Archives for December 2014

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Month

A personal injury attorney is often asked for help with injury claims after a traffic stop involving drunk or drugged driving. National statistics indicate that this type of impairment results in car crashes more often at night than during the day. On weekends, fatal crashes are more often related to drunk or drugged driving than other types of traffic accidents.  Statistics on this subject indicate that more than thirty percent of drivers involved in serious traffic incidents are alcohol impaired.

Personal Injury Claims

Emergency LightsA personal injury case is managed by a personal injury attorney, who investigates the matter, handles insurance claims, and, if necessary, files and prosecutes a lawsuit in court to recover just compensation for an injury victim. The following information is important for potential legal claims following any traffic accident:

  • Sadly, drunk driving is a national epidemic. A motor vehicle crash involving an impaired driver and injuries typically leads to a personal injury claim handled by a personal injury lawyer.
  • A personal injury lawyer can help determine liability in a motor vehicle accident or wreck case, based on available information and evidence. Sometimes the attorney will use the services of an accident reconstructionist. Who is at fault needs to be quickly assessed in order to meet specific statute of limitations rules that apply in each jurisdiction.
  • The proper and full amount of damages incurred by an injured party must be determined as part of any insurance claim filed with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier or in any lawsuit filed in court. An experienced personal injury attorney is trained to build and document a case for damages.
  • The amount of compensation paid to the victim of motor vehicle negligence varies with the unique circumstances of each situation. Remember, just as no two people are exactly alike no two cases are either.

Fault in Personal Injury Claims

In most vehicle wreck cases, there will be an accident or incident report prepared by a police officer, indicating who the officer believes to be at fault and if that person has been charged with a traffic offense. However, in most cases the criminal charge is not admissible in a personal injury lawsuit, which is a civil matter. Some jurisdictions, such as Georgia, have modified comparative negligence laws that may be applied. This means that each party to a motor vehicle incident may be assessed a percentage of fault. The amount of fault assessed by an automobile insurance carrier or jury is adjusted according to the evidence, and determines the amount of damages each party might be responsible for.

Atlanta personal injury attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in handling serious personal injury claims following impaired driving crashes. Driving while intoxicated or impaired is illegal, and drunk and drugged driving can carry severe consequences including felony criminal charges depending on the injuries caused. At Brownstein & Nguyen, we hope that all drivers (and passengers) drive and ride safe this holiday season!

Shoes are not just laces; contracts are more than paper

Nike and Adidas are fierce competitors in the world of athletic gear. Like no other companies, they understand design, marketing and strategies needed to gain and keep market share as the top athletic gear providers in the world. For these industry giants, shoes are much more than rubber and laces, and contracts are much more than just paper – they are important business assets. Given the news of the recent lawsuit filed by Nike against three of its former design employees, employment agreements are especially important in the ultra-competitive area of apparel design employment.

Employment AgreementIn a 50 page lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, Nike claims that Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce, and Mark Miner are in breach of their employment contracts with Nike. After the three designers ended their employment with Nike, they went to work for the apparel brand’s arch-rival Adidas. In addition to breach of contract, Nike alleges that the three are also guilty of breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, breach of duty of loyalty, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with current and prospective contractual and economic relations, fraud in the inducement, conversion or replevin, and civil conspiracy. In all, Nike is seeking up to $10 million in damages as a result of the allegations.

While only time will reveal the outcome in this lawsuit, there are two important reminders for employers and employees to take away from the situation. What are those reminders? The first is simple – careful reading. A contract should always be read closely; it should not be simply skimmed, scanned, and signed. The provisions and language in many non-compete agreements that apparel designers, software engineers, doctors, and numerous other professionals are asked to sign are complex. It is best to have an experienced business and employment lawyer read through these agreements to make sure that all the provisions are thoroughly understood and agreed to before signing.

shoes and paperSecond, is careful consideration. An agreement must be fully digested and understood before entering into a contract for employment. When agreeing to work for a company, it is important to remember that no one can predict the future. And while, thinking through the scenarios of “what if” may not be pleasant, it is vitally important to consider multiple scenarios as they may play a role down the road. For example, what if you sign an employment agreement containing a broad non-compete and you later have to relocate due to your spouse’s job. Would the non-compete agreement restrict your ability to work under those circumstances? This is but one example of numerous factors that are worth considering as you seek legal counsel in an effort to fully understand an employment agreement so that you will not find yourself facing a breach of contract lawsuit.

