Hall, Bloch, Garland & Meyer is pleased to announce the addition of Boniface G. Echols to the firm as an of counsel attorney. Echols, founder and managing attorney at The Echols Firm, LLC, has served clients over the past 26 years in the areas of business law, asset/debt management, receiverships, bankruptcy, real estate, contracts, mediation, arbitration, and tort claims. Echols has also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney, handling civil litigation.
With the addition of Echols, HBGM will be able to provide an enriched client experience in the handling of real estate matters and litigation. His wealth of knowledge in working with distressed businesses will become an invaluable resource for HBGM clients in the areas of receiverships, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation.
“We are excited to welcome Boniface Echols to our team,” says partner, Pat Meyer. “Boniface’s addition to the firm is a testament that we are an attractive destination for attorneys who want a solid platform for their practice with the individual flexibility to manage it in a manner most beneficial to the client. Boniface’s statewide experience complements our existing practice groups and will allow us to better serve our clients’ needs.”
Hall Bloch attorneys achieve trial court wins for Railroad on preclusion of Positive Train Control FELA claims.
Hall Bloch attorneys obtained 2 favorable rulings finding the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) in one case and Signal Inspection Act (SIA) in another precluded plaintiff’s FELA claims that a railroad should have been operating a train with functioning Positive Train Control (PTC) at the time of the incident. The first matter was in KY Federal Court where the Court found that the Railroad’s compliance with its PTC implementation plan submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration pursuant to the FRSA precluded any claims that the railroad should have operated the train in question with PTC. The second matter was in Bibb County State Court where the court found that the railroad’s compliance with the requirements of the SIA precluded any claims that the railroad should have operated the train in question with PTC. Firm attorneys Daryl Clarida and Hilary Adams were involved in the KY federal case and Steve Stewart, Daryl Clarida and Walker Stewart were involved in the Bibb County case.
Plaintiff brought a FELA claim against his employing railroad alleging that a collision with a truck at a public crossing was caused by the railroad’s failure to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work. Plaintiff’s Complaint also included a separate Georgia common law personal injury claim against the employers of the truck driver. In rejecting the FELA claim against the railroad, the Court found that the railroad did not control the public road’s storage length, configuration or grade leading to the crossing. Furthermore, the Court found that the railroad did not control the selection of warning devices at the crossing or whether the crossing should be closed, and the railroad therefore could not breach a duty to the Plaintiff on that basis. Importantly, the Court rejected the argument that a railroad’s non-delegable duty to provide its employees with a reasonably safe place to work extended outside of its own property when an employee’s work did not require him to enter a 3rd party’s property. Finally, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s failure to train on how to react to an imminent collision claim on the basis that Plaintiff failed to show how that training would have mitigated Plaintiff’s injuries.
Daryl Clarida Selected by “The Best Lawyers in America” to be Recognized in the Practice Area of Railroad Law
Daryl Clarida has been selected by the prestigious publication “The Best Lawyers in America” to be recognized in the practice area of Railroad Law. Mr. Clarida is a partner in the firm’s litigation section and practices in our Atlanta office.
J. Ellsworth Hall, IV has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the United Way of Central Georgia. The United Way of Central Georgia is a leading funder of health and human service organizations providing for the health, education and financial stability of people in the Central Georgia community.
HBGM is pleased to announce that John Wilkerson has joined the firm as a litigation associate in our Macon office. John has experience handling a wide variety of litigation matters representing construction companies, real estate developers, nursing homes and financial institutions. Additionally, John has extensive experience representing trustees, receivers and other fiduciaries in a wide variety of matters. We welcome John to the firm and look forward to his providing excellent legal representation for our clients. Please see his attorney listing for additional background.
Walker Stewart has been accepted as a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (“IADC”). The IADC is the preeminent invitation only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests. Founded in 1920, the IADC’s members hail from six continents, more than fifty counties and territories, and all fifty U.S. states. The core purposes of the IADC are to enhance the development of skills, promote professionalism and diversity, and facilitate camaraderie among its members, their clients, as well as the broader civil justice community.