ADOPTION – Give a loving home environment to a child that needs your care, and ensure that the child loved by your family is in an environment that is GOOD for them. I have won both relative adoptions and contested adoption disputes at the trial and appellate court levels.
APPELLATE PRACTICE – Make sure the decision stays in your favor, or goes that way if it is unjust!
CUSTODY DISPUTES – Control your peace of mind about what your child does, who can see them, and what they are doing when you aren’t around
A ONE-HOUR CLIENT CONSULTATION, INCLUDING THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK FOR ME TO BEGIN REPRESENTATION, IS GENERALLY $100. SAID CONSULTATION/INTERVIEW DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP UNLESS EXPRESSLY AGREED BY THE PARTIES. YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO KEEP ANY DOCUMENTS CREATED BY ME DURING THIS CONSULTATION/INTERVIEW.
My practice includes divorce, alimony, and child custody cases (including contempt of Divorce Settlements). I have an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and I am a former prosecutor, but I do not seek criminal defense work any longer (though I am capable and willing to do this work, if requested). As I said, I have significant specialization in contested adoption matters. I will arrange a monthly payment plan, with a cap on the maximum monthly fees that you are responsible for paying (though it does not limit the work that I perform on your case, as I will work to meet deadlines to ensure your case continues to progress) for the total amount of the representation. Lastly, I set a total price for my hourly work on the case, which depends on your individual circumstances and resources (be aware of the adoption tax credit, which provides reimbursement for expenses associated with a qualified adoption). I would rather help you than see you suffer, but I will NOT file any offensive pleadings until my retainer is paid in full. My hourly rate is $200 per hour, and there is a $75 document/miscellaneous fee per month for costs associated to the pens, paper, discs, and other matters that are involved in operating a legal solo practice. ALL COSTS (such as filing costs, document fees, etc.) ARE THE STRICT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLIENT. Further, if the case requires any travel outside of Hall County, there will be an agreed-upon cost per mile travelled, to be included in any monthly billing. I have been admitted to practice in both the Court of Appeals of Georgia and the Georgia Supreme Court. I have also been admitted to practice in the federal courts, and am more than willing to represent persons accused of federal offenses. As of January 7, 2013, I am also a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. I am known for being both knowledgeable and effective.
My retainer for all family law matters is generally $2,500, with a payment obligation for the remainder (negotiable, depending on the topic, the complexity of the matter in my view, and other factors). My retainer for all appellate work is generally $5,500, with a payment obligation for the remainder (negotiable, depending on the topic, the complexity of the matter in my view, and other factors). I accept cash, check, and credit card payment (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).
- ABOUT ME -
On the morning of July 3, 2003, I was driving to cover Court for another attorney during a tropical storm, when I was blown off the road by the intense rain and high winds. I was informed by a third party whose judgment and observation I trust that my estimation of time during that period was very wrong. I apparently only spent approximately a week in a coma, followed by about three weeks of being unconscious. The accident left me paralysed on my right side, and I spent approximately four to five months after I awoke re-learning how to walk, talk, etcetera, so that I could return to work as a self-employed attorney. I started working again less than eleven months after my accident, and most people cannot even begin to guess at this upon meeting me, I am pleased to say.
I had previously spent approximately a year as an Assistant District Attorney for the Enotah Judicial Circuit, assigned to prosecute felony and misdemeanor crimes in Towns and Union Counties. Before that, I was an Associate Attorney with a local law firm practicing many different areas of law, but primarily child custody and divorce, real estate work, and incorporations.
I also worked from June 2007 until May 2009 as the Hall County Law Librarian, operated by the Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. As a consequence of this employment, I could not appear for anyone or sign any pleadings under my own name in Hall or Dawson Counties, though I can and will perform full representation in every State Court in Georgia now, am admitted to practice before the Northern District of Georgia Federal District Court, and my abilities at legal research are excellent.
