April 25, 2014

Terry Sides successfully defended a law enforcement officer in an excessive force case in federal court. The officer was a member of a fugitive task force which visited the plaintiff’s residence looking for the plaintiff’s daughter, who was the subject of an arrest warrant for attempted murder and burglary. As other officers were questioning the plaintiff about his daughter, a physical altercation occurred between them, during which the plaintiff was allegedly kicked in the back and otherwise assaulted. The plaintiff claimed he was then handcuffed behind his back, following which the subject officer sprayed him in the face with mace causing him even more serious injury. After extensive discovery was conducted, the court granted summary judgment for the officer on grounds that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The plaintiff made several post-judgment efforts to convince the court to reverse itself and vacate the judgment, all of which failed. T...

January 3, 2014

Tom Hale has been installed as President of The Homewood Police Foundation, a 501C3 tax exempt organization that involves corporate and individual citizens in assisting The Homewood Police Department and its personnel in a variety of endeavors. Hale is leading the efforts to secure and grow memberships, sustaining grants, community programs and other funding mechanisms that will provide additional resources to aid the Department with services, training and equipment that are not provided for in the Department’s annual budget. Current projects of outreach include the design and construction of a state-of-the-art shooting range, home and personal safety/self-defense training, law enforcement education and involvement programs for citizens, a Citizens Emergency Response Team (“CERT”) training program and an annual Homewood Police Foundation Scholarship awarded to a graduating Homewood High School student who is carefully selected from applicants and who intends to enter college or univers...

September 19, 2013

American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, who are leading providers of lawyer reviews and daily news covering legal business, law firms, and lawyers across the United States, have selected Terry Sides as a "2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor and Employment Law."

September 12, 2013

Terry Sides and successfully defended another federal court excessive force case filed against a South Alabama city, its mayor, police chief, and four of its police officers. The plaintiff claimed that after his nighttime armed robbery of a gas station, the four police officers pursued him to an area bordered by a dirt road with a chain link fence topped with barbed wire, which he climbed across to get to his vehicle to escape. He further claimed that before reaching his vehicle, one of the officers approached him with his gun pointed at him and demanded that he put his hands up, and that he complied with the officer's demand. He claimed that officer then ran toward him, rammed him into the fence, pushed him to the ground, put his knee in his back, and that a second officer then arrived on the scene and put his knees and weight into his back as he was being handcuffed. During these events, the plaintiff's right eye was permanently blinded, which he claimed occurred because of the first...

July 12, 2013

Tom Hale has authored Offensive Conduct: My Life on the Line, the biography of University of Alabama and New England Patriots football legend John "Hog" Hannah. Offensive Conduct is a first person narrative of Hannah’s meteoric rise from childhood through the Crimson Tide football program as starting offensive left guard under legendary Head Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and into the stratosphere of elite professional football players. A 1973 number four first round draft pick by the New England Patriots, John Hannah is regarded as perhaps the greatest large athlete to have ever lived having been declared "The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time" by Sports Illustrated in August, 1981. Hannah was voted All-Pro ten times, played in nine Pro Bowls, was voted by the NFL Players Association four years running as Most Valuable Offensive Lineman, and in 1991, was the first New England Patriot inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hale has spent several years coaxing details out of t...

July 10, 2013

Terry Sides successfully defended a South Alabama city and its chief of police in a federal civil rights case of excessive force and wrongful death. The plaintiffs claimed that while engaged in the pursuit of a speeding car, a patrol car being driven by a police officer for the city struck the speeding car from behind and caused it to go airborne, following which the car flipped over and landed in a ditch. The plaintiffs’ son, who they claimed was a passenger in the car, was killed in the accident. The plaintiffs’ theory was (a) the police officer’s action constituted excessive force, which was the result of the chief of police having acted with deliberate indifference in hiring, training, and supervising the officer, and (b) such action by the chief of police represented a custom, policy or practice of the city, which, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983, led to the deprivation of their son’s constitutional rights The plaintiffs sought a judgment against the city and its chief of police f...

June 26, 2013

Tom Hale was instrumental in creating and co-drafting legislation extending needed protection to Police K9 Dogs and Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR). Brought to light by his son, Rob, the enactment of the law now makes it a crime to commit additional offenses against a K9 Officer Dog or SAR Dog other than causing its death, the only sanction the law previously provided. Signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley on May 23, 2013, the Act now makes it a crime to harass, assault, injure or cause the death of a police or rescue animal and further provides for significant fines, penalties and restitution for each discrete violation.

Co-written with Debra Manasco, a legislation drafting specialist attorney in Montgomery, HB 259 was sponsored by Rep. Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) and passed unanimously in the House of Representatives by vote of 98-0. With the strong support of Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia), HB 259 was passed by the Senate by vote of 24-6 on May 20, 2013 and immediately sent to Gover...

April 18, 2013

In November 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act created "Form I-9" for employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. Through the years, many changes have been made not only to the verification process, but to the form itself. However, when the issue of immigration reform became a hotbed for legal activity in both federal and state governments, the significance of the I-9 increased dramatically. Beginning in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), increased audits of employers’ I-9 records for compliance determinations. In 2009, ICE performed 52 audits resulting in fines of $1,033,291 and 444 individuals arrested on criminal charges. By 2011, those numbers had increased to 385 audits and $10,463,988 in fines and 713 arrests. Although exact figures for 2012 have not been released, ICE has acknowledged the fines for 2012 exceeded $10,000,000, Now, more than ever, I-9 rules and requ...

April 10, 2013

Important news from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:

Federal law requires that every employer complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9 will help you verify your employee’s identity and employment authorization. If you are an Alabama employer, the information provided on Form I-9 is used to comply with the E-Verify requirement that went into effect in April of 2012.

On March 8, 2013, a new version of the Form I-9 (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf) was released. Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must only use the new Form I-9.

If you are an employer and have questions regarding the new I-9 or E-Verify, please contact us to schedule an appointment at (205) 453-9800. We offer I-9 audits as well as assistance with continued compliance.

April 3, 2013

The Firm successfully defended five Alabama police officers accused of excessive force in a lawsuit filed in federal court. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by three plaintiffs asserting more than 15 different claims (e.g., unlawful arrest, excessive force, conspiracy, assault and battery, and failure to properly train and supervise) against the police officers, the city which employs them, and its chief of police. Following extensive discovery, the Firm moved for and received a full summary judgment on all claims by two of the plaintiffs. Summary judgment was also granted on all claims by the third plaintiff except for his excessive force claim against the police officers for alleged actions taken after he was handcuffed. The case proceeded to trial in March 2013 with more than 20 witnesses expected to testify. However, following jury selection, the lone remaining plaintiff offered a settlement on terms favorable to the police officers, which was accepted. The court then dismissed the ca...

December 14, 2012

In December 2012, the Firm successfully defended a federal race discrimination suit filed against a city located in Jefferson County. The plaintiff, an African-American, was the former owner of a sports bar and restaurant located in the city. The plaintiff claimed that the city, its mayor, its former police chief and other police officers threatened and harassed him, his daughter and customers throughout the operation of his business. He alleged the defendants intended to run him out of business because of his race. He further alleged that the threats and harassment led to the city’s council ultimately revoking his business license and terminating his ability to operate his business in the city. The plaintiff claimed that similarly-situated white business owners in the city were not subject to such harassment. The city and its officials adamantly denied these claims. After the parties filed extensive written arguments, the court dismissed the case in its entirety. The court found that...

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