FRP staff members earn CPR certification

Posted on Thursday, September 12th, 2019 at 12:51 pm    

Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP staff members were trained in CPR and certified by Stallings Health Services.

learning to do CPR

Birmingham law firm CPR training

Ken Riley quoted in Channel 6 WBRC investigation

Posted on Thursday, September 12th, 2019 at 12:35 pm    

Attorney Ken Riley was quoted in a news story about the pitfalls of timeshares. The story aired in July on WBRC.

To see the news story, click here.

Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP sponsors RHMCA block party

Posted on Thursday, September 12th, 2019 at 12:19 pm    

Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP was a sponsor for the block party that followed the Ronald McDonald House’s 2019 Red Shoe Run: Rockin’ 5K. Over 750 people participated in the 5K, which raised $89,000.

rockin' 5k sponsor FRP

For more information click here.

FRP lawyers named in b-Metro Magazine’s Top Women Attorneys 2019 issue

Posted on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 4:56 pm    

Meredith Maitrejean, Jessica Zorn, Calle Mendenhall, and Anastasia Allmon of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP were named to B-Metro’s list of Top Women Attorneys. To read the magazine’s issue online, click here.

We are proud of their accomplishments and prepared to continue fighting for our clients.

Birmingham School of Law Next Steps Seminar

Posted on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 4:36 pm    

Each year we host a seminar to advise students on emerging into the legal field after Law School. We invite attorneys from various practices areas to offer practice tips on how to get started and be successful in the Alabama legal community. The seminar is then followed by a networking reception.
kirby farris at next steps seminar

Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP sponsors Music & Miracles Radiothon benefiting Children’s of Alabama

Posted on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 10:55 am    

Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP sponsored the Music & Miracles Radiothon along with 103.7 The Q to benefit Children’s of Alabama.

The radiothon took place on August 22nd and 23rd on Magic 96.5 and on the 23rd on 103.7 The Q.

To learn more, click here.

FRP Attorneys Receive Prestigious Awards

Posted on Friday, August 16th, 2019 at 12:42 pm    

Several of the Birmingham personal injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have received awards from b-Metro.

Brett Hollett was named a “Rising Star.” Meredith Maitrejean, Anastasia Allmon, Calle Mendenhall, and Jessica Zorn were each named “Top Women Attorneys.”

Partner Kirby Farris was added to the Hall of Fame.

We are honored to receive these awards and are prepared to continue fighting hard for our clients.

What is a deposition?

Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019 at 3:22 pm    

By: Jessica Zorn

A deposition is a question-and-answer session when you give testimony under oath before your trial. It is your opportunity to answer questions asked by an attorney and, to some extent, tell your side of the story. Everything said in a deposition is recorded by a court reporter – so anything you say during your deposition could be read out loud at trial.

Opposing counsel will be focusing on a few different things: (1) they want to hear your side of the story, (2) they want to judge you as a witness (see how you will translate on the stand at trial), and (3) gather your testimony so they can prepare to take the case to trial.

What happens during the deposition?

There is no judge or jury in a deposition. Usually, there are only a few people in the room: you, your attorney, the opposing attorney and a court reporter. Sometimes the other party will be in the room, but not always.

Usually, the opposing attorney will begin by asking questions about your background – where you grew up, where you went to school, where you go to church, etc. Those questions help the attorney make sure that your friends and family do not end up on the jury if the case were to go to trial. Everything you say is under oath and will be recorded by the court reporter, so try to speak slow and do not interrupt.

Deposition testimony is not like giving testimony on the stand in a courtroom. If you need a break, ask for one. If you need to speak to your attorney privately, ask for that too. You have the right to get a glass of water or use the restroom, you are not under arrest or forced to sit in the same spot the whole time.
You may hear your attorney verbally object during a deposition, but do not be alarmed. Your attorney probably isn’t trying to signal you to be careful with your answer, he or she is simply putting an objection on the record so that the judge will have to look at the question before it is asked at trial. Unless your attorney instructs you not to answer a question, you can still answer even if there is an objection.

Depositions can last anywhere from thirty minutes to eight hours. Ask your attorney for a more accurate timeline so you know what to expect. Make sure you eat a good meal beforehand and use the restroom to avoid unnecessary delays.

Tips and Tricks for Giving a Good Deposition

Above all else, it is important to remain calm, collected and polite during your deposition. The opposing attorney is trying to see how you would look in front of a jury. If you get agitated or frustrated while you’re being questioned, the attorney will know that he or she can upset you in court and make you look emotional or irrational. Some lawyers will even try to upset you on purpose, but do not fall into that trap. Staying calm and keeping your cool is the best strategy, because it shows the other side and the jury that you are reasonable and confident in your case.

Make sure you talk to your attorney beforehand about any worrisome aspects of your case. If you’re not sure what the speed limit was or you may have had a beer right before your accident, tell your attorney so you will know how to handle those questions if they come up.

The most important tip for giving a good deposition is to only answer the question asked. If you can answer a question in one word, do it.

