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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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
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