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Lawmaker, former client, square off over alleged malpractice

 

A civil trial of a legal malpractice claim against state Rep. Randal Mangham got under way Thursday in DeKalb County State Court.

Karen Smith, an employee of the Dekalb Sheriff’s Department, claims Mangham fouled up a personal injury case stemming from a 1995 car wreck on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. She alleges that Mangham’s missteps cost her a chance for a day in court to seek damages for a herniated disk and other injuries.

Mangham, in turn, contends the back problem stemmed for an earlier workplace injury at Ford Motor Co.’s Hapeville plant. He handled her worker’s compensation claim and helped her get her job back. Only when Ford fired her did she claim the car wreck was the cuse of her back injury, Jeff Sakas, Mangham’s attorney, said in opening arguments Thursday.

The trial is expected to continue into next week. State Court Judge Edward E. Carriere Jr. is presiding.

 

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