. Spoliation letters are significant because if a person or company destroys evidence after being placed on notice not to do so, then that person/company may be held legally responsible, in a manner that greatly benefits your case. The issue is complicated, however, so you need a good lawyer who knows about this area of law, such as the lawyers of Williams Oinonen LLC.

The content of spoliation letters, and who to send those letters to, depends on the type of claim(s) you have. But, three targets of spoliation letters are easily identifiable.

First, a good lawyer will send a spoliation letter to the actual person who is believed to be responsible for your injury. The spoliation letter will advise that person to take all reasonable measures to preserve evidence such as emails, reports, text messages, journals, phone records and so forth.

Second, if the person who is believed to be responsible for your injury is employed by a company, then that company may have key evidence regarding your case. Consequently, a spoliation letter should be sent to that company as well.

Third, most often an insurance company is involved in civil litigation. And many times, the insurance company performs an investigation into the circumstances that you claim caused your injury. Consequently, a spoliation letter should be sent to that insurance company too.

As I stated earlier, the content of each spoliation letter will differ. For example, a spoliation letter sent to a police officer and his/her police department will differ from the content of a spoliation letter sent to a truck driver and his/her company. Regardless, spoliation letters are vital to effective litigation.

Williams Oinonen LLC can be reached at 404-654-0288.

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18 wheeler crash.jpgWe have all experienced the same fear as we drive on the highway: A huge eighteen wheeler (“Mack Truck”; “Tractor Trailer”) either in front of us or trying to pass us. The very thought of being next to one of these huge vehicles, as they speed down the highway, immediately invokes caution in drivers.

Unfortunately, about 500,000 trucking accidents happen every year in the United States. And of those, about 5,000 result in fatalities, death. Of the approximate 5,000 deaths caused by trucks (e.g., Mack Trucks, Eighteen Wheelers; Tractor Trailers; Freight liners), 98% of those fatalities occur to the people in the cars that were hit by the trucks.

Because these trucks are so massive and deadly, our U.S. Congress has passed an enormous amount of laws to regulate the trucking industry. These laws are complex and numerous, so you must obtain a good Georgia lawyer who understands how to litigate crashes that involve trucks.

Again, and we cannot emphasize the following point enough: crashes that involve trucks (e.g., Mack Trucks, Eighteen Wheelers; Tractor Trailers; Freight liners) are very different from accidents between two standard cars. Because of that, a good Georgia lawyer will always advise anyone–the first thing he/she should do after being hit by a truck is: call an attorney.

Equally as important as calling an attorney immediately is: do not talk to anyone who represents the trucking company, because, for example, that person will most likely record your statement and try to use it against you later.

We, at Williams Oinonen LLC, will fight smart and hard against all people and companies responsible for a truck that causes serious injury to you, or your loved one. The trucking industry is a billion dollar industry, so you need a Georgia trucking lawyer who knows how to hold these companies accountable. Williams Oinonen LLC can be reached at 404-654-0288.