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.

January 14, 2015

Good Georgia Civil Rights and Government Lawyer Flashbang Case Featured In the Atlantic Magazine

Good Georgia Civil Rights and Government Lawyer Mario Williams' flash bang case on behalf of our client Treneshia Dukes was featured in the Atlantic magazine this week that you can read here.

Treneshia Dukes was pregnant when a flash bang grenade was thrown on her by the Clayton County Police Department while she was sleeping in bed causing her terrible burns and injuries. Flash bang grenades burn "Hotter than Lava" hence the name of this excellent article by Julia Angwin and Abbie Nehring. (Above photo as featured in the article by Bryan Meltz for ProPublica.)

These flash bang grenades which were originally created for military forces to use in hostage situations, now are common amongst the growing militarization of police. The Clayton County Police, deployed flashbangs on around 80 percent of their raids in the year before her injury, according to records.

Our frequent client and friend, Senator Vincent Fort is also quoted in the article.

December 20, 2014

Good Georgia Education and Employment Lawyer Wins Due Process Student Disciplinary Tribunal Hearing in DeKalb County School District


Student disciplinary tribunals are notoriously difficult to win, a recent study showing that 89 to 91 percent of students are found guilty and lose their tribunal hearing.

Good Georgia Education Lawyer has been very fortunate to have a solid track record of success, including this past week where she won a student disciplinary tribunal for her client who was facing expulsion or alternative school.

Ms. Oinonen and her clients were very gratified and the fairness and objectivity of the hearing officer who found her client to not be in violation of the code of conduct charges and determined that "no further action" was needed against him in terms of discipline. The student was permitted to return to school and make up his school work.

Said her clients (the parents): "I can't say enough about the job that Julie, and her firm, did for my family. Her fees were fair, she worked tirelessly on our behalf, but most of all, Julie was 100% committed to our case, and it showed. Our outcome could not have been better."

Good Georgia Education and Employment lawyer represents teachers, administrators, and students in cases against school districts. If you have a tribunal or a pending hearing against the District, don't go it alone. If you are able, it is very important to seek legal representation to maximize your chance of a successful outcome.

December 16, 2014

Buzzfeed Article Details Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer's Transgendered Client Who Was Violently Raped In Prison

Good Georgia Civil Rights Attorney Mario Williams's lawsuit was featured again in today's recent issue of Buzzfeed.

The article features what happened to transgendered woman, Zahara Green. The article describes how between Ms. Green's first day in prison and becoming repeatedly raped---she had met with the warden in person, then wrote to the warden and deputy warden of security for help, then finally asked to be put in protective custody. The result was only to find herself assigned to share her protective custody cell with her rapist.

Buzzfeed writes a full feature on Ms. Green that you can view here:

by clicking on this link.


December 6, 2014

Gilda Day's Response Brief v. Floyd County Board of Education

Here is Gilda Day's Response Brief in her case before the Georgia Court of Appeals. Many Floyd County Association of Educator members have wished to see it. For easier viewing, click on the brief and you can view it on the Scribd webpage:

a15a0402 - Brief of Appellee -Ee Gilda Day

November 6, 2014

Gilda Day Appeals Brief v. Floyd County Local Board of Education

Attached below is Gilda Day's Appeals Brief before the Georgia Court of Appeals. You can click on it to get to the Scribd webpage for easy viewing:

a15a0401 - Brief of Appellant Gilda Day

October 7, 2014

Good Georgia Education Lawyer Sues DeKalb County Schools For Breach of Contract: The Attack on Teachers And Public Education Part Two

Georgia Education Lawyer Julie Oinonen is representing DeKalb County teachers and Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) members in a suit against DeKalb County School District. The lawsuit alleges strong-arm bully tactics by the school district. See the Courthouse News article on it here.

Good Georgia Lawyer contends that this issue is part of the ongoing war on teachers and public education that is driving educators out of the profession and further destroying teacher morale. Each year, educators move to different parts of Georgia transferring to other school districts for any number of reasons such as professional career opportunities, financial, health, or family reasons. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit had to move due to very important family needs. They notified their principals and gave the earliest possible notice. Then they helped find new hires to replace their position, thus causing absolutely no financial loss to the School District.

The District bullied the teachers by threatening their teaching certification which all teachers need to keep in good standing in order to teach and maintain gainful employment to provide for their families. The District claimed that it was a sanctionable action by the PSC (the Professional Standards Commission, the regulatory body for teacher certification.) The trouble is that wasn't true and the District knew it. Paul Shaw, Director of the PSC had already advised them that for teachers to resign prior to June 1st would not be considered a sanctionable violation of the code of ethics.

