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Having the right to represent yourself in court dates back to the founding of the country. Pro se litigation, which is the term for self-representation in court, is on the rise. Pro se representation presents unique challenges for litigants and the legal system. more
Published Monday, April 6, 2015

Parties to do-it-yourself divorce agreements are often divorcing on good terms and have uncomplicated finances. But they can run in to problems down the road if they have problems resolving post-divorce issues because they were not addressed properly in the Marital Settlement Agreement (the divorce agreement). Sometimes post-divorce issues are unavoidable. more
Published Monday, March 23, 2015

Under Georgia law, a landlord can file a court action to evict a tenant for not paying rent or violating a part of the lease agreement. It can be an incredibly fast process. There are protections built into the law for tenants. So, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is good to understand the processes. more
Published Monday, March 9, 2015

Brook A. Davidson has joined Stewart Melvin & Frost’s growing probate litigation practice. more
Published Friday, March 6, 2015

If you have three or more employees, chances are that you are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Almost every business in the United States that has employees must deal with the question of workers' compensation. Most states, including Georgia, require employers to purchase insurance to handle their statutory obligations to workers who suffer a work-related illness or injury. more
Published Monday, February 23, 2015

The State of Georgia’s ban on texting and driving has been in effect nearly five years. Surveys have shown nearly 40 percent of drivers in Georgia admitted they text while driving. With the New Year, we wanted to have a refresher on the law. more
Published Monday, January 12, 2015

So you got a drone or an expensive radio controlled airplane or helicopter for Christmas. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as they are known officially, have grown in size and in capabilities on the years. They are fun but can be hard to control. Consequences and responsibility come with flying these air craft. People around the country are finding that out. more
Published Monday, December 29, 2014

On a previous Legal Briefs segment, we discussed what steps you need to take to qualify for a refinancing your mortgage. Today we want to continue the discussion on refinancing by talking about the advantages refinancing and things to consider when making that decision. more
Published Monday, December 15, 2014

Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rates, take cash out of your home for large purchases, or change mortgage companies. Most people refinance when they have equity on their home, which is the difference between the amount owed to the mortgage company and the worth of the home. Lenders have tightened the guidelines they use to evaluate loan applications. That means borrowers who want to refinance their mortgage to take advantage of low interest rates may wonder whether they will qualify for a new loan. more
Published Monday, December 1, 2014

Under the workers' compensation system, employers are required to purchase insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. The system strikes a compromise between employers and employees: Employees get benefits regardless of fault. In return, employers get protection from lawsuits by injured employees who want to be awarded money damages for pain and suffering or mental anguish. more
Published Monday, November 3, 2014

Lydia Sartain, a partner and family law attorney at Stewart Melvin & Frost, was one of the moderators for a recent Lunch with the First Ladies of Georgia at the Northeast Georgia History Center. more
Published Friday, October 24, 2014
by Lydia Sartain

Almost all of us have gotten that envelope in the mail with the words Jury Summons across the front. It’s the way American citizens participate in the judiciary branch of the government. more
Published Monday, October 20, 2014

Previously, we’ve discussed mortgage scams targeted toward homeowners facing for foreclosure or behind on their mortgage payments.


There is another side of mortgage fraud and it’s committed by potential home buyers during the application process. more
Published Monday, September 22, 2014

Mortgage fraud has become prevalent around Georgia and especially in the metro Atlanta area. If you are facing the possibility of losing your home to foreclosure or are behind on your mortgage payment, you could be targeted by scammer. With the possibility of losing your home, you are willing to try anything to save your home. Scam artist know this and will prey on distressed homeowners. more
Published Monday, September 8, 2014

Most people know that when a lawsuit is filed, it can lead to a trial. But they don’t understand all the steps that happen after a suit is filed but before the trial phase. 

These stages of civil litigation will determine if a lawsuit actually makes it to a courtroom.  In most cases, a jury will never hear a dispute. Somewhere along the stages, the parties will reach an outcome.

Rustin Smith, an associate attorney with Stewart, Melvin, & Frost, will discuss the Stages of Civil Litigation. more
Published Monday, August 25, 2014