James Eubanks recently joined the Cobb Law Group as paralegal focusing on materialmen’s liens, payment bond claims and Georgia construction law. His experience and attention to detail make him a remarkable fit for our statewide construction law practice. His educational background includes an impressive college experience at the University of Florida, and his continuing education has included banking and real estate law, municipal financing and governance, as well as a strong business law background. In fact, he is the Mayor of Pelham, Georgia, where he oversees a multi-million dollar annual budget, participates in building and municipal improvement projects, and works with historic tax credits and building re-purposing and rehabilitation. He is a great fit for our law firm, and our clients will enjoying working with him. In order to get to know James a little bit, we’ve asked him a few questions which we thought might show is varied interest and experiences:
I’m sure that one question on everybody’s mind is what compelled you to run for Mayor of Pelham?
Public pressure! I heard some concerns from local business owners at our Rotary club meeting about economic development and business support in Pelham, and I realized that Rotarians are the business leaders of Pelham. Despite this, no one in the club at that time was involved with local government. When I tried to encourage some of them to run for City Council in the upcoming election; however, the prospective candidates pushed back and challenged me to run. Finally, I accepted the call and registered to run for my first public office, and I won! I was seated on the City Council.
A couple of years into my term, I was appointed to serve as Mayor Pro Tem by the council. Then, after 10 years serving on the City Council our Mayor resigned, and I stepped into the position for four months until a special election could be held to elect a new Mayor. Our newly elected Mayor held the office from March to August until she moved out of town which required that hew seat be vacated. We were too close to the regular election in November to hold another special election so, by law, the City Council was able to appoint an interim Mayor. I was appointed interim Mayor in August, ran for Mayor in November, and retained the seat. I do enjoy the opportunity to serve but never envisioned myself as a politician.
How does your experience as an elected official help our clients with their local government issues? How does it help with their public works projects?
I have learned a lot about the bid process for public works and civic projects. I understand how this process works and the legal requirements place on governments going through the process. I also have an appreciation for how local government officials understand this process, and what their expectations are for the projects. Local government officials want to be good stewards of tax payer funds,but they also must consider maintenance requirements, longevity, and safety requirements for public areas. Public officials also have to justify decisions and sometimes negotiate a compromise between public understanding and the advice of engineers and contractors.
When we file our materialmen’s liens throughout Georgia, we always include a metes-and-bounds legal description to make certain that the lien legally attached to the real estate. Do you have favorite part about running real estate titles?
Yes, I like the investigation. I like to solve the mystery of how areas came to be. It is interesting to see how large tracts of land were divided over time and how some times they come back together and are divided again. It is interesting to follow one little area and often see how it evolved and what happened around the tract to influence its current size, shape, and usefulness. It’s about solving puzzles and much of what I do as a construction law paralegal is solve problems for our clients.
Every modern law firm such as the Cobb Law Group leverages technology to offer greater efficiency and lower-costs to its clients. What is your experience with IT?
My IT experience and knowledge is a product of necessity. It is similar to title work in the sense of solving the mystery of how and why these machines would act or respond in the way they do. I did not get any education in how to build or program computers. I have learned to solve an issue with computers from the opposite approach. Using technology is vital to the entire field of contractors and site-planners; my experience dovetails nicely with understanding how their programs work and how we can use the information provided for our clients’ benefit.
From all reports, you are a very hard worker. Please share with us some of your other interest.
I love music. I played Horn in high school and college. I still very much enjoy classical and jazz concerts. My wife teaches ballet. So, as you can imagine, we are supporters of the arts in our area. We are both also very involved in church in both music and administration. I am currently service as the President of the Pelham Rotary Club and have been an active member for about twelve years. I am also involved with the Georgia Rotary Student Program which supports peace throughout the world by bringing students together for a year at Georgia Universities. We host an international weekend in Pelham every year and enjoy having the students stay with us in our home. I have always enjoyed history and we have an old family home in the Pelham historic district. We collect antiques which are mostly family pieces that have been handed down. We enjoy entertaining and using our home to support and promote neighborhood, civic, church, and Rotary functions.
What is the last book you’ve read?
Downtown by Feral Sams, and I am currently reading The Whisper of The River which is also by Feral Sams.