DeKalb County School District is one of the few districts in Georgia that has also started to include something called a "liquidated damages provision" that penalizes teachers if they resign their contract. This is a bad thing that is about to spread like wildfire if Courts don't put a stop to it. It makes sense that Districts wish to prevent teachers from resigning during the school year. But what doesn't make sense is to create an unlawful penalty provision that stops the ethical, conscientious teachers who need to move for financial, health, family, or professional reasons to other school districts. It creates an unlawful restraint of trade and hinders free market capitalism. One of our basic Constitutional rights and privileges as Americans is the freedom to be able to move about our state with our families and work where we want to. The government tying hard working teachers hands to prevent them to be able to do so is simply un-American.

A contract for teachers ends at the close of a school year. For Georgia teachers to resign without putting their families at significant financial risk, they first have to be offered a new contract with another district. Otherwise they risk having zero job period and not even being able to qualify for unemployment benefits. So, for a teacher to resign, they need to know they've got another offer on the table somewhere else. The trouble with DeKalb is they have started strong-arming teachers into not resigning at all, by making them sign a contract very early in the school year (before other Districts have made job offers) and then threatening them with a $750.00 penalty provision if they do tender early notice of resignation. Good teachers who simply wanted to make a move to Fulton, Gwinnett, or another part of Georgia were threatened with the penalty if they resigned after signing their contract on April 4th, way too soon for most of them to have been offered a contract somewhere else.

Now $750.00 may not seem a lot of money to some, but to the average Joe or Jane school teacher, this has financially devastating consequences for most educators who rely on every penny of their paychecks to pay the mortgage and other bills each month. Teachers don't make a lot of money period. Consequently, this new penalty provision has been more salt in the wounds for teachers in Georgia who continue to be mercilessly under attack at every turn.

October 6, 2014

Letter To Superintendent Mike Thurmond, Senator Ron Ramsey, and Human Resources Sent On Behalf Of DeKalb County School Teachers

From Williams Oinonen LLC to Superintendent Mike Thurmond and Human Resources Division

October 6, 2014

DeKalb County School Teachers Sue District For Breach of Contract

Below is a copy of our contract:

DCSD Complaint

October 5, 2014

The Attack on Teachers and Public Education Part One: Atlanta Public Schools, Floyd County Schools, and the June Deadline Decision to Become a Charter System

The attack on public education and teachers is relentless and continues.

The source of these attacks come from the pro-charter corporate, big money anti-union movement that has swept the nation funded by hedge fund billionaires like the Koch Brothers, Bill Gates, the Waltons and more. Unfortunately both Democrats and Republicans have really drank the Kool-Aid on that one through Hollywood propaganda, Teach for America, and corporate lobby interests. It has especially been seen through Michelle Rhee (who is the former boss of the APS new Superintendent) and the movement to privatize public education by Board-TFA takeover. No political party has clean hands when it has come to buying into this propaganda. Sadly, slowly but surely teachers, parents, and communities are learning they have fallen prey to a giant bait and switch. Succumbed by promises of "local school governance" and "greater flexibility" they don't realize what they've given up---necessary accountability and transparency which protects our students, teachers, and public schools---until it is too late.

The latest is the push is for districts to choose to become a charter system by June 2015. Charter advocates believe this is a good thing because it allows more flexibility. The problem is that it throws accountability out the window. Laws that regulate classroom size or teacher qualifications are good things not bad. Whether it is big banks that need regulation to protect consumers from subprime mortgage lending, or laws that protect kids from having oversized classrooms and unqualified teachers, rules are set in place to protect our schools and provide accountability.

We cannot rely on benevolent Superintendents or school district administrators "to do the right thing." Superintendent McDaniel in Floyd County Charter System decided to RIF 120 educators in violation of the charter agreement by excluding local school governance. Teachers were left without recourse, except for that courageous educator Gilda Day who appealed this decision through her constitutional right to due process. Now, Floyd County School System is arguing that charter systems don't need to comply with fair dismissal and is seeking to overturn law which says charter systems need to comply with the Fair Dismissal Act by providing educators the right to due process. The State Board of Education disagrees and ruled in a recent case decision that due process under the Fair Dismissal Act is a civil right for teachers which cannot be waived by charters. The problem is however that it is now up on appeal, Floyd County School Board pushing for a ruling that would negatively affect every teacher throughout the state of Georgia.

This is a scary thing for Georgia teachers everywhere if the Court of Appeals does not affirm this very correct ruling by the State Agency (the Dept. of Education) that has been charged by the Legislature with interpreting the law. Floyd County School System and certain out of state lobby groups funding charter system proponents seek to overturn over a century of good Georgia law---the constitutional right to fair dismissal for teachers which has been the foundation of Georgia law for over 100 years.

