Legal News & Updates

Welcome Baoyi Cai as a Summer Associate

Welcome Baoyi Cai as a Summer Associate

We are excited to welcome Baoyi Cai as a summer associate at Kevin Patrick Law. Baoyi Cai is a rising 3L at Emory University Law School. She earned a Bachelor of Law Degree from China. Additionally, Baoyi is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Baoyi’s work as a summer associate for our trial law firm includes doing legal research, reviewing documents, and drafting pleadings and demand letters for our Georgia personal injury cases. Baoyi is a hardworking associate. She is especially interested in learning more about practicing in different legal fields, like automobile accidents and daycare injuries. As a summer associate, Baoyi also attended one of our personal injury mediations. She learned about settlement strategies and negotiations.

Baoyi’s Law School Accomplishments

2019 GAPABA Annual Gala

Volunteering at the 2019 GAPABA Annual Gala

Prior to starting as an associate at Kevin Patrick Law, Baoyi has been very active at Emory Law School. Baoyi is the founder and President of the Association of International Law Students. She is an international student representative. Baoyi is part of the diversity and inclusion coalition. Baoyi also won first place in the Duke Transactional Law Competition this March. During the competition, Baoyi worked with her teammates to draft an indemnification agreement for a stock purchase. She also negotiated the agreement with students from other law schools.

Baoyi’s Involvement in the Community

As a summer associate at our firm and during law school, Baoyi always tries to get more involved in the local legal community. For example, Baoyi volunteers at Project Open Hand in Atlanta. The project helps homeless individuals in Atlanta. Baoyi also is a volunteer at the Clinic for Veteran’s at Emory Law School. She is also an active student member with the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA). She volunteered at the Annual Gala too!

We are glad to have Baoyi with us this summer as an associate at Kevin Patrick Law. Baoyi is a great asset to our personal injury practice. Again, welcome Baoyi!

Getting Involved in the Legal Profession in Georgia

Our past few blog posts have focused on legal topics and advice, but the profession extends well-beyond the courtroom. Professional engagement is very important to us. I am the editor for the Litigation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. A younger colleague of ours wrote a very engaging article for our newsletter. We wanted to share it with you on our blog too!  (It’s also hard to believe where the times goes because I’ve now been in practice for over a decade.) In any event, enjoy……

Professional Development as a Young Attorney

Career trajectory is a constant thought for young professionals entering the legal field.   One way to combat those perpetual thoughts of wondering where you will be in the next couple of years is to start with the end goal in mind. Consider the legacy you would like to leave behind when you decide to retire the suit jacket for flip-flops and sand castles.   A simple question to ask yourself is whether you would like to be remembered as the lawyer that passed the bar and no one ever heard of again, or one that showed their zest to give back through getting involved and staying involved throughout the legal community.

We all know how important it is to be responsible for your career after graduating law school and passing the bar.  However, that involves more than landing a job and getting settled in.  While it is important to find employment and gain as many valuable skills as possible, it is equally important to involve yourself in activities outside of work that align with your interest.  As young professionals, we tend to focus our attention heavily on becoming great lawyers. We make a great effort to be the first ones to arrive at work and the last ones to leave.  Newly admitted attorneys and recent graduates must also understand the value and importance of involvement outside of your job.

As a young professional, getting involved can be somewhat frightening.  You may feel as though your lack of experience somehow deems you unqualified. There may be confusion about who to ask or where to go, but I can assure you that there’s an organization or committee suitable to your interest.  Typically, an organization’s website will list their upcoming events and board member’s contact information. I challenge anyone looking to become involved to attend at least one event per month before settling on not becoming involved at all. The last event I attended was for informational purposes only, however, I was unexpectedly invited to become a member of the executive committee.  Things manage to happen when you put yourself in the right place at the right time.

Becoming involved, as a young professional, could mean a number of things depending upon whom you are speaking with.  Your association does not have to be limited to legal organizations. It may involve becoming a committee member on a local school board, fine art society or even grass roots organizations in your community. It could be as simple as reaching out to individuals on professional social sites to meet for coffee or attending local or state bar events.

Also, there are many organizations and bar associations that are involved in the efforts to improve diversity and equality in the legal field that may be of interest to new lawyers.   There are many organizations that offer free training and webinars to lawyers that are free of charge.

Another benefit of getting involved as a new lawyer is the ability to connect with people that are further along in their careers than you or practicing in an area of law that may align with your career goals.  It is a great pleasure to speak with senior attorneys and mid to junior level attorneys that can warn of the pitfalls and how to avoid making certain mistakes.  Whether you are interested in finding a mentor, attending a happy hour, or listening to a panel discussion, I can assure you that there is an organization awaiting you with open arms.  

More importantly, the best part of getting involved as a young lawyer is that you might have the opportunity to help someone in need of your services.  It has been a great pleasure of mine to volunteer with organizations that provide legal services to the underprivileged to help them navigate the legal system. Also, the Georgia bar urges all lawyers to provide at least 50 hours annually of pro bonowork to low income Georgians.  I believe that there is no better way to complete your hours than by dedicating your time and service to an organization that is committed to giving back to those in need.

