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Betts & Associates is committed to providing each of our clients with top quality legal representation and achieving successful outcomes for their cases. We specialize in representing individuals and businesses in all areas of complex civil litigation matters. Our firm provides legal services with skill, strength, and integrity to residents all over the state of Georgia.

Betts and Associates offer a wide range of skills in almost all areas of the legal practice. Our commitment to growing a wide range of more discrete practice areas allows us to better assess client needs and provide prompt and effective legal solutions. Our firm was founded on the belief in providing personal service and valuable legal counsel that addresses our client's needs creatively. After a decade, that has not changed. We ensure that every client's case is carefully handled every step of the way.

If you need advice about the best way to approach and resolve your case, consider Betts & Associates. To request a legal consultation, contact our office at 404-577-8888 to schedule an appointment. We are proud to provide personal service and practical solutions for those with even the most complex legal concerns.

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Georgia Crossover Day 2013 Recap

Today was the last legislative day for Georgia lawmakers to debate and decide which bills would move forward (or “crossover”) and have a chance to become law this year. To see the 2013 Roundup of Big Crossover Day Bills at the Georgia Capitol, click here.

Georgia Lawmakers Advance Gun Bill

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Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld a part of the 2005 Tort Reform bill passed by the Georgia Legislature.

Tort Reform generally refers to legislation passed by State and Federal legislatures to limit awards in medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death legal cases.

Before discussing tort reform it is important to know what a “tort” is. “Tort” is the legal term for an error or action that injures another person. For example, if your neighbor is shooting his bb-gun in his yard and a stray bb hits you in the eye, your neighbor has likely committed a tort and would need to pay for your medical expenses and other costs you will incur as a result of his negligent action. One would hope that he would rush to your house, apologize profusely and make arrangements to pay your bills. However, this is not always the case. Often people who make these mistakes are defensive and want to hide from their responsibilities. They might feel badly, but know that it will be expensive to fix what they have done. So, they do not willingly pay.

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student.jpgOn June 15, 2012, Barack Obama endorsed a new policy from the Department of Homeland Security aimed at making the nation’s immigration policy fairer and more efficient — by removing the threat of deportation for young people who are low enforcement priorities. This policy is somewhat like the Dream Act that has yet to pass in Congress. However, there are some differences and if you are considering applying for the new program you may wish to seek the help and assistance of an attorney when filling out the forms with Homeland Security. Below is a description of both and information on contacting a lawyer about getting legal support and advice.

The Dream Act

The Dream Act is a Congressional Bill. It has not passed Congress. It has been introduced many times. The Dream Act if enacted would allow undocumented immigrant aliens who were brought to the United States as children a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.

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296-1275366564kmni.jpgWhat happened to your family member might be considered “wrongful death.” Wrongful death is when someone dies because of the willful or negligent actions of another person. Willful actions are when someone intended to act in a certain way. Negligent actions are when someone did not intend to do something, but they were not acting in a reasonable or expected way.

The first step in a wrongful death case is to determine if the statute of limitations has expired. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 requires wrongful death cases to be filed within 2 years from the death of the person. If you miss the 2 year deadline, you will be unable to bring the lawsuit.

If the statute of limitations has not expired, then you must determine who has “standing” to sue. “Standing” is the idea that not everyone has the right to sue for everything. O.C.G.A. title 51 Chapter 4 limits who can sue, typically to specific family members. It operates somewhat like a flowchart:

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Betts and Associates is a law practice in the State of Georgia. It operates out of two locations:

44 Broad Street, NW Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 577-8888 and

201 Broad Street, Suite 400 Rome, GA 30161 (706) 235-7575

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washington_monument__65521444.jpg On June 15, 2012, Barack Obama endorsed a new policy from the Department of Homeland Security aimed at making the nation’s immigration policy fairer and more efficient — by removing the threat of deportation for young people who are low enforcement priorities. You can read or see his remarks on the White House website.

We at Betts and Associates are excited that this will mean positive steps are coming regarding immigration reform in America. We believe that for people brought to the United States as children the United States is their home and they should be able to stay in the country and not be forced to return to a place about which they know little and maybe do not speak the native language. However, we also understand that some people are concerned that signing up for this new program could expose themselves or their non-eligible family members to deportation.

Having legal representation is always a good idea when your liberty may be at risk.

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supreme court.jpgRegardless of whether you are happy with the outcome of the Affordable Care Act or not, you can celebrate one thing: United States Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, announced with his decision that he is not beholden to party politics.

In order to reach the decision upholding the Act, Roberts had to vote with the four left-leaning justices. Many believe or believed until Thursday that the Supreme Court was losing it’s independence. Justices are appointed for life. The main reason for this is to protect them from the ever-changing political climate. Life appointments are designed to give judges the freedom to make decisions that are fair, even if they are politically unpopular.

Historically the Court has encountered many such decisions. The most famously divisive decision was Brown v. Board of Education. In that decision, all nine judges voted to strike down the Separate but Equal standard, allowing state-sponsored segregation, that had existed since the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Many of the judges who ruled in Brown were appointed by segregation-sympathizers. Many politicians from Georgia and the other Southern States vilified the Supreme Courts members after the verdict. They were outraged that the Southern members had overturned this part of Southern culture. But, history shows, that by acting independently from their own party, they were able to affirm the independence of the judicial system.