Georgia Construction, Bond & Lien Law Blog


Cobb Law Group Expands Virtual Law Practice!

Posted in Unbundled Legal Servcies,Virtual Law Firm by Administrator on the July 28th, 2012

Last Will and Testament Form for Georgai Available Online

The Cobb Law Group has been very fortunate in many ways; in 2011 we successfully launched one of the first Virtual Law Practices in the State of Georgia (and the first Construction Law Virtual Law Practice in the country)!  Frankly, we have enjoyed it, and our clients have benefited from the convenience and the lower legals costs.  Consequently, we have decided to greatly expand our Virtual Law Practice.  Although we are primarily a business and construction law firm, our Virtual Law Practice has expanded to include Georgia Landlord Tenant documents and Will and Estate Planning documents in addition to our business and construction law forms.

Do not worry, we continue to offer a full range of legal services in our office locations focusing on business and construction law needs throughout the State of Georgia, but for those whose legal issues are relatively simple and those clients know exactly what they need, our eLawyering services might be a perfect match.  We have aspirations to add more forms in the future, but currently here is a list of Georgia Legal Services which we offer online:

Georgia Business Documents:

  • Bad Check Notice
  • Bill of Sale
  • Buy-Sell Agreement (simple form)
  • Construction Contract (simple form)
  • Contract (simple form)
  • Contract Change Order
  • Employee Nondisclosure Agreement
  • General Assignment
  • General Georgia Noncompete Agreement
  • General Release
  • Hiring Letter At-Will Employment
  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Mutual Nondisclosure Agreement
  • Noncompete Agreement for Business Managers
  • Noncompete Agreement for Executives
  • Noncompete Agreement for IT Professionals
  • Noncompete Agreement for Research and Development Employees
  • Noncompete Agreement for Salespeople
  • Notice of Election to Cancel Contract
  • Privacy Release
  • Promissory Note
  • Second Notice of Overdue Account
  • Specific Release
  • Subcontractor Agreement (simple)

Georgia Corporation and Georgia LLCs Forms:

  • Amendment to Articles of Incorporation
  • Amendment to Bylaws
  • Approval of Corporate Minutes
  • Articles of Incorporation (for Georgia)
  • Articles of Organization (for Georgia LLCs)
  • Buy-Sell Agreement (simple form)
  • Bylaws
  • Georgia Certificate of Limited Partnership
  • Consent of Shareholders to Amendment of Bylaws
  • General Partnership Agreement
  • Incorporation Packages (including Approval of Corporate Minutes, Georgia Articles of Incorporation, Georgia Corporate Bylaws, Organization Meeting of Directors)
  • Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
  • LLC Formation Package (including Georgia Articles of Organization of LLC, LLC Operating Agreement)
  • Notice of Meeting
  • Organization Meeting of Directors
  • Georgia Partnership Package (including General Partnership Agreement)
  • Shareholders Agreement
  • Special Meeting of Directors
  • Waiver of Notice of Meeting

Georgia Construction Law–Liens & Waivers:

  • Georgia Final Waiver and Release Upon Payment
  • Georgia Interim Waiver and Release Upon Payment

Georgia Notice to Owner/Notice to Contractor:

  • Georgia Notice to Owner/Contractor for Federal Government Projects
  • Georgia Notice to Owner/Contractor for State Government Projects
  • Georgia Notice to Owner/Contractor for Local Government Projects
  • Georgia Notice to Owner/Contractor for Private Projects
  • Georgia Request for Notice of Commencement for State of Georgia Projects
  • Georgia Request for Notice of Commencement for Local Government Projects
  • Georgia Request for Notice of Commencement for Private Construction Projects

Georgia Landlord Tenant Documents:

  • Amendment of Lease
  • Assignment of Lease
  • Demand for Rent
  • Landlord’s Consent to Sublease
  • Lease Termination Agreement
  • Monthly Rental Agreement
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy
  • Notification to Landlord to Make Repairs
  • Residential Lease (simple form)
  • Residential Lease with Purchase Option (simple form)
  • Security Deposit Receipt
  • Sublease

Loans and Collections:

  • Mortgage
  • Promissory Note
  • Security Agreement

Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Estate Planning:

