Creditors are still very aggressive in trying to hold indivdual owners liable for corporate debts. In 2012, our firm reprsented a business client sued by an aggressive creditor. The creditor sued on the basis of a "personal guaranty" signed by the business owner. We were successful in winning the case and absolving the individual business owner of the debt. The lesson is, of course, that business owners should review and understand the importance of each document they sign. As a creditor, you must insure your "forms" are correct and that they are completed accurately and properly. Contact Paul Andrew or Raymon Burns for details.
Our firm had a client that signed a contract that required arbitration. The arbitration provision in the contract further prevented either party from having a court review any arbitration award for any legal defects. Our client prevailed at the arbitration hearing but the amount of money awarded to our client should have been for an even greater amount. We filed an appeal. The losing party claimed the contract language prevented us from appealing about any error in the arbitration award. In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeals agreed with us and our client, finding that the contractual language that attempts to prevent any judicial appeal was invalid. Contact Paul Andrew for details.
When you are a defendant, it often pays to settle a lawsuit early, especially if you are not a "sympathetic" defendant. Paul Andrew of AMRS recently filed suit against a doctor for approximately $800.00 in compensation owed to an office worker. In the initial demand letter, Mr. Andrew offered to settle the claim for $800.00 plus $100.00 in attorneys' fees for having to write the letter. The doctor did not respond substantively to the demand. Mr. Andrew took the case to a jury trial and the jury awarded AMRS' client $800.00 in compensation owed and $8,000.00 in attorneys' fees. This was an excellent result for the client and maybe next time the Defendant will at least offer a compromise rather than adopt the "you won't sue me over $800.00" attitude.
In 2014, we represented a small business that rented equipment to a larger company. Our client included on the back of its pre-printed form some “early termination” fees that applied if the larger company cancelled the rental agreements earlier than planned. While our client furnished these agreements to the larger company, our client did not have a “signed” contract for the rental equipment. As is often the case, we offered to settle the dispute for a reasonable discount but the larger company hired a large law firm and spared no expense in defending the case. After a 3 day trial, the jury deliberated for less than an hour, awarding our client every penny we had requested.
Call Paul Andrew for additional details.
A member of our firm, Paul Andrew, was invited to speak again this year at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Seminar on “Social Media and the Law.” As more and more of our clients use more and more social media platforms, they need to be aware of the legal implications of using social media. This area of the law is rapidly developing and this is Mr. Andrew’s third year of speaking at this seminar. Contact us for further information.
Working in tandem with local colleague Debra Hale, Esq., Steve Reilly of our firm had the Georgia Court of Appeals recently affirm a trial verdict awarding custody of a minor child to the child’s grandparents in a wide-ranging decision. The case was Holdaway v. Holdaway, A16A1239 (2016). After a trial, the court awarded custody of the parties’ minor child to the grandparents. The father appealed the decision, and Court of Appeals on August 3, 2016 affirmed the trial verdict in a decision that provides detail on current Georgia law as to the award of custody of a minor to third party grandparents.