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
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.
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....read more
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....read more
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.
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.
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....read more
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.”...read more
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....read more
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....read more