Most people think that if they are involved in "small claims" court (also usually known as Magistrate Court in Georgia), an attorney is not needed. Frankly, in some cases that is true. But until you speak to a lawyer about your issue, you will not know. As a Plaintiff, if mistakes are made in filing the lawsuit, you may lose before you even get started. As a Defendant, if you miss a deadline or improperly answer, you may lose without ever even having the chance to give your side of the story. It is true that the rules in Magistrate Court are a bit more relaxed and judges give leeway to non lawyers attempting to represent themselves. As a lawyer litigating against an unrepresented party I have a duty to ensure complete fairness (while keeping my client's best interest before the court). But make no mistake, even with all of these exceptions, it is a real court, with real authority. Losing in Magistrate Court can still lead to wage garnishments, losing your home, etc. When the stakes can result in you losing money, it is almost always best to consult an attorney before proceeding.
If you have recently been served a lawsuit, or you are contemplating filing one in Magistrate (small claims) Court, call me at (706)96Jones (or use the online scheduling system) to setup an appointment to discuss your case. The consultation (up to 30 minutes) is free. If your case is in Magistrate Court, my fees are less than they are for other courts.
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