December 21, 2016

Terry Sides successfully defended a Jefferson County city and its police chief in a wrongful death and civil rights case in federal court.

The plaintiff’s son encountered a driver’s license checkpoint being conducted by the city’s police officers. When one of the officers asked for identification, the son produced a questionable ID card that could not be confirmed through multiple law enforcement sources. The officer asked the son to get out of the car and performed a “pat down” search of him. The son was then detained (but not handcuffed) in the backseat of the officer’s patrol car while the officer continued to try to confirm his identity. A short while later, the son jumped out of the patrol car, assaulted the officer, and tried to take the officer’s gun from its holster. Unable to get the gun, the son fled into the nearby woods. The officer chased the son and caught him, at which time the son continued to fight the officer and again attempted to take away the officer’s gun. Fearing...

December 8, 2016

On behalf of two Alabama cities as “friends of the court,” Terry Sides is participating in a pivotal case about municipal and recreational land use immunities.

The case concerns an accident which occurred at a recreational park owned by a city in North Alabama. The accident occurred when the plaintiff was returning to her car after dark following a fireworks show and tripped and fell over a diagonal crossbar supporting a metal post which had previously held a metal cable separating the parking area from the rest of the park. The plaintiff contends the area where she fell constitutes an exception to Alabama’s recreational land use statutes because it was a “hidden danger.” Those statutes define and limit the duties of an owner of recreational land to a person using the land for recreational purposes, and they essentially provide that an owner of such land owes no duty to its users except for injury caused by a “willful or malicious” failure to guard or warn against a known dangerous cond...

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