  • Georgia Advanced Directive of Health Care
  • Cancel Deceased’s Membership or Subscription
  • Codicil for Will
  • Codicil Revoking a Gift to a Named Beneficiary
  • Codicil Revoking Appointment of Executor and Appointing Substitute
  • HIPAA Authorization (Patient)
  • HIPAA Authorization (Practice)
  • Instructions to Custodian of Power of Attorney
  • Memorandum of Wishes
  • Notice to Creditors of Death
  • Notice to Creditors of Spousal Death
  • Notice to Homeowners Insurance Company of Death
  • Notice to Stop Social Security Payments After Death
  • Power of Attorney with Durable Provision
  • Request for Death Certificate
  • Request for Life Insurance Claim Form
  • Request for Life Insurance Proceeds
  • Revocation of Power of Attorney
  • Will for an Unmarried Person
  • Will for a Married Testator
  • Will Package for a Married Testator (includes Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care, HIPAA Authorization (Patient), Will for Married Testator)
  • Will Package for Single Testator (includes Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care, HIPAA Authorization (Patient), Power of Attorney with Durable Provision, Will for an Unmarried Person)
  • Wills Package for Married Testator (includes a Georgia Advance Directives for Health Care for each spouse, a HIPAA Authorization (Patient) for each spouse, Power of Attorney with Durable Provision for each spouse, and a Last Will and Testament for each spouse)

Other Services:

As our readers know, we always enjoy hearing from you.  And, if you want to see a particular service added to our Virtual Law Firm, please let us know!

 

PROHIBITION 2012–CONTEST OF CALIFORNIA’S NEW FOIS GRAS BAN

Posted in Current Legal Issues,Miscellaneous by Administrator on the July 25th, 2012

Georgia Business Law Firm

 

By:  Mark A. Cobb

Cobb Law Group

Admittedly, this is a little off-topic, but we have been keeping an eye on California’s ban on fois gras; this new legislation (California SB 1520) took effect on July 1, and it prohibits the  production of fois gras as well as the sale of foie gras in California.  In other words, restaurants in California can no longer serve fois gras, and a violation of the prohibition can result in a $1,000 a day fine!

On July 2nd–the day after the law went into effect–a lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Federal District Court on behalf of Canadian foie gras exporters, a NY state-based foie gras producer and a Southern Californian restaurateur claiming that the law is vague and violates the U.S. constitutional commerce clause.  You can read the full text of Association Des Éleveurs de Canards et D’Oies de Québec, HVFG, LLC and Hot’s Restaurant Group, Inc. v. State of California  here. In addition to requesting a permanent ruling on these points, the lawsuit also asks the judge to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the foie gras ban.

It may be a few weeks before the judge reviews the lawsuit and decides about the preliminary injunction; but, stay tuned, as we’ll continue to keep you posted on further developments.

$105 Billion Federal Law May Assure Subcontractors of Payment on Public-Private Partnership Transportation Projects

Posted in Current Legal Issues by Administrator on the July 16th, 2012

Georgia Highway Contactors and Subcontractors

by:  Mark A. Cobb

Cobb Law Group

 

We are pleased that the President has signed H.R. 4348 which is called the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’’ or ‘‘MAP–21’’.  This highly anticipated, $105 billion transportation legislation gives US DOT officials an opportunity to address inadequate payment assurances for subcontractors.

According to online sources, President Obama stated, “This bill will keep thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.”  The new law creates an opportunity for DOT to address the lack of payment assurances for subcontractors on transportation projects financed by public-private partnerships. Under the law, the Secretary of Transportation will, within 18 months, “develop standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts for the most popular types of public-private partnerships [‘P3s’]” and “encourage States, public transportation agencies, and other public officials to use the model contracts as a base template when developing their own public-private partnership agreements for the development, financing, construction, and operation of transportation facilities.”

Currently, subcontractors working on projects financed by P3s lack traditional payment assurances such as Mechanics and Materialmen’s liens and payment bond rights; it is hoped that this new legislation will result in better protection for materialmen and subcontractors working on our highways and P3 projects.

 

This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer for advice on a particular circumstance.

Tips for Starting a New Business in Georgia!