Do not be afraid to tell an attorney that a question was confusing. A lawyer can always rephrase a question to make it easier to understand. Watch out for a lawyer putting words in your mouth; if the attorney summarizes something incorrectly, do not be afraid to correct them.

Listen very carefully for absolute or broad questions and beware of absolute answers. An attorney may try to trap you by asking a question like, “have you ever had back pain before?” That is a very broad, absolute question. You may not remember ever having back pain, but many people do not remember small instances that required only one doctor visit. Instead of saying “no, I have never had back pain,” the safer answer would be “not that I remember.” Attorneys will research your medical history and try to find one record from twenty years ago that shows mild back pain… and if you testified that you’d never had back pain, then you look like a liar. Instead, hedge your bets and try to answer truthfully: “not that I remember” or “I’ve never had back pain like this before.”

Try to pause or take a breath before answering to make sure you really heard and understood the question. It will help you identify the absolute or broad questions that are trying to trap you.

If you give an answer in a deposition and realize later that your answer was incorrect, feel free to correct your answer. Just speak up and tell the attorney that you suddenly remembered something – it will ensure that your testimony is truthful.

Prepare for your deposition by reading your interrogatory answers again and asking your attorney if there is anything in your medical records you should know about. Your lawyer should be prepared to discuss your criminal history, driving history, medical records, etc. with you in case there is anything you do not remember. You are paying your attorney, so take advantage of their preparedness.

Most importantly, tell the truth, even if it seems like a certain answer would be bad for your case. A lie or a half-truth will probably hurt your case more than an honest bad fact will, because your lawyer has probably already developed a strategy for dealing with the bad fact. You also need to tell the truth because a lie would be considered perjury under oath.

What NOT to do During a Deposition

Do not guess. If the correct answer to a question is “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember,” then say that. Guesses lead to inaccurate answers that could mess up your case.

Avoid absolute answers. Instead of “yes,” try saying “as far as I can remember,” and instead of “no,” try “not that I can remember.” That way, if you remember additional information later, you can change your answer and not seem like a liar.

During your deposition, the opposing attorney may try to catch you in a lie or an exaggeration. Do not exaggerate, make something up, or estimate. If they catch you lying or exaggerating, the attorney can make you look untruthful in front of a jury, and then you will probably lose your case.

Do not volunteer information or over-explain. If you start giving lots of extra information, you are giving the attorney extra facts they can use to prepare for trial, and you are opening the door to hundreds of extra follow-up questions. Witnesses who over-explain during a deposition seem defensive. Have confidence in your case and your attorney; just answer the question. Your answers are little building blocks that your attorney can later build together into a story that makes sense in front of a jury.

Do not talk about any conversation you had with your lawyer or any of your lawyer’s paralegals. Those conversations are privileged, and you do not have to reveal any of it. Similarly, in Alabama state court, you do not have to reveal any conversations or treatment details involving any psychological medical treatment. That includes treatment for drug abuse, alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS.

Do not show up to your deposition under the influence of any medication or drug that might affect your ability to answer questions. You need to do everything you can to give accurate, clear answers and medications might stop you from doing that.

Lastly, do not joke around or get too comfortable. Some attorneys will make it seem like a deposition is a casual conversation to get you to relax and give away too much information, but IT IS NOT a conversation. A deposition should be a very dry question and answer session, that’s it.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not be afraid to ask your lawyer. A deposition can go smoothly with some preparation and following the basic ground rules. There’s no reason to be nervous or anxious as long as you tell the truth, avoid absolute answers, and stay calm. Your lawyer should be with you every step of the way.

10 Reasons Why Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer is Important

Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 9:29 pm    

If you’ve been seriously injured due to an accident caused by someone else, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. The Birmingham injury attorneys with Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have been helping people after such tragic accidents for over 20 years, and we can help you too.

Though you’re not required to call on an attorney to deal with your personal injury case, it’s a prudent move. So, what are the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney to fight for you?

1. They’re Professional And Objective

A personal injury can cause you immense physical pain and emotional trauma. The pain and suffering endured as a result of your injury may prevent you from bringing objectivity to your case. Your personal feelings and opinions might affect your ability to stick to the facts of the case.

An accident lawyer is only interested in the facts of your case. They’ll bring knowledgeable perspective to your case so you can get you the settlement you deserve. They’ll fight for you without focusing on things that are immaterial.

2. They Have Excellent Negotiation Skills

When it comes to negotiating how much compensation you should get, the other party will be putting their best foot forward. You’ll need to deal with their insurance representative or their lawyer. These professionals have training in driving a hard bargain and you’re no match for them.

Even when the other party is at fault for your injuries, their representatives may try to persuade you to accept a settlement that’s too small your injuries. Keep in mind that they look out for the best interests of their clients, not yours.

To even things out and increase the amount of compensation you receive, you should hire a lawyer.

3. They Can Help You Get The Medical Attention You Need

If you contact your personal injury lawyer immediately after your injury, they can help you get quality treatment. They might know medical practitioners that can provide you with treatment for the injuries you’ve suffered.

