Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 21 - April 30 2015 - Initial Consultation Rates

For new landlord-tenant and family law clients who meet in the firm's Norcross and Roswell offices, Attorney McGill will give free 30 minute initial consultations. Anytime over 30 minutes will be charged at $50/30 minutes.

The initial consultation fee for all other matters and locations is $100/hour. Most initial consultations last approximately 1 hour.

By appointment only (678)353-3217.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AUTOMATIC LEASE RENEWALS -- Know What's in Your Lease

Tenants and landlords in residential and commercial leases should be mindful of automatic renewal dates. Frequently, leases have a 30-90 day notice of nonrenewal. If neither party sends a nonrenewal notice, the lease may be automatically renewed for another year with a rent increase.

This automatic year renewal may cause a problem for a tenant who wants to leave at the end of the first term, who cannot afford a rent increase, or who wants to change the terms of the lease.

At the same time, an automatic year renewal can create a hardship on a landlord who wants to place the property for sale, who wants to move a better commercial tenant into an occupied space, who wants to increase the rent more than what's in the lease, or who wants to change the terms of the lease.

By contrast, a month to month automatic lease renewal has different hazards for the landlord and tenant. A good tenant has bargaining power to negotiate a lower rent with better terms or leave with 30 days notice. A landlord who is shopping for a good tenant has the freedom of time to shop the rental property to obtain better lease terms. Once that new tenant is found, the old tenant may be entitled to only 60 days notice before he has to vacate the property.

The best thing to do is mark your calendar, think about your plans for the coming year, and make sure you comply with the renewal or nonrenewal terms of your lease. If you have a good relationship with your landlord or tenant, you may want to discuss his or her plans for renewal before the deadline. Otherwise, you may be at a disadvantage in future lease negotiations.

Monday, December 15, 2014


By the time the year closes, this solo firm would have received over 1,000 calls and e-mails from people asking questions or seeking legal representation. Many of those calls were handled through simple 15 minute free legal consultations or e-mail responses. Other potential clients met with me in my many meeting locations in Georgia and were assisted at those meetings or retained me for their cases.

I expect the inquiries to increase in 2015 as I increase my landlord-tenant and family law practices.

If you live in Georgia, Washington, DC, Maryland, or New York and have legal questions or cases in the firm's practice areas please contact me by phone or e-mail.


Thursday, November 13, 2014


For those Georgia tenants who are behind in rent payments, who hold over beyond their lease terms, or who have ongoing problems with their landlords, pay attention to dispossessory notices from the courts. These notices are not letters that can be ignored.

Although each county has its own forms, some common factors are as follows:

(1) The name of the court near the top (usually Magistrate Court);
(2) The description of the document as "Procceding Against Tenant Holding Over" or "Dispossessory" or something similar;
(3) The Case No. imprinted on it;
(4) A notary stamp or notary signature;
(5) A section entitled "SUMMONS";
(6) Affiant's signature and phone number; and
(7) Instructions on the deadline to file an answer and the place to file the answer.

If a tenant receives this legal summons and notice by tack and mail on his door and fails to file an answer by the deadline, the landlord can move forward, obtain a writ of possession, and formally evict the tenant without further notice.

Talking with the landlord is not enough once your receive the dispossessory notice or the proceeding against tenant holding over. You must file in court an answer and a counterclaim, if applicable. Moreover, settling does not relieve you from filing a timely answer. For your protection, file the answer within the deadline noting the settlement.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Employer Must Defend Against A Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Not Monitoring Employee Computer Use: Labor and Employment Law, School Law, Lawyers, Attorneys, Franczek Radelet

Employer Must Defend Against A Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Not Monitoring Employee Computer Use: Labor and Employment Law, School Law, Lawyers, Attorneys, Franczek Radelet

The above ruling is limited to Illinois. However, if other states’ laws allow for this expansion of employer liability, employees need to make sure they use their own personal devices to transmit e-mails and texts. Indeed, workers shouldn’t be using employer e-mails, computers, or phones for personal matters anyway. It’s not worth the risk of having an employer know your personal business.
For employers who are worried about this expansion of liability, you may be left with no other choice but to read personal e-mails and texts of your employees if they are foolish enough to transmit this information on company owned devices or through company e-mails.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Moving to a New City for a Job? A Few Considerations for Renters.

Before you move to a new city for a job, consider at least one of options that may protect you against renting a horrible residence or losing too much money should you decide to return home:
(1) stay in temporary housing for a few months, keep your furniture in storage, and take your time looking for an apartment;
(2) consider a six month lease;
(3) demand an early termination provision on a twelve month lease that has no more than a two month penalty payment; or
(4) demand a sublet provision in the lease.

(1) and (2) can cost a few hundred dollars a month over a twelve month lease. Many large management companies have (3) and (4) in their leases.

Subletting may be great if you can find a responsible tenant.  However, unless the landlord relieves you from responsiblity for paying the rent and for any damages, you become the guarantor of strangers.

Regardless, the biggest mistake you may make is to lease a location for twelve months without seeing the apartment or home.  If the manager says you have to hurry because others want it, you should consider letting it go.  It's not worth the risk.