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Standard of Care Podcast


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Episode 11: Reasonable Doubt

On 8/22/2021, a Colorado grand jury handed down a 32-count criminal indictment against the police officers and EMS personnel involved in the incident that led to Elijah McClain’s death.  On this episode of the Standard of Care, Nick and Samantha try to untangle what these indictments could mean for the EMS community.  We reach out to our resident experts - former prosecutor (now business lawyer) Chris Timmons and defense attorney (and Samantha’s law school classmate) Stephen Coxen – for answers.  How do prosecutors even decide to file charges in a case like this?  How does a grand jury work?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case, and how does a criminal defense attorney defend a client against these charges?  What can EMTs and paramedics do to protect themselves from potential criminal liability? Please like, comment, and subscribe!


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Show Notes / Links


Tabachnik, S., (2021, Sept. 1).  Elijah McClain case: Read the full indictment of Aurora officers, paramedics charged in his death.  Denver Post https://www.denverpost.com/2021/09/01/elijah-mcclain-indictment-aurora-police-paramedics/

Christopher Timmons, Poole Huffman https://www.poolehuffman.com/christopher-w-timmons.html

Chris Timmons is a veteran litigator and trial attorney, having tried more than 100 cases to judges and juries, almost all as sole or chief counsel. Chris’s jury trial experience includes RICO, breach of contract, opioid, gambling, and public corruption cases, many of which have been the subject of local, state-wide, and even national media attention. He also has argued multiple cases before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court.

Chris joined Poole Huffman after serving as a prosecutor for over 17 years in DeKalb and Cobb Counties. In DeKalb, Chris served as a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney and headed the Organized Crime Division, which included the White Collar, Public Integrity, and Gang Units. In Cobb County, he served as the first specialized White Collar prosecutor.

Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Chris was a litigation associate for five years at King & Spalding in Atlanta and Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister in Cincinnati. At those firms, he handled business litigation, real estate litigation, securities class actions, and products liability cases from the filing of complaints through appeals.

For the past 11 years, Chris has also been an adjunct professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, teaching a three-credit-hour required course on Trial Advocacy to second-year law students.

Chris grew up in Marysville, Ohio. He and his wife Kelly, a GSU law professor and the College of Law’s former Dean of Students, live in the Candler Park neighborhood of Atlanta with their two daughters. In his spare time, Chris enjoys international travel, cooking, and helping to coach Inman Middle School’s girl's lacrosse team.

Stephen Coxen, The Coxen Firm, LLC https://www.cwlaw.net/stephen-coxen

A native of Fitzgerald, Georgia, Mr. Coxen moved to the Atlanta area in 2000 while attending law school at Georgia State University College of Law. There, Mr. Coxen excelled academically and in extracurricular activities, graduating with honors, Cum Laude. While at Georgia State, Mr. Coxen was also a member of the award-winning Student Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Team and interned at the Dekalb County Solicitor General’s Office, practicing under Georgia’s Third Year Practice Act, in the summer of 2002.

The experience would prove invaluable, as he began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Newton County District Attorney’s Office in Covington, Georgia. There, he gained valuable trial experience prosecuting thousands of cases, ranging from traffic violations to murder.

Mr. Coxen entered private practice in 2006 and has concentrated his practice in the areas of criminal defense, family law, general civil litigation, and personal injury law. He is a founding partner of The Coxen Firm, LLC.

Mr. Coxen has regularly served as a volunteer with the children's ministry of his local church and is a past member of the Georgia College Alumni Association Board of Directors.  Mr. Coxen is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and is licensed to practice in all state courts as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Mr. Coxen and his wife Jennifer reside in Atlanta, Georgia with their sons Reeves and Rhett.

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