Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Do Your Research and Take Your Time When Served With A Summons And Complaint/Statement of Claim

When a person is served with a summons and complaint, in most instances, the response filing deadline is 20-30 days (depending on the court). One exception to this rule is a dispossessory action. In Georgia, the response time for dispossessories is seven days. As a result you have to act quickly to protect your rights.

Nevertheless, if you have a 20-30 day response time from the date of service, you have time to call around to find an attorney who suits your budget and time constraints. If you're served on Monday, take 3-5 days to consult with several lawyers. Find out their theories of your case. 7-10 days after service, make your decision.

There is no rational reason to receive service of process on Monday and retain an attorney within 24-48 hours of service. I find it amazing that in many cases, people spend more time researching a $500 television or phone than they do researching an attorney that costs much more than those electronic devices. Indeed, depending on the case, the television or phone may malfunction before your case comes to judgment or settlement.


(1) Talk to 3-5 attorneys by phone (not their legal assistants or paralegals).
(2) Visit your top 1 -3 choices.
(3) Take all proposed contracts home to read and compare. Some provisions can be negotiated.
(4) Make your selection after full contemplation.

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