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....read more
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.
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
People who are beginning divorce proceedings have a lot on their minds. In addition to mourning the loss of a relationship, there can be a lot of anxiety associated with the uncertainty of the process. It helps to understand that all divorces will follow a course. Through cooperation, some divorces will follow a direct path, while others can be more contentious making the process longer and stressful. How the parties navigate that map is entirely up to them....read more
All lawyers in Georgia are members of the State Bar of Georgia. The State Bar has been around in some form since the late 1800s when it was called the Georgia Bar Association. It was not until the 1960s that all lawyers in the state were required to be members of the State Bar of Georgia. Now there are more than 36,000 active members.
The purpose of the State Bar is to foster among its members the principles of duty and service to the public; to improve the administration of justice; and to advance the science of law....read more
In a recent Legal Briefs’ question and answer, Mark Alexander is an experienced litigator specializing in personal injury law talked about what punitive damages are in civil lawsuits and how we often get a distorted, negative view of punitive damages. One of the most famous cases involving punitive damages was the McDonald’s coffee case. Many people have only heard the side of the case that painted the plaintiff in a negative light but there is a side that helps show why punitive damages are important in civil cases....read more
In 2007, the number of reverse mortgages peaked at approximately 115,000. By 2012, the number fell to 51,000. At the same time, the rate of default on reverse mortgages rose to approximately 9.4 percent of loans in 2012, up from 2 percent a decade earlier, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There is no data on how many heirs are facing foreclosure because of reverse mortgages but that is a growing problem for children of parents who took out a reverse mortgage....read more
For the second year in a row, Stewart Melvin & Frost was the overall winner in the local Georgia Legal Food Frenzy competition which raises money and collects food for the state’s regional food banks....read more
In reading or hearing stories about court juries delivering big dollar verdicts in civil lawsuits, we often get a distorted, negative view of punitive damages. Are there any restrictions to what a jury can award? And where do you draw the line between simply reimbursing an accident victim for their medical expenses and punishing the defendant who caused the accident?...read more
There are benefits of doing your own legwork prior to seeing a lawyer.
There are things the client can do on their own before the initial meeting that will help their attorney, save them money and speed up the process....read more
In real estate business and law, a title search or property title search is the process of retrieving documents evidencing events in the history of a piece of real property, to determine relevant interests in and regulations concerning that property. Property title records are kept in a county government’s deed room and it is open to the public not just realtors or real estate attorneys.
Stewart Melvin & Frost attorneys Rustin Smith and Ronny Hulsey will be discussing the role of attorneys as small business advisors as part of a series of seminars conducted by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce....read more