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The Information Exchange
A Sole Practioner/Small Firm Section Publication
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Judge Bodiford Addresses the Section
Scott Atwood Addresses the Section
Section Hosts Joint Section Breakfast
Quick Links
April 2010
Newsletter Editors: 
James A. Attwood
Clark A.D. Wilson
Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Board of Directors
Chair: Steve W. Hardy
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Scott E. Atwood
Secretary: L. Katherine Adams-Carter
Treasurer: David M. Lilenfeld
Immediate Past Chair: Glenn Lyon

James A. Attwood
The Hon. T. Jackson Bedford, Jr.
Monroe J. Feldman
Ronne G. Kaplan
William J. Piercy
Bryan C. Ramos
David G. Richards
Beth E. Rogers
Janis L. Rosser
Robert G. Wellon
Clark A.D. Wilson
Upcoming Events
2010 calendar blueMark your calendars for these upcoming Section events
We are collecting food items to donate to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  For the April breakfast and luncheon, please bring two of the following items requested by the Food Bank:
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Beans
  • Canned Soups, Stews and Pastas
  • 100% Fruit Juice
  • Canned Fruits and Vegetables
  • Macaroni and Cheese Dinners
  • Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals
April Breakfast Meeting
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 7:30 am
"Seizing Opportunities in Today's Global Market"

Rocky Ball, Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Cameron Carty, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Michael Laura, Wealth Management Specialist, Merrill Lynch
Location: Buckhead Club, 3344 Peachtree Road
Please register online or return the registration form
April Luncheon Meeting
Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 12:00 pm
"Health Insurance Options for Small Practices"

Speaker: Nancy Sobin,
Financial Advisor, New England Financial
Location: Gordon Biersch, 848 Peachtree Street NE 

Please register online or return the registration form
megaphoneJames J. Long and Thomas L. Holder of Long & Holder, LLP have been inducted as Fellows of the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers. The College is sponsored by the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. The firm specializes in the representation of injured workers in workers' compensation cases. 
Have you had had a significant case, verdict, transaction, result, or any matter that you would like to highlight in our Section Newsletter?  Please send a description to our newsletter editors, Clark Wilson or James Attwood.  Please try to keep the description to 500 words or less.
The Honorable James G. Bodiford Addresses the Section
by James A. Attwood, Atkins & Attwood, LLC

judge bodiford spsf
On March 25, 2010, Judge James G. Bodiford of the Cobb County Superior Court shared his experiences of having presided over four highly publicized criminal trials.  Judge Bodiford was the presiding judge in the Fred Tokars trial, the Lynn Turner matter, where a wife poisoned her husband with anti-freeze, the TriState Crematory matter, and the Brian Nichols case.
Judge Bodiford discussed the peculiarities of handling high-profile matters.  For instance, the Tokars and Turner cases received gavel-to-gavel coverage on Court TV.  Because the camera is on the entire time, everything is subject to scrutiny.  At one point, Judge Bodiford was simply rubbing lotion on his hands to deal with dry skin from the winter weather.  Afterwards, this simple act was subject to analysis by one of the commentators on Court TV.
Of course, these kinds of cases involve considerations that do not occur in most matters.  In the Fred Tokkars case, the jury had to be sequestered for the entire trial.  The Nichols trial presented unique security issues and 54 charges against the defendant.  The prosecution presented 76 witnesses over 17 days.  

Scott Atwood Adresses the Section
by Clark A. D. Wilson,
Gardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva, PC

scott atwood spsf

On March 18, 2010 the Sole Practitioner Small Firm Section had its monthly breakfast at the Buckhead Club.  The speaker for the meeting was Scott Atwood from Stout Walling Atwood LLC (  Scott is an experienced employment lawyer who discussed "Employment Law Tips for Small Firms."  If you missed the meeting, here are some of the high points.
Scott first discussed which employment laws apply to small firms and sole practitioners.  Regarding this, there are few discrimination laws that affect the small firm.  Wage and hour laws, however, do apply to the small firm.  In particular, employers should understand the extent of overtime and minimum wage regulation.  And, Scott advised that unemployment and worker's compensation laws may apply to small firms, but it depends upon the number of employees.
The next topic discussed was dealing with "independent contractors".  To find a clearer definition of these types of workers, review the IRS guidelines.  This is important because clearly and accurately identifying an "independent contractor" can affect an employer's liability coverage and planning for a possible unemployment filing by one of these workers.
Section Hosts Joint Section Breakfast with the Dispute Resolution Section 
by Clark A. D. Wilson,
Gardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva, PC
Dispute and spsf



On February 18, 2010 the SPSF had a joint meeting with the Dispute Resolution Section.  This meeting was well attended by members from both sections, and provided an opportunity to meet some new faces.  Michael Lucas from the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation ( opened the meeting by explaining the AVLF's purpose and possible ways for lawyers to become involved.  For example, volunteer lawyers can accept full representation for cases in a wide variety of legal issues.  And, through the Saturday Lawyer Program discussed the Saturday Lawyer Program volunteer lawyers assist local residents with particular legal needs.  
The main portion of the meeting provided a panel discussion on alternative forms of dispute resolution.  SPSF board member Kathy Adams Carter initially discussed the various court annexed resources available to limited-budget clients.  Specifically mentioned were the Dispute Resolution Centers in: Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb.
Alternative Dispute Resolution provides clients with a reality check on their position and hopefully an incentive to settle.  Mrs. Adams Carter suggested picking a mediator familiar with the specific area of law and ensuring that both sides are represented by legal counsel.  It was further advised to ask the mediator to write down all terms and facts for accuracy.  Additionally, consider using a case evaluator to perform the mediation so that if the mediation is ineffective, the same case evaluator can perform a binding arbitration.  Mrs. Adams Carter insisted that open dialogue with the mediator, lawyer preparation and the acknowledgment of client instincts are all essential to
effective resolution.