| A YEAR IN REVIEW: THE BEST OF 2018
Our law firm had an amazing year! Our attorneys and support staff handled many notable matters and promptly serviced the needs of our clients in 2018. We strive to deliver all the benefits you are entitled to receive in a courteous and professional manner.
In addition to our litigation wins, we also sent out countless demand letters. Every month, our law firm newsletter features and showcases success stories resulting from the preparation and sending of a demand letter. Why are these stories important? Our clients recovered and saved thousands of dollars after the attorney sent one letter, without resorting to litigation. In fact, through November of this year, we have assisted clients in recovering or saving over $1,400,000. Looking back, here are some of the most impactful stories of 2018.
Noteworthy Recoveries/Savings (2018)
Client contacted our office for assistance after receiving a demand letter from his employer for salary that was paid to him while he was on long-term disability (LTD) leave. In 2014, Client fell seriously ill and was placed on LTD. During the leave period, client received LTD benefit payments from the insurance company; however, his employer never cancelled his salary payroll deposits. The payroll deposits continued for a little over two (2) years before the employer discovered the error. Client had contacted the payroll department early on and notified them that he was being paid, and someone verbally confirmed that he was rightfully being paid in accordance with company policy. Our attorney wrote a letter advising that it was the company representative’s error that had caused the indebtedness to the company, and offered a $50,000.00 settlement based on Client’s major health issues and financial situation, which the former employer accepted. Savings to Client, $294,000.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance in canceling a lease agreement for a commercial property. Client’s wife operated a business independently and solely on her own, but Client provided a guaranty on the lease agreement. Unfortunately, Client’s wife passed away, and Client received a notice of Default, Demand for Possession and Demand for Payment for a past due balance on rent owed. Our attorney wrote a letter advising the landlord of the situation, and offering a settlement for the past due rent in exchange for a termination of the lease agreement without penalty. A settlement was reached after some negotiation between attorneys. Savings to client, $138,000.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding a lien filed against his property. Client had a second mortgage on his home. He filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2010, and the mortgage was discharged, but the lien was still on the property. Prior to the client filing bankruptcy, he entered into a refinancing agreement with the mortgage company, but could not recall whether the second mortgage was included. Client received a Notice of Default and the mortgage company started the foreclosure process. Our attorney contacted the opposing attorney’s office to work out a settlement and stop the foreclosure sale. We received a response that they would accept a lump sum payment of $25,000.00 for full settlement and release of the lien. Client agreed to the terms. Savings to Client, $93,167.82.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding a subrogation claim that he received. Client received a letter from an insurance company demanding payment on a claim for $75,000.00, stating that he was the owner of a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident. Client had sold the vehicle and provided a bill of sale. Our attorney wrote a letter to the insurance company advising that their information was not correct and our Client was not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the accident, and provided the carrier with a copy of the bill of sale. We demanded that the company cease further collection efforts against Client and remove his name from the claim. In response to our letter, the company removed Client’s name from the claim. Savings to Client, $75,000.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding an automobile that was purchased from an out-of-State automobile dealership. Client is a licensed auto dealer in Georgia who wired money to the dealership to purchase a car for a buyer. When client’s employee arrived to pick up the car, the dealer would not release it, claiming that the buyer is not a licensed dealer. Further, the dealer refused without sufficient legal excuse to return the money paid for the vehicle. Our attorney sent a letter to the dealership demanding it either turn over the vehicle that was paid for, or return the money paid. In response to our letter, opposing party remitted the demanded funds. Recovery for Client, $51,300.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance to collect on a lien he had placed against a hotel property. Client’s company completed construction of the outside facade of a hotel structure and was not paid by the general contractor of the project for the labor and material costs incurred. Our attorney wrote a letter to the hotel group pointing out that the facade is one of the signature design elements of the hotel, advising them of the lien and demanding payment for the money owed. In response to our letter, Client was sent payment in the amount demanded. Recovery for Client, $46,714.20.