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William James Atkins

William Atkins’s Answers

59 total

  • How can I find a lawyer who will take my case against Wal-Mart?

    I stated as an order filler at Wal-Mart Distribution in Feb 2002 I was excited to have the opportunity as I had a felony on my record from a mistake I made as a 17 yr old. I HAVE NOT been in trouble since! I worked my way up through the company to...

    William’s Answer

    Unfortunately, your situation is all too common, particularly at places like Walmart. As my firm handles employment matters, I will try to give you some general information that may help you when you contact an attorney.
    As a general rule, there is no claim in Georgia for "wrongful termination." Your only real remedy is to pursue a claim under Federal anti-discrimination or retaliation laws. To do so, you must first file an EEOC Charge of Discrimination within 180 days, measured from the earliest time you became aware of the discrimination (this may be your termination date, but not always).

    To prevail in a discrimination claim, you would have to demonstrate that: (1) you are a member of a protected class (sex, race, national origin, age, etc.), (2) you suffered an adverse employment action (termination); and (3) you were either replaced by someone outside your protected class or you were disciplined more severely than a similarily situated employee who committed the same misconduct. You employer would "rebut" your evidence with their reasons for terminating you. You would then have to show "pretext;" that is, that the reason they offered was not the real reason for your termination. The real reason was discrimination and/or retaliation.

    It is not enough to claim you were unfairly treated. You actually have to establish discrimination through direct or strong circumstantial evidence. Employment discrimination cases are very difficult, especially in Georgia as the Federal judges who hear these cases tend to be very pro-employer.

    I hope this helps give you some direction. Be sure to contact the EEOC and/or a lawyer specializing in employment matters right away.

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  • I need to No What Armed robbery Means I guess In Ga,

    My wife Just had Her store Robbed Buy 2 men. One standing out side I guess as a look out. And they both got out of the same car together. Keep in mind this is all caught on Video But the man that robbed the store had his hand in his pocket at all...

    William’s Answer

    There is not enough information here to give you an informed response. It is not necessary that the offender "brandish" a weapon or, in fact, actually have a weapon. If the offender's actions give the clerk reasonable apprehension that the offender has a weapon (pointing finger in pocket, saying, "I have a gun") can be sufficient to support a conviction for armed robbery. Keep in mind that the second suspect can be charged for the same offense, even though he did not go inside the store. The difference between Armed Robbery and Robbery is very significant in Georgia. AR carries a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of 10 years without parole.

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  • Treatment of a prisoner

    Is it legal in the state of ga correctional facility for them to only feed the prisoners twice a day on the weekends. Shouldn't they have to give them three meals a day? I'm not understanding this. Also if the prisoner isn't receiving proper me...

    William’s Answer

    Claims of maltreatment in the prison context are typically evaluated under the 8th Amendment's "cruel and unusual punishment clause." Certain claims are also subject to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. In either instance, relief is typically sought in Federal court as the claims will involve federal law.

    As to your two issues, I would be very surprised if any Court were to conclude that feeding inmates twice a day on weekends somehow violated their constitutional rights. Unless you could show that the decision to feed twice a day, as opposed to 3x a day, resulted in malnurishment, etc. I highly doubt that would be the case.

    As to the failure to provide medical treatment, in order to arise to the level of a viable civil rights case, the inmate would have to show that the facility demonstrated deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Simply because the inmate isn't receiving the care he would prefer or even the highest possible care, will not do. In short, you would need to provide a great deal more information about the nature of the inmate's medical condition and the care he is receiving and/or being denied for that condition.

    As to either issue, I would strongly encourage you to contact an attorney who specializes in civil rights cases. We handle such matters and one of our attorneys would be delighted to speak with you.

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  • Can someone please explain how this goes on?

    Just another example how freedom of speech and freedom of the media is being abused by yet another "media" outlet.How is it that public information can be taken and then published for monetary gain and no one except the accused cares??What a racke...

    William’s Answer

    I am familiar with the website you have linked here. There are several companies that publish arrest records and booking photographs claiming it to be a "public service." As we routinely represent persons how have been wrongfully arrested, these websites only add to the public humliation and loss of reputation that flows from such events.
    Unfortunately, the websites get their material from public websites operated by Sheriff's departments around Georgia (and elsewhere). As the records are "public," nothing stops them. The law has not caught up with advances in electronic records.
    If you have been arrested without probable cause, you should immediately contact a lawyer who can assist you. Our firm handles both criminal and civil matters.

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  • A friend of mine was arrested and charged with "violation of oath of office", yes, he was a detention officer.

    My friend was charged with violation of oath of office and arrested. The charges were filled because an inmate stated that he assisted another officer in "beating" the inmate. My friend did nothing wrong but assist in maintaining control of the ...