In 1916, the State Supt of Schools M.L. Brittain in his book "Georgia School Laws" stated: "Without fixed charges, it is not according to the letter or spirit of Georgia law for a teacher to be summarily discharged at the whim of a Board without trial after being elected for a specific term unless such provision is stated in the contract."

We must not allow the government or out of state interests to deprive our teachers of the right to due process that has been well established for over a century and is rooted in both the Georgia and US Constitution.

Teachers, parents, and communities must demand accountability and transparency in order to preserve public education from becoming slowly destroyed.

September 26, 2014

Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Represents Transgender Woman Whose Rapist Was Purposefully Placed In Her Cell

Published on today's front page at Buzzfeed an article on our courageous client Ms. Zahara Green.

Civil rights attorney Mr. Mario Williams is representing Ms. Green who was admitted into special security/protective custody because a violent rapist, child molester, high profile gang member repeatedly targeted her for sexual assault. Then Georgia Dept of Corrections' guards purposefully allowed him to enter and let loose in her solitary, protective cell for nearly 24 hours in spite of security checks every 30 minutes. Ms. Green is exceedingly brave and seeks justice for what has been done.

To read more on the story, click here.


July 31, 2014

Mario Williams Argues Before The Eleventh Circuit First Amendment Retaliation Against The Georgia Department of Corrections Wardens/Commissioners

Today the Daily Report featured an article on Mr. Mario Williams' oral argument before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Williams represents Delma Jackson, a woman who was retaliated against by the Department of Corrections wardens and commissioners and given indefinite denial of visitation to her spouse as a result of her alleged involvement at a rally at the state Capitol concerning the prison strike held to protest prison abuse.

The District Court held the defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity for denying Jackson visitation rights after her husband discontinued his hunger strike. The judge declared that at some point the threat of any strike-related disruption disappeared.

Read more:

July 28, 2014

Good Georgia Lawyer Wins Georgia Court of Appeals Decision Affirming Jury Trial Win

Good Georgia Lawyer received a Court of Appeals decision victoriously affirming the jury trial verdict where Julie Oinonen represented a Northwest Georgia farming family. The Defendant appealed because he said that Plaintiff's counsel inappropriately showed a picture of a baby in the demonstrative exhibit. The baby was the rightful heir of Jerry Spain, a wonderful farmer who tragically died in a train accident.

To read the Court of Appeals decision which affirms the jury verdict decision you may read here:

July 28, 2014

Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Wins Eleventh Circuit Appeal on Federal Claim for False Arrest and State Claims for False Imprisonment, Assault and Battery Against Fulton County Sheriff Deputy

Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams received an order from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Robert Kopperud v. Dexter Mabry denying the Defendant's appeal of the District Court's denial of summary judgment. The District Court denied qualified and official immunity for Defendant Deputy Sheriff Dexter Mabry who was sued by Robert Kopperud, represented by Mario Williams and Julie Oinonen.

This decision comes on the heels of several other appellate victories by Mario Williams, civil rights lawyer who regularly represents multiple civil rights victims who have been wrongfully killed or catastrophically injured due to civil rights violations such as excessive force.

This Wednesday, Mario Williams will be arguing before the Eleventh Circuit in oral argument on behalf of Delma Jackson who is suing wardens from the Department of Corrections in a retaliation First Amendment claim. Delma Jackson is the wife of a prisoner who has had her visitation to her husband taken away indefinitely as a result of exercising her First Amendment rights concerning issues of prison strike and abuses.

To read the Eleventh Circuit decision in the case of our client Robert Kopperud, you may view it here:

June 8, 2014

Good Georgia Serious Injury Civil Rights Lawyer Represents Pregnant Woman Injured By Flash Bang Grenade

Good Georgia Serious Injury Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams represents Treneshia Dukes, a pregnant woman who was seriously injured with burns when a flash bang grenade landed on her bed while she was sleeping. Just this past week, the AJC reported how the Clayton County police were sued in this case as the media's focus has been on the use of these flash bang grenades.

Below is a copy of the complaint. It may take a minute to load on the web page but it is worth the read:

First Amended Complaint -T. Dukes by julie9094

June 1, 2014

Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams Will Argue Before Eleventh Circuit In First Amendment Case

The case of Delma Jackson vs. Wardens from the Department of Corrections involving First Amendment retaliation will be argued before the Eleventh Circuit on Ms. Jackson's behalf by Mr. Mario Williams this summer. The Defendants appealed the District Court's order.

Below is a copy of the complaint. It may take a minute to load on the web page but it is worth the read.

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint - Jackson by julie9094