The right medical team will help ensure a speedy recovery, but can also help you get the most out of your personal injury claim. Doctors can serve as witnesses if your case goes to court.

4. They Can Give You Options And Help You Choose The Best One

Pursuing a personal injury claim for your injuries can take time if you’re not familiar with the process. Usually, there are two routes you can take. You can either file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

Court action should be the last resort, as it can take time before the court determines your case. However, it may be the only option for you if the offending party has refused to admit culpability for your injuries.

A personal injury lawyer will advise you on the best course of action depending on your specific situation.

5. They Can Help You With Litigation

If the offending party contests your compensation claim, the next available option is to take court action. Even if your personal injury claim is legitimate, going to court may turn the tide against you, especially if the other party has a lawyer and you don’t.

Having a personal injury lawyer in your corner will level the playing field. You can also get the legal representation you need to get the most out of your claim. They’ll gather all the evidence required to win your case in court.

6. They Can Expedite Your Personal Injury Claim

If you have to wait until you get a clean bill of health by your doctor to seek compensation for your injuries, getting settlement might take too long.

If you hire a lawyer, they’ll start pursuing your compensation claim while you’re still recuperating. Lawyers have experience with similar cases, so they’re able to anticipate most of the setbacks they might face. They know what steps to take to avoid those setbacks.

7. They’ll Scrutinize The Defendant’s Evidence

If your personal injury claim ends up in court, the offending party’s legal team will try to prove they’re not responsible for your injuries. If they provide any evidence to support their claim, you’ll need to analyze and counter it. This will require a legal mind, so it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer.

8. They’ll Give You Peace Of Mind

Seeking compensation for your injuries after an accident can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Having a personal injury lawyer will save you time and give you the peace of mind you need to focus on getting better.

Your lawyer will take care of the complex things you don’t want to deal with.

9. They Can Keep Your Settlement Claim On Track

If you’re bogged down with other important things, you may not be able to meet strict deadlines for filing paperwork for your personal injury claim.

A personal injury lawyer keeps tabs on timing and procedures to make sure things happen within the stipulated time limits. This will help keep your compensation claim on the right track. This is vital for ensuring fast settlement of your claim.

10. They’ll Increase Your Chances Of Getting The Compensation You Deserve

When you’re pursuing a personal injury claim, your ultimate goal is to get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries. But keep in mind that the tax treatment for settlement of personal injuries is complex and ambiguous.

The offending party’s insurer’s goal will be to ensure you get the lowest compensation possible through third-party capture. After all, they’re businesses protecting the own financial interests.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer virtually eliminates the risk of settling for less than your case should be worth.

If you were injured in an accident, do not hesitate to contact the Birmingham personal injury lawyers with Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. Our experienced attorneys can help you through the challenging process of filing a lawsuit. Contact us at (205) 324-1212 or fill out an online contact form.

What You Should Know About Rear-End Collisions

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 3:58 pm    

If I’ve been hit in a rear-end collision, is the driver behind me automatically at fault?

rear end collision
When rear-end collisions happen, the trailing driver will likely be considered at least partially responsible for the accident. This is because all drivers have a responsibility to follow other vehicles at a safe distance. If the car in front of you needs to slow down or stop for any reason, you need to allow enough distance to bring the vehicle to a sudden stop and avoid a collision.

There are some instances in which the driver of the car that was rear-ended could be partially responsible for the accident. Some examples of negligence on the part of the driver in front include:

  • Broken or malfunctioning brake lights – If the vehicle’s brake lights were not functioning correctly, the driver of the following vehicle might not have adequate warning of the impending stop.
  • Reversing suddenly – If the driver in front reverses without notice, they could be at fault for the accident.
  • Stopping for no reason – If the driver in front stops without an apparent reason, they could be held liable for the crash.
  • Mishandling mechanical problems – Stopping to address a mechanical issue is normal, but drivers have a responsibility to pull over to the side of the road or engage their hazard lights.

When it comes to recovering compensation for a rear-end collision, it is important to note how the process works. Alabama subscribes to a “contributory negligence” system, which means that it will be challenging to recover compensation if you are found to be at fault for the crash by even a slight percentage.

That’s why it is so important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side if you’ve been hurt or if your property was damaged in a rear-end collision. To secure the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, replace lost wages from time missed from work, and get your vehicle repaired or replaced, you will need to present a convincing claim.

Your attorney will work quickly to secure all of the necessary evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault and behaved negligently. They will negotiate with insurance company representatives to get a fair settlement for your claim, and if no such arrangement is offered, they will try your case in court.

The most important thing to remember after a car accident is that time is of the essence. You should first seek immediate medical attention and then contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that vital evidence is preserved and witness testimony is secured.

Contact Us

If you have been hurt in an accident in Alabama, the car accident lawyers at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP are here to help you. We have the experience, skill, and resources that you need on your side. Contact us at (205) 324-1212, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation with us today.

Don’t Delay Getting Help Another day

You don’t have to suffer after an accident. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. There’s absolutely no fee unless we win.