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.

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