Finally, my hope is that all of my fellow young professionals will join at least one local or state bar organization and become an active member. Attend events and rest assured that any organization or association’s most valuable assets are its members.  It is through you that all things are possible!

As always, please consider us a resource and friend whether you a young professional, attorney, or just have a question about the law here in Georgia. We’re happy to help! My contact is kevin@patricktriallaw.com or (404) 566-8964.

What do I need to know about the new distracted driving law in Georgia?

How often have you seen people on the roads looking at their phone? You’ve probably even noticed that at stop signs people are glued to their screens and possibly even watching videos — Yes, it’s been happening more and more these days. While cell phones are handy devices, they are also causing a lot more automobile accidents here in Georgia, especially in the metro-Atlanta area with all of the traffic. The Georgia Legislature has recently passed HB 673, which is sometimes called the “Hands Free” law, to help prevent accidents in our state.

As you can see from the picture in our blog, this law looks pretty complex, and there’s no shortage of legalese. What do you expect from a bunch of lawyers and politicians? 😉 Our goal though is to make it simple and understandable for you. So here’s what you need to know about what’s allowed and what’s not starting JULY 1st

First, let’s highlight what you can do:

  • Texting and talking is allowed so long as you are using hands-free technology;
  • A GPS or mapping application is fine in the background (FYI — Just don’t be actively inputting information)
  • Interestingly, CB radios are allowed along with commercial two way radios. Real quick: We’re wondering if you know of anybody that actually has one?

Second, what you can’t do:

  • Hold or support a phone or other device with any part of the body. You know how you used to prop a phone on your shoulders, etc.? Well…that’s now illegal in Georgia.
  • Writing, sending, and/or reading a text message, Facebook message, IM, e-mail or anything like it.
  • Watching a video or move (other than a GPS or mapping application) on your phone while driving in Georgia. Hate to break it:  But yes, that includes YouTube, which apparently was becoming more common in distracted driving accidents.
  • REMEMBER THIS TOO — Reaching for a device is also illegal under HB 673 if it means you’re not in a safe driving position or means you’ll have to take off your seatbelt to get your phone.

Of course, there are going to be some exceptions with this law, but they make sense for a number of reasons. For example, a person can use a phone to report a (1) traffic accident, (2) medical emergency, (3) fire, (4) crime, and (5) dangerous condition on the road.

One other thing too: You can use your hands if you are in a lawful parking space, like a grocery store or shopping center parking lot.

We sure hope you found this blog helpful about the new distracted driving law in Georgia, and hopefully, you don’t come across our page if you’ve been hurt in an accident by a distracted driver in Georgia. Let’s, instead, hope that our roads are a bit safer now for everyone in our state.

If you have any other questions about this law, feel free to give us a call about it. My direct number is (404) 566-8964. E-mails work too (kevin@patricktriallaw.com). Please always consider us a resource and friend to you!

One Sentence Rules for Success!

We were thrilled to find out that we were featured as one of the entrepreneurs and impactors in The Startup digital newsletter.  It is truly the little things (or perhaps big things), like showing up on time, focusing on our job, and staying positive, in the practice of law and life too that matter and have a great impact on our clients. We hope you’ll get a chance to check out all of other contributions from people in all different business about their one sentence rules for success — A lot of great content. Thanks again for including us!

Thanksgiving Day Reflections and a Quick Recipe

We have so much to be grateful for these days. Instead of a legal blog post for the end of the month, we want to share with all of you one of our favorite Thanksgiving Day reflections and one of our favorite quick and easy recipes.

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

This reflection always helps us keep things in perspective because so often we encounter people that have been hurt and need legal help. We sincerely hope that each and every one of them will have the courage and strength to persevere in the journey toward healing and a full recovery following their injuries. We are truly grateful that they have placed their trust in our law firm. Like the reflection goes, we count you as our friends and wish you the very best during this time of thanksgiving.

On a lighter note, here are directions to one of our favorite sweet potato pie recipes. Here’s what you will need for it:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/2 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1  9-inch refrigerated piecrust

And now, here are the three easy steps for making the pie:

(1) First, you will need to heat oven to 350° F.
(2) While the oven is heating up, the second step requires you to combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. (We like to use an electric mixer on medium) You need to beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Then you will add the egg, orange juice, and honey. You should beat the mixture for another 2 minutes. Finally, you will add the sweet potato, evaporated milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and combine into the bowl. You’re almost done!!!
(2) Third, pour the sweet potato mixture into the crust. FYI: Be careful because it tends to go everywhere if you do it too fast. The key is to bake the pie until the filling is set, which usually takes 50 to 60 minutes. We also recommend let your pie cool for at least 30 minutes. Make sure to serve at room temperature, and, most importantly, enjoy it with your family and friends.

We look forward to hearing from all of you about your Thanksgiving and wish all of you the very best over the holiday season. As always, we are here for you. Feel free to call us at (404) 566-8955 or send us an e-mail at contact@patricktriallaw.com. Happy Thanksgiving!!!