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Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant Attends People’s Law School 2013

Erosion of people’s rights to jury trials, importance of jury trials and the workings of the Supreme Court discussed


Atlanta, Georgia -- Atlanta legal nurse consultant Liz Buddenhagen, registered nurse,  is enrolled in the 2013 People’s Law School in Athens. The course is sponsored by the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Cork and Key and The Classic Center.

Buddenhagen says the course will help her update her knowledge of the court system for her work as a legal nurse consultant.  She said the first session featured a presentation by Georgia State University Law  Professor James W. Hurt, who discussed the history and importance of the jury system in the United States. Professor Hurt described  ways in which the jury system is vitally important to our country’s justice system and how it is under attack.

Hurt noted that in Old English law that judges were under the control of the king and therefore were not fair or impartial. He explained that the U.S. jury system eliminated the king’s control and that King George III forbade jury trials in the U.S. originally and this was one of the main reasons that the American Revolution began.

Hurt said that the founding fathers thought that jury trials were so important that the 7th Amendment was created as protection and that the legislature cannot change the constitution. This amendment guarantees jury trials and that the jury is the final arbitrator of guilt, innocence or liability.

In discussing examples of ways that the jury system is under attack, Hurt offered last year’s Senate Bill 202 in Georgia regarding the Nursing Home Arbitration Act which if passed would have had citizens revoke their right to trial by jury in the event of negligence by a nursing home by mandating a citizen sign a clause agreeing to arbitration (instead of jury trial) when entering a nursing home. This bill was heavily promoted by attorneys for the nursing home industry. This bill was not passed in 2012.

Hurt also discussed the Georgia Patient Injury Act which proposed that medical malpractice cases no longer be filed to a court but rather go to a bureaucratic panel. This was not passed.

Hurt said the American Association of Justice,, fights daily to preserve the American jury system. He discussed the real facts of the McDonald’s coffee case which many people do not understand and which show the true merit of the lawsuit.

The People’s Law School has been offered annually in August in 4 two-hour sessions each Wednesday from 6-8 PM and is free to the public. Interested parties may still register to attend the remaining sessions by calling 706-548-8122 or at the door. Sessions are held in the Willow Room of The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia.

The other speaker at the first session was Professor Dan T. Coenen of the University of Georgia Law School who spoke on the 7th Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Professor Coenen distributed a booklet of The Constitution of the United States to all attendees and briefly discussed the U.S. Supreme Court in relation to the constitution and consequential application of the system of checks and balances.

Coenen then talked about how the Supreme Court operates today. He explained the roles of the Chief Justice and associate justices. He noted that the Supreme Court is an appellate and not a trial court, and described the inner workings of the Supreme Court process in deciding which cases to review and rule on and how that is accomplished.

Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant:

Liz Buddenhagen, registered nurse, assists Atlanta attorneys with any case that includes healthcare issues. For more information email, view website or call 770-725-2997. 


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