Friday, July 18, 2014


Starting August 1, 2014, new rates for landlord-tenant matters go into effect as follows:

Magistrate Court

  • Initial Consultations - $75 - $150/hr. (first meeting only)
  • Follow Up Consultations (pre-retainer) - $250/hr. 
  • Draft Dispossessory Complaint or Answer in Magistrate Court - Residential Lease - $100 (flat fee + filing fee)
  • Draft Dispossessory Complaint or Answer in Magistrate Court - Commercial Lease - $500 (flat fee + filing fee) 
  • Prepare Client for Hearing - Magistrate Court - $150/30 minutes
  • Appear in Court Each Time (hearing and/or mediation) for Residential on behalf of Tenant or Landlord - $330 flat fee 
  • Appear in Court Each Time (hearing and/or mediation) for Commercial - $600 flat fee
  • File Post Judgment Paperwork for Eviction - $330 flat fee
  • All other activities not specifically mentioned in this section $200/hr.
State or Superior Court
  • Draft appeal from Magistrate Court - $300/hr. 
  • Conduct discovery (if allowed) - $250/hr + expenses
  • Prepare Client for Hearing - $150/30 minutes
  • Appear in Court Each Time for Hearing - $250/hr. + expenses
  • File post judgment paperwork for eviction - $100/hr. + expenses
  • All other activities not specifically mentioned in this section - $200/hr.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Akin Gump withdraws from case after winning $25M jury verdict, says client admitted evidence issues

If the allegations are true, every firm and attorney can be duped by clients.  This firm Akin Gump is a large and respected firm that has resources and personnel to check and recheck evidence.

Nevertheless, despite the verdict, once an attorney finds a client has presented false evidence at trial, withdrawal is the only step.  Indeed, if the firm did not file for withdrawal, the attorneys could be sanctioned by the court and the state bar.

Akin Gump withdraws from case after winning $25M jury verdict, says client admitted evidence issues

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Those Without Million Dollar Estates May Still Need Wills

Even if you don't have a large estate, a will is a good idea if you have minor children, if you want specific items to go to specific relatives, or if you believe there is going to be fight over who will become the administrator. Remember, putting the person's name on the bottom of the item is not recognized in court as a valid transfer. 

Moreover, if you have debt, you may want certain items to be sold first to satisfy those debts. A will can instruct your executor on what to sell first.

If you are a single or divorced person, you can recommend who you want to obtain physical custody of the minor children. However, the court will make the final determination. On the other hand, you can select a responsible person to control assets and income that are for the benefit of your minor children (aka guardian of the property). This selection is rarely overturned by the court.

Attorney McGill does basic wills for single and divorced parent with minor children and those with small estates who live in Georgia  and Maryland

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Suggestions for Renters -- Apartments and Houses

For those who lease, before you move into your next apartment or rental house, think about following these suggestions:

(1) inspect the premises before you pay your security deposit;

(2) if you cannot inspect the premises before paying the deposit, demand clear provisions for a deposit refund for uninhabitable conditions;

(3) demand a copy of the lease before the move in date or if possible before placing the deposit;

(4) read the lease completely before signing it to ensure you understand the terms and conditions;

(5) if the landlord has made a promise that is not in the lease, demand that it be included in the lease with a date certain for compliance;

(6) request an inspection of the premises before you sign the lease;

(7) if your budget allows, have 15-30 days between the first day of the lease and the furniture move in date to cure any problems;

(8) make sure everything is working during that 15-30 day move in gap; and

(9) make sure you follow the law regarding the move-in inspection timeline.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

For A Civil Litigant, Sitting in on Hearings May Help You be More Realistic

If you are a party in a lawsuit or you are thinking about filing a lawsuit, the best way to get a realistic view of the judicial process is to sit in on hearings and small claims trials.  It will open your eyes to the process. The experience should also change your naive views of the system.  Television tends to push the childish view that the good guys always win.   

Additionally, hearings or bench trials are ideal because you get a number of cases and issues and those in the gallery hear objections, discussions, and rulings.  In a jury trial, the jury and the spectators miss important conversations. You will also learn a little about the rules of evidence, including hearsay and relevancy. Moreover, most hearing dockets include 10-25 cases.  As a result, you get a broader view of strategies, successes and mistakes.  Furthermore, you can watch a variety of nervous laypeople on the witness stand.   You can learn first hand about what works and what doesn't work as far as presenting your case and coming across as a credible person.  Fortunately, for those in Gwinnett County, Georgia, the Magistrate Court (Small Claims) schedules cases at 6:30pm.  The Court also plays a short video beforehand to give litigants a short primer on how the court differs from the small claims arbitration shows, such as Judge Judy.  If you live in that county or an adjacent county, it's a good time to stop in after work to observe and take notes. 

Finally, and most importantly, if you can watch the judge who has already been assigned to your case, you can see his or her demeanor and "fairness" to parties with cases similar to yours.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 2014 Initial Consultation Discount

Quite a few spouses have made new year's resolution to take steps to end their marriages.  As a result, the firm has decided to offer free 1/2 hour initial consultations to discuss the potential breakup in Georgia offices located in Roswell, Norcross (Peachtree Corners), and Decatur.

For potential clients in Washington, DC, Maryland, and New York, I will offer free 1/2 hour initial consultations for divorces and legal separations.

Should office visits exceed 30 minutes, the normal hourly consultation rate of $150/hour shall apply.

This offer is for Jaunary 2014.

The hourly rate for divorces and legal separations will depend on the location of the divorce, assets, liabilities, age of children, and estimated time for the matter.

Office visits are by appointment only and based on the availability of the attorney.

General Office Number for Appointments - (678)353-3217

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Layoffs This Time of Year

Unfortunately, the end of the year is the time for layoffs. If you are one the many chosen for termination, think twice before signing any separation agreement. Most corporations will allow you to take the termination home to review. If this option is given, take it, read it over carefully, and seek legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer.

Pitfalls in a Separation Agreement

1. Waiver of all discrimination and worker's compensation claims;

2. No limitation on what the employer can say in a call from a prospective employer;

3. No obligation for the employer to provide a neutral reference letter for the employee;

4. One sided non-disparagement clause;

5. Nonpayment of vacation and sick leave time;

6. Low severance pay;

7. No information on COBRA rights; and

8. Prohibition on seeking future employment with the company.