Johnston & Owen, LLC

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These articles DO NOT constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. If an article is relevant to your particular legal situation you should understand that it is merely intended to provide a very general preview of matters that would be discussed in detail during a face-to-face consultation.   The law is constantly changing and some of the information in these articles might be obsolete.  Please also recognize that seemingly insignificant details often have a big effect on the advice that we give our clients concerning a particular legal issue.

August 29, 2018

What Should You Expect From Your Family Law Attorney?

By Lance Owen | Posted in Family Law | No comments

In my view every attorney has two obligations to a client. First, the attorney has an obligation to “counsel” the client. Second, he has an obligation to “advocate” for the client.

It seems to me that so many attorneys neglect their first obligation. Attorneys should not only know the law, but they should know the likelihood of attaining the client’s objectives based upon the facts of the case, the judge that has been assigned to the case and a variety of other circumstances that might not seem particularly important to the client.  Only after the client fully understands his or her legal situation and likelihood of success should the lawyer assume the role of advocate for his client.

I’ve seen too many cases where the attorney fought for what the client wanted even though what the client wanted was not realistic.   For example, I’ve seen cases where the parent filed for a modification of custody only to have the court refuse to modify custody then then grant a counterclaim for a an increase in child support.  The client essentially paid the attorney to get his child support INCREASED!  This doesn’t seem like money well spent to me.

Sometimes settling for less than what the client wants in a “perfect world outcome” is a successful result if the settlement terms are better than what will mostly occur if the judge decides the case.  If you don’t trust your attorney’s judgment in this regard then you probably have the wrong attorney.  Beware, however, of hiring a lawyer that tells you exactly what you want to hear.  The only promises that an attorney should make to a prospective client is that he will be prepared, that he will understand the applicable law, that he will understand the facts and circumstances of your specific case and that he will do his very best throughout the process.

February 3, 2017

Grandparent Visitation Rights in Georgia

By Lance Owen | Posted in Child Custody & Visitation | No comments

In order to understand the current state of the law with regard to “grandparent visitation” in Georgia (O.C.G.A. §19-7-3) one must first understand how custody and visitation is determined by the courts when the custodial dispute is between parents.   Further, one must recognize that Georgia law provides a means by which certain third-party relatives (including grandparents) can actually get permanent custody of a child over the objection of one or both parents.

January 26, 2017

Can an Attorney Get Copies of Text Messages in a Divorce case?

By Lance Owen | Posted in Divorce | No comments

It depends. First, there has to be an active civil case pending (ie divorce) for any records to be obtained without a wireless customer’s permission. The attorney isn’t authorized to request any records if there’s not civil case that is ongoing.

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