    William’s Answer

    The fact pattern you describe raises a number of serious issues. Typically, officers questioned about such incidents must answer questions or face termination. However, their statements cannot be used in a subsequent criminal proceeding. (Garrity v. New Jersey). If your friend was aware that a fellow officer was violating the inmates' civil rights and failed to intervene, your friend can also be held responsible. A violation of oath of office charge is very serious as it carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. I encourage your friend to get a lawyer who has hands on experience representing law enforcement in these situations. Feel free to contact me or my partner, David Fife. We recently succeeded in getting all charges dismissed against a police officer in DeKalb County charged with Felony Murder (among other charges) arising from a line of duty shooting.

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  • I have been accused of criminal theft and damage. When I go to court, can I be arrested at that time?

    I received a court order telling me to come to court next month for a hearing. The person accusing me, has pictures and receipts of the things I supposedly damaged and taken. what are my chances of walking away from this? should I have a lawyer ...

    William’s Answer

    It Sounds like the person accusing you has filed a warrant application and this is the hearing to determine if there is probable cause to issue the warrant. Is the hearing scheduled in magistrate court in cobb county? If so, you would possibly be arrested if the judge finds probable cause but the court will likely seta bond at the same time

    In Georgia, if the value of the property exceeds $500, you may face a felony charge. You may wan to hire a lawyer. My partner, David Fife, and I practice in cobb county. Please call our office and ask for David as I am traveling right now.

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  • Im on felony probation in cobb county ga and i have a warrent for violation of probation its my first violation its for failure

    to report and i have 3 years on probation if i turn myself in how long will i have to go to jail or whats the longest time i will have to serve?

    William’s Answer

    You are in cobb county. If you Turn yourself in, you will typically remain in jail about a month before you get on a revocation calendar. Depending on the judge, the nature of your violation ( new offense, technicals) and the amount of time left on your sentence you can face revocation of the remanded of your sentence.

    My partner, David b. Fife, and I practice criminal law in cobb county. We would be happy to help you. Please call ouroffice and ask for David. I am traveling and unable to speak to you right now

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  • Is he protected under ADA?

    A friend of mine was arrested for hitting his psychiatrist and was charged with simple battery. My friend is mentally ill and the doctor apparently didn't want to press charges (I believe the CEO of the business did) because he thought the attack ...

    William’s Answer

    "Protected against incarceration," - The ADA offers no "protection" to your friend and, actually, has very little if anything to do with the facts you describe.

    If your friend was having a psychotic episode when he struck his psychiatrist and, his psychiatrist (the victim and only witness) believes that, there is a substantial likelihood that the charges against your friend would either be dismissed or would not result in a guilty verdict at trial. Your client would have to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether he did not understand the nature and consequences of his actions (difference between right and wrong, etc." at the time of the alleged criminal act. If the evaluator determines that he could not, then he cannot be found guilty, although he would likely be found not guilty by reason of insanity, meaning that he could still be institutionalized.

    If your friend is only facing a misdemeanor battery charge and the psychiatrist does not want to press charges, a good attorney may well be able to get the charges dismissed. We handle criminal defense matters and have a good deal of experience working with clients who suffer from mental illness. Please give me a call if you would like to discuss this matter further.

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  • Do I have any legal rights when Pictures of me are posted online without my consent?

    At a private party there were photographs taken of me and then posted online without my consent. What legal action can I take against the person that did this to me?

    William’s Answer

    Assuming that you can prove that the pictures were taken without your knowledge or consent (that means you didn't see someone with the camera and had no reasonable expectation that someone would be taking pictures), you may be able to allege an invasion of privacy claim.

    However, unless your are (a) a woman; (b) the pictures are particularly damaging, i.e. embarrassing photographs, sensitive photographs (nude, sexual, etc.); and (c) the person who took the pictures and/or owned the house is wealthy or has significant insurance covering such a claim, it is unlikely that it would be worth your while to sue over this.

    This is more a personal injury type matter than a civil rights claim. We handle both types of cases. If your situation meets the criteria I have outlined here, feel free to call me.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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  • Do I have a race discrimination case?

    I have been working with the current company for three in Nov. I am the only African American out of approximately 17 full and part time employees. I am the only certified personnal employed. I have been looked over twice for a position that re...

    William’s Answer

    You should not hesitate to contact an experienced employment discrimination attorney.

    Your ultimate promotion will impact your available damages arising from prior failures to promote. If you did not file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC following the prior failures to promote, that may effect your ability to bring those claims under Title VII, although you may still have a claim under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1981.

    It is unclear to me what impact the failure to provide a job description would have on your situation; different story if these are job descriptions for a promotion you sought and did not receive. The failure to post a postiion, or give you an oppurtunity to apply would both possibly be evidence of what is referred to as "pretext" in employment discrimination law.
    Finally, comments about your race, especially use of the N. word, can give rise to a hostile work environment. Please note, however, that there are many other factors to consider.

    These are difficult cases. You should not hesitate to call me or anothe experienced employment attorney. Please note that time is of the essence as your right to pursue some or all of your claims may expire if you do not act promptly.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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