I have experience at, and am considered proficient in, international law (such as Hague Convention work and also Civil Law concepts, as well as international child support obligations), municipal law, business law, and intellectual property work, including trade secret practice and litigation of trade secret issues. I have served as counsel for several corporations in their State law claims and defenses. I also have substantial experience at incorporations. I have performed real estate research, title work, and real estate litigation. I am decidedly not a tax law or bankruptcy specialist, nor do I give any advice in those areas of the law. Lastly, I have substantial experience not listed on my abrogated resume below in the area of collections law, and I have successfully collected debts due, judgments, done lien-work, and practiced defense of such efforts.
Below is my partial resume, which better explains many of my skills and experiences:
Tulane University School of Law – Juris Doctor
Certificate of Proficiency in European Legal Studies
Graduated May 2001 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Association of Trial Lawyers of America; International Law Society; Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity; Moot Court Board; Moot Court Interschool Trial Team (ATLA)
2000-2001 – Senior Appellate Champion
Alternative Dispute Resolution Society; Associated Student Body Chief of Staff; Inns of Court; Moot Court Board; Moot Court Interschool Appellate Team (2000 Jessup Team); Moot Court Open Chairperson; Order of the Barristers; Senior Trial Semifinalist; Fencing Club President
University of Georgia – Ars Baccalaureate (Criminal Justice)
Graduated May 1998 – Athens, Georgia
Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society; Dean’s List; Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity; President’s Scholar
Oxford University – Study Abroad
Oxford, United Kingdom
International Law and International Conflicts at Hereford and Baliol Colleges
Coleman & Chambers, LLP – Gainesville, Georgia
November 2001 – May 2002
Domestic practice, civil litigation, and research and argument on behalf of DFCS in child custody, including deprivation, and termination victories
Law Offices of James E. Palmour, III – Gainesville, Georgia
May 2001 – November 2001
Investigator for the City Attorney of Gainesville – interviewed witnesses and researched issues
Office of the District Attorney (Enotah Judicial Circuit) – Hiawassee, Georgia
May 2002 – May 2003
Assistant District Attorney (felony and misdemeanor non-drug criminal prosecution)
Merlinus Goodman Monroe, LLC – Hiawassee, Blairsville, Rabun Gap, and Gainesville, Georgia
May 2003 – July 2003, June 2004 – Present
As an Associate for Russell M. Stookey, P.C., and subsequently as a self-employed attorney, achieved adoptions (and won contested adoption matters in both trial courts and appellate courts), won custody disputes and divorces and did legitimations; successful criminal defense; drafted wills, codicils, and trusts, and administered complex estates
Hall County Court Administration – Gainesville, Georgia
June 2007 – May 2009
As the Hall County Law Librarian, I assisted practitioners and pro se litigants with their ongoing cases and legal research; drafted Orders and memoranda for Northeastern Circuit Superior Court
- American Bar Association
- Court of Appeals of Georgia; Georgia Supreme Court
- Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)
- Master Mason, Royal Arch Mason (York Rite), 32º Master of the Royal Secret (Scottish Rite)
- State Bar of Georgia
- Northern Judicial Circuit of Georgia Federal District Court
- Limited Proficiency – Spanish, French, Arabic
I have added to the above description of my skills by clarifying my language skills a little. It is necessary to describe my Arabic skills as very basic. Several years ago, one of my best friends from law school, Jason Robertson, Esquire, was in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corp during the invasion of Iraq, and sent a copy of the Koran to me as a birthday present. He had found it in an open-air market, and it was lovely – brass-bound and beautifully-written. However, it was entirely in Arabic. While working as the Hall County Law Librarian, I resolved to begin learning Arabic, so that I might read this Koran myself, and my studies were progressing well (being a separate system entirely from the Latin-based systems with which I had previous familiarity through my native English vocabulary, my knowledge of Spanish, and my limited instruction in French, it is especially difficult to learn to write, let alone to speak). However, when my work as a Law Librarian suddenly came to an end and I was required to actively ply my trade as an attorney, my Arabic self-instruction slowed considerably. Though I have continued to learn the spoken language, and have communicated with others in limited fashion on several occasions, I do not feel comfortable describing my grasp of such a complex and difficult language as anything other than very basic.