Do I need a lawyer?
This is a question I get almost every day. I use a simple analogy. If you’re car breaks down, do you call a mechanic? Generally, you do, because you probably do not know how to repair cars. In a legal situation, you probably do not know what to do, so, generally, yes, you do need a lawyer. Cases are time sensitive with deadlines and rules, so a delay can ultimately result in damage to your case.
What does it cost?
It depends. For some uncontested cases the costs can be minimal (as legal costs go). For example, an uncontested divorce with no children and property issues can be done for $500 plus the filing fees. Many times, though, cases are contested, therefore, we must charge by the hour because the amount of work required to do the job is uncertain. We must charge a retainer for these cases. The retainer costs can vary, depending on the scope and complexity of your case. However, we can sometimes split the retainers up in multiple payments and set you up on a payment plan.
Sometimes you may need a document review or document preparation. Call us.
How do I get started?
Call us to set up an appointment. We offer a free 10 minute consultation. If you need more time, we offer a flat fee of $125 for an hour’s consultation. If we need a little more time, we’ll take it. We want to make sure we understand your problem and situation. Your problem is our problem.
Are you one of these attorneys that won’t call me back?
I will call you back every time you call, usually within the day. However, sometimes I have court, mediations, or meetings that I can’t control. You can rest assured that I will call you at the first opportunity, even if I have to call you after or before working hours.
Have you ever handled a case like mine before?
I’ve handled hundreds of cases. Each case is unique, that’s why it’s called a case. I can assure you that I’ve handled similar cases and can recognize the important legal issues that need to be determined.
Is there an advantage to hiring an attorney in the county in which they are located?
Someone once said that a good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judges. I think knowing the judges, the system, and the local rules give a local attorney an advantage over someone who is not familiar with the local rules and the individual judges. I practice in Gwinnett County and I think I have an advantage by knowing this sytem and these judges. The bottom line is that we’re all playing with the same rules and our Gwinnett County judges are knowledgeable, competent, and equitable.
Where can you practice law?
Attorneys are licensed by each State. We are licensed to practice anywhere in the state of Georgia. Generally speaking, a person is sued in the county of their residence. That’s why we have had clients from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Dubai, South Africa, Washington State, California, New York, and so on. We use electronic means and federal express to manage these cases efficiently.
Where is your office?
Our office is located in Gwinnett County. We practice primarily in the courts of Gwinnett, Walton, Barrow, Jackson, Hall, Forsyth, Cherokee, Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Clayton, Rockdale, and Newton counties. I have travelled as far south as Bleckley County and as far north as Floyd.
We are located in between Lawrenceville and Snellville, and are within 30 miles of Auburn, Carl, Buford, Suwanee, Snellville, Lilburn, Grayson, Loganville, Monroe, Gainesville, Decatur, Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Winder, Dacula, Flowery Branch, Lithonia, Norcross, Doraville, Rest Haven, Berkeley Lake, Duluth, Sugar Hill, Conyers, Covington, Porterdale, and Jefferson.
What court would handle my case?
Most of the family law matters are handled in the Superior Courts, which may consist of several divisions. For example, here in Gwinnett we have 10 different divisions, which could be heard by 15 different judges. Occasionally there are family issues which have to be handled by the magistrate, state, juvenile, or probate courts. We’ve been to all of them and are familiar with their procedures.
What if the other party lives in another state?
We will review your case to see how this can be handled. Occassionally you can use the Georgia long arm statute to “reach out and touch” someone. Other times, in uncontested matters, they may submit to the jurisdiction of our courts. If so, we are careful to prepare the paperwork that will ensure that this is done properly.
What if I have no idea where my ex lives?
There are procedures for “service by publication” that can be used, as a last resort. We try hard to find them, but if we can’t, we will publish in the paper to have them served. Generally speaking, you cannot collect child support using service by publication, and there are other rules.