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding a car he purchased from a local car dealership. Client purchased a new car and when he took it in after a couple of months to get an oil change, he was told that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) did not match his contract. He was told that he had to redo the paperwork to correct the issue. Client signed new documentation; however, it was still not done correctly, and Client was given a fraudulent temporary tag to cover up the fact that the dealership could not obtain a tag for him. Client was subsequently stopped by the police and almost arrested for having an illegal tag, no registration and no insurance under the VIN for his car. Our attorney wrote a letter to the dealership demanding that they rescind the agreement, remove any registration from Client’s name, pay off the loan in full, and accept the return of the vehicle. In response to our letter, the dealership agreed to take back the car and rescind the installment agreement. Savings for client, $38,000.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding a refund of money she paid for a real estate education program. Client had entered into a contract with a real estate “mastery” program that provides coaching and workshops to educate one on how to become an expert in all phases of real estate transactions. Several months into the program, Client decided that the program was not working. She contacted her advisor to cancel the contract and request a refund. Client was initially offered a refund of $3,000 and then after speaking to one of the managers, Client was offered a refund of $9,000.00. Our attorney wrote a letter to the company advising that the program was not as it was advertised, and demanded a full refund of the fees paid. In response to our letter, the company agreed to refund the cost of the program. Recovery for client, $29,997.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding an agreement that she entered into for a training program to become a software developer. The program is a 10-week program, and Client attended eight days before submitting her withdrawal in writing. Client then received a letter from the company’s attorney demanding that she honor the Promissory Note of $20,000 for not completing the course. Our attorney wrote a letter offering to pay a pro-rata dollar amount based upon the limited time she attended the training, and the offer was rejected. After a telephone conference call, and another letter with a final offer of settlement, the offer was accepted. Savings to client, $17,000.00.
Several years ago, Client traded her motorcycle toward the purchase of a new one. The previous loan was paid off and subsumed into the new loan, which has since been paid. Client recently reviewed her credit report and noticed a balance owing on a motorcycle loan that should have been zero. Client contacted our office for assistance after she was unsuccessful in her attempts to resolve the matter on her own. After reviewing the finance documents, our attorney wrote a letter to the motorcycle credit and finance company, advising them of the trade-in, disputing the debt, and demanding validation of the amount of the debt that was showing as owed. In response to our letter, and a follow-up telephone conversation, the motorcycle credit and finance company changed the credit report from “charged off” to “paid in full.” Savings for client, $12,447.00.
In 2018, Deming, Parker, Hoffman, Campbell, and Daly has continued to grow, with 110 employees who are thoroughly committed and fully dedicated to assisting our clients. We wish you and your families the happiest of holidays this season, and a healthy, safe and prosperous 2019!
Tips and Advice Before Getting Behind the Wheel This Holiday Season: A Brief Overview of Georgia DUI Laws
Tis the season to be jolly! During the holiday season, Americans enjoy the festivities and attend parties and celebrations with friends, family, and co-workers. It is especially important at this time of year to be mindful of your alcohol consumption, particularly if your plans involve driving. It is always best to plan ahead, and either have a designated driver or take advantage of shared ride services like Uber or Lyft, both of which have easily accessible, user-friendly smartphone apps.
In the State of Georgia, as in many other States, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 0.08% for non-commercial drivers, and 0.04% for commercial drivers. Georgia has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under 21 years of age, who face license revocation and criminal charges for a BAC level that is 0.02% or higher. Drivers who refuse to submit to a State-administered chemical test of their breath, blood or urine face a one-year suspension of their driver’s license.
Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) will almost always include jail time, hefty fines and fees, mandatory community service hours, a suspension of the driver’s license, and the completion of mandatory education courses. Penalties may also include completion of a substance abuse treatment program and the mandatory installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device in the driver’s vehicle. Understandably, these penalties increase for drivers who have the misfortune of being charged with a second or third offense for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Georgia drivers can obtain more information related to our impaired driving laws and applicable penalties by reviewing O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391, or visiting the Georgia Highway Safety website at https://www.gahighwaysafety.org/highway-safety/impaired-driving-laws.
If you have questions or concerns regarding DUI-related offenses, please contact our office immediately. In these matters, as in most criminal matters, timing is critical, and it is extremely important to speak with legal counsel as early in the process as possible. We have experienced attorneys who can offer you or your loved ones advice and peace of mind during an understandably stressful situation. We are always available to assist you and your families in these, and all other matters, so please do not hesitate to call us!
2018/2019 Firm Holiday Closings
Christmas- December 24 & 25 (Monday & TuesdaY
New Year’s Day-January 1, 2019 (Tuesday