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The dictionary definition of “signature” is “a person’s name written in a distinctive way as a form of identification in authorizing a check or document or concluding a letter.” There are no grades for penmanship when signing legal documents. Your signature is your mark, which is exactly how Georgia law defines it: “Signature” or “subscription” […]

On September 15, 2022, the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed a Probate Court decision appointing a guardian despite a spotty record of the proceedings below. In In re Guardianship of S.B., the proposed was suffered a traumatic brain injury. In 2004, the ward’s father filed a petition for guardianship and was appointed guardian. In 2007, […]

Same rules as non-jury civil cases The rules of evidence applicable in civil nonjury trials apply in administrative hearings. O.C.G.A. § 24-1-2(d)(4); Ga. R. & Regs. § 616-1-2-.18(1)(a). Irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. When necessary to ascertain facts not reasonably susceptible of proof under such rules, evidence not admissible thereunder may […]

As a general rule, discovery is not permitted in any proceeding before an ALJ, except to the extent specifically authorized by law. Ga. R. & Regs. § 616-1-2-.38. In Bd. of Dental Examiners v. Daniels, 137 Ga. App. 706 (1976). Appellant/defendant contends that the Civil Practice Act is not applicable to proceedings under the Georgia […]

Taking over a case started by someone else is never my preference. It’s far easier to do something correctly the first time. So what do you do when you’re brought in to fix a case. You pray! First, if someone hires you and no decision has been made, review the file. If there is an […]

In McAlister v. Clifton (Ga. 4/19/2022), the Georgia Supreme Court heard a case challenging the equitable caregiver statute, O.C.G.A. § 19-7-3.1. There, the trial court awarded Wendi Clifton, McAlister’s domestic partner, visitation rights to McAlister’s adopted daughter, Catherine. McAlister contended the equitable caregiver statute was unconstitutional facially and as applied to Clifton. McAlister also appealed […]

The following bills are among those that passed both houses of the Georgia legislature during the 2022 legislative session. Assuming they are signed by the governor, they will either be effective on the date signed or on July 1, 2022, depending on the text of each bill. SB 539 makes it unlawful under O.C.G.A. § […]

In Estate of Bane (Tenn. Ct. App. 3/23/2022), Martha Bane gave her son, John Bane, a power of attorney with “full power and authority to do and perform all acts and things whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done . . . as I might or could do if acting personally.” She also executed a […]

Elle

In Bethune v. Bethune (Georgia Court of Appeals A21A1659, March 11, 2022), Donald Bethune was acting as agent for his 89 year old mother under a power of attorney executed on November 14, 2019. Richard Bethune, Donald’s brother, filed an action seeking relief under the Georgia Power of Attorney Act, O.C.G.A. § 10-6B-1 et seq. […]

On February 24, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided In re Estate of Plybon (Appeal No. A21A1740, 2/24/2022). There, executrix Dorothy Johnson appealed from a Douglas County Probate Court order which construed the meaning of a 2013 Superior Court consent order in the context of  a Petition for accounting and Final Settlement of Accounts. […]

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