Articles Posted in News

Hemp

On May 10, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) into law. This bill allows farmers in Georgia to legally grow and sell industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant.  Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical responsible for the “high” felt when smoking marijuana. It is therefore not considered a Schedule I substance.

The text of HB 213 only addresses who can grow and sell hemp. However, many law enforcement officials feel its wording makes hemp possession legal by default. It does not, however, legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in Georgia. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce is considered a felony, with the maximum sentence being up to ten years in prison.

HB 213 has carried an unforeseen consequence for Georgia law enforcement. There is currently no way for police to accurately measure the THC concentration in cannabis. This has made it difficult for law enforcement to accurately distinguish between marijuana and the now-legal industrial hemp. As a result, different counties around metro Atlanta have been forced to change their approach to prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases.

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The NFL’s Newest Rule Changes to Decrease Concussions

Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle.

Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape.

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Do I have to disclose my legal troubles to my employer?

When you’re arrested, many questions can leave you unsure of what to do next. Of the many questions that crop up, you may be asking yourself, “Do I have to tell my employer?” An attorney can help you determine what the correct response is for your situation, but generally speaking, the answer is complicated.

Georgia law gives employers the right to “employ at will,” which means they can hire or fire an employee for any reason, so long as it’s nondiscriminatory. In addition, many applications ask prospective employees to disclose their legal records. This can be a tricky thing to navigate as well because whether you have to disclose is a case-by-case basis.

On May 10, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) into law. This bill allows farmers in Georgia to legally grow and sell industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis sativa plant.  Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical responsible for the “high” felt when smoking marijuana. It is therefore not considered a Schedule I substance.

A picture of a hemp plantThe text of HB 213 only addresses who can grow and sell hemp. However, many law enforcement officials feel its wording makes hemp possession legal by default. It does not, however, legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in Georgia. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce is considered a felony, with the maximum sentence being up to ten years in prison.

HB 213 has carried an unforeseen consequence for Georgia law enforcement. There is currently no way for police to accurately measure the THC concentration in cannabis. This has made it difficult for law enforcement to accurately distinguish between marijuana and the now-legal industrial hemp. As a result, different counties around metro Atlanta have been forced to change their approach to prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases.

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In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.

Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris.

Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

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The law has always been part of Carl Chapman’s life. Growing up in Georgia, his father was in law enforcement, and Carl interned with a judge when he was in college. Carl knew he was destined for a career in the legal field, and he ultimately decided that he was better suited to defending citizens in court.

Carl joined the Don Turner Legal Team this July, and he will be using his expertise to represent our clients facing criminal charges. A graduate of Georgia State University Law School, Carl has four years of experience representing defendants in the courtroom. In addition, Carl defended a client in Georgia’s longest criminal trial, which lasted more than seven months. Carl comes to our team on a hot streak. At the time of writing this, he has won 10 out of his last 11 jury cases. Anyone with an understanding of the legal world will know convincing a jury of your client’s innocence is no easy feat.

“In the criminal defense world, the cards are usually stacked against you. That’s the nature of the game,” Carl says. “Your job is just mitigation. […] I’m excited. I enjoy what I do.”

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MEET THE RATS THAT SNIFF OUT LAND MINES

When you think of animals that could be considered heroic, giant rats probably aren’t the first creatures that pop into your head. Many people still think of them as filthy, disease-ridden little thieves that deserve eradication rather than a medal. But one nongovernmental organization (NGO) has proven just how heroic rats can be by training them to detect land mines and, in turn, save lives.

Over 60 countries worldwide still feel the effects of wars past every time someone steps on an unactivated land mine. Dogs and metal detectors have traditionally been used to find and safely detonate land mines in these countries, but both methods are costly and time-consuming. A human with a metal detector could take up to four days to clear a 2,000 square foot area of any land mines, and people knew there had to be a faster, safer way.

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DON TURNER’S LIFELONG LOVE FOR DOGS

I have always grown up with dogs, and I can’t imagine a point in my life without a dog. I joke that dogs keep my blood pressure down, but no matter how much work a dog can be, I find their

company relaxing. A dog won’t argue, point out your mistakes, or turn against you. They just want to be loved and near you.

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Nothing says summer quite like a barbecue, and July is the peak month for grilling! But before you fire up the charcoal and start inviting the whole neighborhood over, review these grill safety tips.

Keep it clean.

The urge to leave your mess until later is always strong when you have filled yourself with scrumptious grilled treats, but keeping your grill clean is necessary for both safety and taste. After your meal, wipe up any grease or gunk left by your food while the bars of the grill are still warm. After the grill has completely cooled, remove the bars and scrub the additional parts. Every few weeks, deep-clean the grill to ensure that caked-on food and oils don’t damage it or seep into your food. After all, no one wants to taste last week’s burgers on their salmon.

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Ashley Sampson says she “fell” into her position at Don Turner Legal Team more than four years ago when she heard about the job from Don Turner’s former law partner. His previous law partner was a good friend of Ashley’s, which meant they understood just how dedicated Ashley would be.

Four years later, Ashley says she has surprised herself with how devoted she is to legal work. “I didn’t know anything about the legal field when I started working here,” Ashley recalls. “I was trained, and as I learned, I fell in love with the profession.” Serving as the Firm Administrator, Ashley primarily works with our personal injury cases and supports the criminal cases our team takes on. She manages our scheduling and bookkeeping, ensuring that our daily operations are properly handled.

It’s obvious that we would be lost without Ashley, and this past winter tested our ability to function without her support. On Feb. 22, Ashley and her husband, Nate, welcomed their first daughter, Emma. The couple has been married for four years this past May, and they are enjoying their new life as parents and watching Emma grow.

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