The Day the Music Died—Can Performing Arts Venues Use Eminent Domain to Save an Industry Shuttered by COVID-19?

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Written By: Caroline Jane Smith
Executive Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

I. Background and Current State of the Performing Arts during the COVID-19 Pandemic

          In April of 2020, live music venues, performing artists, employees of the arts industry, and other performance spaces across the United States joined together to form the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).[i]  As the COVID-19 pandemic raged throughout the United States, performance spaces were among the first to close and due to social distancing restrictions, will likely be among the last to reopen.  Continue reading “The Day the Music Died—Can Performing Arts Venues Use Eminent Domain to Save an Industry Shuttered by COVID-19?”

Are Expert Witnesses The Backbone Of Toxic Torts?

Photo Credit: https://utahstatemagazine.usu.edu/culture/the-way-we-see-things/ (last visited: September 23, 2020).

Written By: Ryan Jones
Articles Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Recent federal court rulings in toxic tort litigations have “stressed the importance of the dose-response relationship and the need to carefully evaluate the level of exposure to pass the Daubert standard for expert witness admissibility under the Federal Rules of Evidence 702.”[1]  The dose-response methodology “studies the relationship between the quantity of a substance (dose) and its overall effect (response) on a person, and is the ‘hallmark of basic toxicology.’”[2]  Pursuant to the Daubert standard, “courts must assess whether the reasons or methodology underlying the expert testimony is scientifically valid and whether those reasons or methodologies can be properly applied to the facts at issue.” Continue reading “Are Expert Witnesses The Backbone Of Toxic Torts?”

From Zealous Advocating to Bar Sanctions: Ethical Considerations in Negotiations

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Written By: Hannah Trucks
Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Many people have a mental image of what they picture an attorney to be. Some picture Elle Woods’ cross-examining Chutney’s alibi of washing her hair directly after getting it permed with the infamous line “the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you are forbidden to wet your hair for at least 20 hours after getting a perm.”[1] Others picture Vinny Gambini successfully positioning Mona Lisa as an automotive expert, ultimately winning an acquittal for his clients.[2] While modern television and cinema oftentimes only show the trial aspect of an attorney’s role, an attorney does so much more than cross-examine, fight objections, or maneuver their way around the courtroom. Continue reading “From Zealous Advocating to Bar Sanctions: Ethical Considerations in Negotiations”

Mile High Crime: Selecting Venue for Crimes Committed on an Aircraft

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Written By: Alex Messmore
Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

What happens when a crime is committed on an airplane mid-flight?

          In 2017, airlines carried 4.1 billion passengers on flights around the world.[1]  With 4.1 billion people, there is bound to be some “turbulence” on board.[2]  With that being said, where exactly do charges need to be brought when crime occurs mid-flight? Continue reading “Mile High Crime: Selecting Venue for Crimes Committed on an Aircraft”

The Controversial Public Charge Rule Seems Here to Stay

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Written By: Grey Robinson
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

           Since the inception of Immigration legislation and law within the United States the concept of “public charge” as a factor in immigration evaluations has been a shifting standard.  While the term would take on many different definitions throughout the years, a “public charge” generally referred to any person who would be treated as a ward or need the care of the United States Government.[1]   Continue reading “The Controversial Public Charge Rule Seems Here to Stay”

Covid-19 Liability: Questions Surrounding Lawsuits for Negligent Conduct in Spreading the Coronavirus

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Written By: Rachel Leigh
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) has taken a remarkable toll on the lives of individuals across the world.  The worldwide death toll has reached over roughly 766,080 individuals, and in the United States over 169,481 individuals have lost their lives due to the virus.[1]   Continue reading “Covid-19 Liability: Questions Surrounding Lawsuits for Negligent Conduct in Spreading the Coronavirus”

Dillon’s Rule and Home Rule: The History Behind the Two Prevailing Views on the Powers of Local Government and What That Looks Like in Alabama


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Written By: Tayler Hansford
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Perhaps one of the most unknown, yet very controversial topics in law and local government is the amount of power county, city, and town (“local”) governments should be given to govern their respective areas.  The amount of power local governments hold largely depends on how the state in which the local government sits views the power structure of state and local government. Continue reading “Dillon’s Rule and Home Rule: The History Behind the Two Prevailing Views on the Powers of Local Government and What That Looks Like in Alabama”

Reached the Burning Point: State and Federal Riot Laws

Photo Credit: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2020/05/29/protesters-torch-minneapolis-police-station-cnn-crew-arrested-during-third-day-of-protests/ (last visited May 31, 2020).

Written By: Paul Sparkman
Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          As of the writing of this post, protests against police brutality and the disproportionate policing of people of color—sparked by the death of George Floyd—are taking place around the country.[1]  In many of those cities, the demonstrations have turned into or in some way led to riots—the protest’s rowdier and generally disfavored cousin.[2]   Continue reading “Reached the Burning Point: State and Federal Riot Laws”

Employees and the Gig Economy

a picture of a uber car and lyft car facing each other.

Photo Credit: https://www.whateverison.com/here-are-answers-to-every-uber-lyft-customers-questions/ (last visited Apr. 11, 2020).

Written by: Alexa Wallace

Research and Writing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            For many of us, we hear the term “gig economy” and think it’s another millennial hashtag with absolutely zero meaning in our everyday life.  But really, the emergence of the gig economy has a direct impact on us all.  Put simply, the “gig economy” is a new way of saying independent contract or part-time work, and over 55 million people are now working this way.[1]   Continue reading “Employees and the Gig Economy”