If you are in faced with signing an employment contract and would like the legal expertise necessary to sign your agreement with confidence, contact the experienced Atlanta business lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen. Likewise, if you are a business owner in the process of recruiting talent to fill positions in your Atlanta start up or small business and want to make sure your company’s non-compete agreement is legally binding, please contact our business law offices today.

What is Whistleblowing?

Type define: whistleblower in a browser’s address bar and Google returns the definition of “a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity.” A graph indicates the increased prevalence of the term, which shows:

Prevalence of use of Whistleblower in the media

Prevalence of use of whistleblower in the media. Graph via Google

Clearly, the use of the term “whistleblower” has grown tremendously in recent years as more individuals have come forward to expose criminal conduct and wrongdoing by their employers. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 has played a role by offering necessary legal protections for those who come forward. There is even a list of known whistleblowers published on Wikipedia. All of this shows that individuals are willing to step forward and speak up when they observe unlawful or improper activities in the workplace.

Whether you work for a private employer or a government agency, there are laws in place to protect you should you decide to blow the whistle on your employer. Visit to read more on the Whistleblower Protection Programs. This OSHA FactSheet is also a helpful resource in identifying your rights as a whistleblower. Additionally, the National Whistleblowers Center offers support as a non-profit, non-partisan organization with the stated mission of promoting “Honesty without fear.”

If you are aware of criminal conduct or fraud by a healthcare provider, employer or government contractor, then it is important that you know your rights as a whistleblower. We encourage you to call our Atlanta law offices for support and guidance in a whistleblowing situation. Jay Brownstein has over 25 years of experience in complex legal, business and employment matters, and is able to expertly guide individuals faced with delicate whistleblowing decisions and serious implications. Call us today at 770-458-9060 for a consultation.

Immigration from Vietnam

Atlanta has the the 10th largest concentration of Vietnamese immigrants in the United States. The Vietnamese population is spread throughout Atlanta and Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton counties, including communities like Chamblee, Doraville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Smyrna, Marietta, Riverdale, Forest Park and Jonesboro.

According to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., there have been three main waves of immigration from Vietnam since 1975. The first wave was mainly individuals and families targeted by communist forces, including military personnel and professionals associated with the United States or South Vietnamese government who evacuated Vietnam in 1975 with U.S. assistance. The second wave came in the late 1970s, as people fled continued persecution and poor conditions by boat in a search for freedom. The third wave took place in the 80s and 90s as political prisoners and children of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese mothers made their way to the United States through special relief programs.

Atlanta Vietnamese ImmigrationCurrently, many of the families and individuals seeking legal immigration status from Vietnam within the United States do so by applying for a green card. In addition, many seeking to relocate permanently from Vietnam are able to obtain a family sponsored green card to reunite with family already in America.

The metropolitan Atlanta area has a lot to offer Vietnamese immigrants today, owing in part to the concentration of Vietnamese living here and social adjustment centers like the offices of Boat People SOS (BPSOS). With relatives nearby and support services such as English as Second Language (ESL) classes, the Health Awareness Prevention Program (HAPP), and women’s groups, the case for immigration from Vietnam to Georgia and Atlanta is even stronger.

At Brownstein & Nguyen, we have assisted thousands of families and individuals over the years to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status. Experienced Atlanta immigration attorney Tien Nguyen is familiar and experienced with green card and visa applications and the processes involved in seeing them through the system successfully. If you are seeking to reunify your Vietnamese family in the Atlanta area, you can count on the premier immigration services of Brownstein & Nguyen.