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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.

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Published Monday, July 14, 2014

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.

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Published Monday, June 30, 2014

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? 

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Published Monday, May 19, 2014

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. 

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Published Monday, April 7, 2014

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. 

 

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Published Monday, March 24, 2014

A common issue between unmarried, divorcing or separated parents is the cost of child support.  No matter what the calculation method, many parents find themselves in a situation where they must pay more than they think they can afford for child support to the other parent. 

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Published Monday, February 10, 2014

ith the New Year comes new protection for consumers seeking mortgages. On Jan. 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began requiring lenders to make sure borrowers can afford to repay loans based on their income, debt and credit history.

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Published Monday, January 13, 2014

Collecting debt is uncomfortable reality for small businesses and individuals. Small business owners can have customers who are several months past due on a bill. Sometimes individuals loan money to others and have trouble securing repayment. Either way, it’s your money and you want to be repaid. There are steps to take before enlisting an attorney’s help. 

 

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Published Monday, December 30, 2013

With the housing market picking back up in Georgia, many consumers are going through the mortgage closing process on their first or new home. With such a significant investment and financial decision, it’s important to understand what the many different costs actually represent.

 

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Published Monday, December 2, 2013

Most people know that they should have a will, but put off creating one. It’s natural to put off things you don’t want to deal with. A recent study shows that what we think about having a will does not connect with actually having one. While 60 percent of those surveyed said they believe all adults should have a will, only 44 percent said they have one. What people don’t realize is how difficult we make for our family if we pass away without a will.

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Published Monday, November 4, 2013

A study released by the CDC claims that nearly one in four births is the child of an unmarried couple. That number has nearly doubled since 2002, and tripled since 1985. In many cases, the unmarried couple does not remain together, and a young man can be left wondering what his rights to his child are. Unfortunately for the male, the answer is all too often “none.” 

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Published Monday, October 21, 2013

During the past several years of the economic recession, many desperate homeowners turned to what is known as a “reverse mortgage” to draw emergency cash out of their homes. Now, in an effort to reshape the reverse mortgage program back to its original purpose, the federal government has announced new restrictions.

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Published Monday, September 23, 2013

Stewart Melvin & Frost attorney Steve Cornelison recently discussed the impact of the new Healthcare Reform law on employers – both small and large. In part II of the Q&A, we will shift our focus to individuals and address some of the most common questions on this.

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Published Monday, September 9, 2013

After all the debate and political jockeying, the health care reform law – also known as the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare – will roll out in just a few months beginning on 

January 1st, 2014. 

 

Some aspects of the health reform law have already occurred. Open enrollment for the special health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, provided by the government will begin this October, while individuals who do not have health insurance coverage will be required to obtain coverage by the end of this year.

 

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Published Monday, August 26, 2013

If you are an employer, chances are that you are very familiar with what is known as the workers’ compensation system here in Georgia as well as the rest of the United States. 

 

However, if you are a start-up business or an established business that has never incurred a workers’ comp claim, you may not really understand much about this state-mandated program – except when it’s time to pay the insurance premiums. 

 

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Published Monday, August 12, 2013