Saturday, January 20, 2024


 Today, I went on the Gwinnett Courts website and saw a warning to homeowners that alerts them to title transactions.  It's at  .  Kudos to the clerk and to Georgia for making the homeowner who goes to the site aware of the problem.  

However, what percentage of homeowner visit the site in Gwinnett?  

Even if they did a flyer drop to reach the elderly, would that be enough?

Is this measure enough to protect a vast number of victims?

Some may say the laws need to catch up with the thieves.  The entire transaction needs to be slowed down. True owners should be able to go into court within 12 months to challenge the transfer, lien, and fraud perpetrated by scammers. Between innocent homeowners and lending institutions, the innocent homeowner should be protected.   

There are other protections that owners should be allowed that are similar to those are afforded credit card holders whose credit cards are stolen and used.  There is already a model to this delayed full title transfer.  In tax foreclosure sales, the purchaser of that property knows there is a period that the owner can restore the property.  The only difference is once the "innocent/victim" shows fraud in Court, the responsibility falls on the transferee/lender to chase down the person or company that scammed them to obtain their funds.  If the lender or transferee is left "holding the bag" on these fraudulent transfers, greater care will be taken to confirm the validity of the transaction. 

If those holders are allowed 30 days to challenge transactions, there is no reason that land and homeowners shouldn't be given 6-12 months to restore heir status. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Review Your Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will

Now is the time of year to review your will, living will, and power of attorney. If things have changed, including births, deaths, marriages, asset purchases, friend disputes, or other life changes, call the lawyer who drafted it to get the will or POA modified.

You don't want a former friend to have control of your assets or control of your medical care. You definitely don't want to leave out that cute little grandchildren who was born in 2023.

Initial Consultations at the Firm

When you call the office for an initial consultation, please be prepared to give your full name and landlord's name. This gives me the chance to run a quick conflicts check. At least once a year, I receive call from both the landlord and tenant. In those rare instances, the second call will have to terminated. 

After those preliminaries are done, you can summarize the problem. Because the initial call is 5-10 minutes, I will interrupt with key questions that will help me assist you before time runs out. 

This is key because follow up calls are charged. For 2024, charges for follow up meetings are as follows:

Call - $175 for 30 minutes

Zoom - $185 for 30 minutes

Office - $200 for 30 minutes

If you want me to review a lease to see if you have a case, the charge to review the document is $200 (flat fee) for residential leases and $350/hr for commercial leases

My hourly rate for most cases is at least $400/hr.

I offer flat fees for basic tasks and Magistrate Court cases. Flat fee cases must be paid up front.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

You Tube Landlord for Entertainment Purposes Only

A few days ago, I ran across this YouTube channel. It is entertaining, but don't follow his advice. 

In the video below, he runs through apartments that have been trashed. He doesn't take the damage checklist seriously. Instead, he says, the pictures show how bad it is. In Georgia, that wouldn't fly.

Georgia Landlord Requirements
In Georgia, a landlord must do a move-out inspection within 3 business day and complete the checklist (with estimates). Pictures and videos should be taken. The breakdown must be Sent to the former tenant because she has the right to return to the unit to see the claimed damage and challenge anything.

Within 30 days, send any portion of the security deposit with a breakdown that explains what is owed in unpaid rent and damages. I recommend using that same move out list to itemize.

If a painter has to paint several rooms, demand a breakdown of cost for each room. That goes for all repairs, including carpets. This breakout ensures you will get something if a judge decides you cannot be reimbursed for certain rooms or certain repairs. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Giving an Attorney a Referral Does Not Mean You are Involved in the Case.

It is great when any business owner gets a referral from a past client or customer. In a normal retail setting, it is natural to get updates on the person's satisfaction with the services or product.

However, in the legal and medical field, just stay out of the relationship. Once you refer someone, you have no right to receive updates from the professional. Of course, you can always ask the customer about the medical service and status, but stay away from the attorney-client case if it is in litigation.

Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product

The law protects communications between attorneys and clients so the clients can freely discuss cases, and the lawyers can freely give advice, collect information, and formulate strategies. However, the privilege can be waived by the client when he insists on (1) bringing in third parties on phone calls and meetings; (2) disclosing conversations or strategies on social media; or (3) discussing advice with friends and family. During discovery, opposing counsel can find out the identity of those individuals who had to stick their noses in litigation. This could be disastrous because once the privileged is waived, opposing counsel can learn strategies and topics of communication. 

The nosy friend or family member could be a disaster to your settlement. Settlements are often confidential. This means the parties are prohibited from discussing the terms of the settlement. A persistent and intrusive person may push you in disclosing the terms. If your opponent learns of the settlement violation, you may be ordered to return the settlement and pay attorney's fees. If the person wants to know what happened, tell him it's been resolved and shut down the topic.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Don't Blindly Use ChatGPT for Legal Briefs

This is a warning for lawyers and pro se litigants. Don't use Chat GPT unless you go over everything with a fine tooth comb. In this instance, AI just made up cases to support its legal position.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The Firm Does Not Represent Sovereign Citizens

For those who don't know, there are a small group of people in the US known as sovereign citizens. Apparently, they believe each individual is its own government and doesn't have to follow the laws of the US govt, states, or local entities.

Those folks don't really have an impact on the rest of us. If you believe this nonsense, don't call me for representation. How can a civil lawyer negotiate on your behalf or represent you in court when laws don't apply to you?

Moreover, any legal theory that bears no connection to the laws of this country cannot be used by lawyers without the possibility of court sanctions or bar complaints. In other words, you are cannot be represented by an ethical lawyer. So, good luck in presenting your sovereign citizen theories during negotiations and in court.