Great Butterballs of Fire: Answer the Call of Thanksgiving Claims

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 23, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Do you need something to be thankful for this week? How about new clients?

Thanksgiving is a lawyer’s dream holiday, but you can only get the clients if you stay connected. While we would never condone sitting at the dinner table with a turkey leg in one hand, and your iPhone in the other, you should make a plan to check your phone and email messages periodically throughout the weekend.

Here’s a quick preview of some of the Thanksgiving claims and crimes you might be blessed with:

  • DUI. The California Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that DUI checkpoints are legal, and offered a list of factors for determining whether a specific checkpoint was legal. One such factor? Providing advance notice of the checkpoint. Despite the notice requirement, DUI checkpoints will snare drivers who are over the legal limit, and those drivers will need attorneys.
  • Tort Liability. Goodness gracious, great Butterballs of fire. Where there is a turkey fryer, there is a Thanksgiving tort claim. While failure to warn claims should be a thing of the past considering the number of turkey fryer lawsuits courts have seen over the years, Thanksgiving will still yield insurance and premises liability claims as property owners use turkey fryers indoors and injure their loved ones.
  • Advertising Claims. For the litigious foodie, California law specifies classes of turkey meat by appearance. Grocers that intentionally mislabel turkey could be subject to state law claims.
  • Child Custody. Most child custody claims will wait until Monday, but tensions are likely to be high among battling exes over the holidays. Be prepared for messages about holiday visitation schedules.
  • Black Friday. Like turkey fryer lawsuits, Black Friday lawsuits have become a Thanksgiving tradition. Sleep-deprived bargain-shoppers will trample each other to save a few dollars, so businesses and victims will require legal representation in the wake of the "savings storm."

The moral of this post? Just like the early bird gets the worm, the connected attorney gets the client. Don't ignore your friends and family this weekend, but make time for messages; they could lead to a busy 2012, just stuffed with Thanksgiving claims.

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