Posted in Business Law,Practical Tips by Administrator on the July 12th, 2012
How to start a corporation or LLC in Georgia

Georgia Business Lawyers The Cobb Law Group

Proper business skills are an absolute necessity in today’s competitive economy, and the Cobb Law Group is frequently asked some of the essential characteristics of a well-run business.  The principles which we espouse are true whether you are a start-up company or an established business seeking to improve your market share, image and professionalism.

Tip #1: Keep things separated:  Georgia allows many different types of businesses including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies.  Regardless of the size of your business, we urge clients to form a distinct, legal entity for your business rather than operate as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership.  A Georgia corporation (perhaps an S-corporation) or a Georgia limited liability company (“LLC”) are generally great options.   There are many reasons why we recommend forming a corporation or LLC, some of the most important reasons include:

  • limited professional liability
  • limited personal liability
  • tax advantages

Again, keep your business entity and your personal life distinct.  If you do not separate your personal finances from your business finances, you could become personally liable for your business debts!

Some clients are afraid that the costs to form the new business are too expensive.  The Cobb Law Group offers Georgia incorporation packages and Georgia LLC formations online through our virtual law firm at very affordable rates.  Click here for more information.

Tip #2: Open professional bank accounts: Most businesses need a minimum of two business accounts–an operating account and a payroll account.  By separating these two accounts, you’ll help make sure that your tax obligations are met.

Tip #3: Run your business like a business: There are innumerable tools online, in books, and magazines that help your business grow; take the time to read and understand basic management, accounting, and marketing concepts.  Then, perhaps most importantly, IMPLEMENT these principles.  Do not take short cuts; consult with your lawyer to draft or review your business contracts, make certain that your invoices contain the proper terms, professionally print your materials and make certain that your customer and you sign the proper documentation; if the contract changes, invest the time to obtain and sign a written change-order.  Send your invoices in a regular and timely fashion.  Finally, and this is important: discuss your own compensation with your tax advisor as the method or payment you receive from your own business may have different tax consequences.
This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer for advice on a particular circumstance.

Legal Challenge to Georgia Appeals Court Decision Exposing Subcontractors to Third-Party Claims

Posted in Current Legal Issues,Georgia Case Law by Administrator on the July 9th, 2012

 

 

by:  Mark A. Cobb

Cobb Law Group

As members of the American Subcontractor’s Association (“ASA”), the Cobb Law Group is pleased to pass along the following information from a recent ASAToday weekly news bulletin:

“ASA is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn a decision that ASA warned ‘could result in increased liability to subcontractors, and the potential for greatly increased litigation costs and exposure’ in the Peach State and elsewhere.  In a brief filed on July 2, ASA and other construction industry associations that joined the brief urged the high court to disallow third-party claims for damages related to work-related injuries that are normally addressed within the workers’ compensation system.  In the underlying case, City of Atlanta, et al., Defendants-Appellants, vs. The Estate of Mack Pitts, the estate of a sub-subcontractor’s employee sued for recovery of damages from upper-tier contractors and the project owner after the employee was struck and killed by the sub-subcontractor’s vehicle and it was discovered that the sub-subcontractor had not obtained a contractually required $10 million automobile liability insurance policy.  A trial court had entered a wrongful death judgment against the driver and the sub-subcontractor, but rejected the estate’s argument that the employee was a “third-party” beneficiary of the city’s ‘Owner’s Controlled Insurance Program,’ which was incorporated into the contracts and whose purpose was “to provide one master insurance program that provides broad coverages with high limits that will benefit all participants involved in the project.”  An appeals court, however, held that employees such as Pitts working on the project were ‘participants’ and thus third-party beneficiaries of the contract entitled to sue all the other project contractors, even though the subcontracts contained a ‘No Third-Party Beneficiaries’ clause. ASA’s brief stated:   ‘If it stands, the Court of Appeals’ decision will likely lead to successive waves of litigation seeking recovery from deep pockets in the construction process irrespective of fault or causation, as injured parties seek to capitalize upon the expanded application of the ‘third party beneficiary’ theory and the Court’s gutting of the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy defense.’

We’ll keep you up-to-date on the result!