Our Practice Area
We offer a variety of legal services to residents throughout Alabama. On your left, you will find a menu with links to descriptions of some of the services we offer. If you wish to learn more about any of our practice areas, or if you have a question about anything not listed, please do not hesitate to call us. We are more than happy to speak with you about any area of the law and provide general advice about your case. We do our best to respond to phone calls and e-mails 24 hours a day.
- Employment & Labor
- Personal Injury
- Business Law
- Family Law
- Real Estate
- Wills & Trusts
- Social Security Disability
- Wrongful Death
- Criminal Defense
Bankruptcy Attorney Helena, Alabama
With the economy in its current condition, millions have lost their jobs and have been crippled by increasing credit card debt, car payments, and mortgages. If you find yourself unable to keep up with your payments, bankruptcy may be an option for you. Call Today (205) 419-4414.
We proudly serve to Helena, Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Calera and Montevallo, Al.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a means for a fresh start. It allows for certain debts to be discharged, allowing you to put money towards food on the table instead of back into your creditor's pockets.
When should Bankruptcy be Considered?
- You have a significant amount of debt (credit cards, loans, mortgage payments, etc.) and can only afford to make the minimum payments or no payment at all.
- You are unable to make your mortgage payment and the bank is threatening foreclosure.
- You can no longer afford your car payment.
- You owe a judgment from a previous lawsuit.
What Will Bankruptcy do for You?
Filing bankruptcy allows for you to get out from under that unmanageable debt and allows you to have a fresh start. However, it is important to keep in mind that filing for bankruptcy does not provide forgiveness of certain debts including the following:
- Domestic support obligations such as child support and alimony
- Certain Tax Debts
- Student Loans (In most cases)
- Damages or Restitution for willful or intentional acts
- Court Fines or Penalties
What are the Different Types of Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- This form of bankruptcy is known as a "straight bankruptcy" or a "liquidation bankruptcy."
- When a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is filed, someone known as a "trustee" will begin to look into all of your assets. These assets will be liquidated (sold for cash) in order to pay off your creditors. Whatever debts are left over and are allowed to be discharged, will be discharged.
- Many assets are exempt and which of your assets are exempt will be discussed in your consultation.
- Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, you are protected by what is known as the "automatic stay." Basically, this prevents creditors from attempting to collect their debt from you.
- Roughly 30-40 days after your Bankruptcy filing, you will attend a Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors with the Bankruptcy Trustee. This meeting is brief and the trustee will ask you several questions on the record.
- Usually 60 days after your Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors you will receive a discharge of indebtedness in the form of a discharge notice for all dischargeable debts, releasing you from personal liability for those debts.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- This is known as "reorganization bankruptcy." It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts.
- o Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. If the debtor's current monthly income is less than the applicable state median, the plan will be for three years unless the court approves a longer period "for cause."
- o If the debtor's current monthly income is greater than the applicable state median, the plan generally must be for five years. In no case may a plan provide for payments over a period longer than five years.
Come see a Bankruptcy attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama and we will do everything we can to help you.
Employment & Labor Law Attorney Helena, Alabama
We provide comprehensive counsel to individuals who have been improperly treated at work, handling cases involving:
- Wrongful discharge or termination—We handle claims involving allegations of discharge or termination in violation of the law or in breach of a valid employment agreement.
- Discrimination—We litigate claims involving allegations of unfair or different treatment based on gender, age, disability, race, religion, national origin or medical condition.
- Sexual harassment—We represent parties in lawsuits involving allegations of the exchange of sexual favors for job-related benefits, as well as situations involving the creation of a hostile environment based on sex.
We represent employers as well as employees.
We will fully investigate the facts, evidence and circumstances of your claim, so that We can determine whether you have a case, as well as the strength of your evidence and any challenges you might face.
We will keep you updated of any developments in your case, providing you with copies of all relevant documents.
We will assist you with the resolution of your claim, whether you seek to negotiate a settlement, pursue mediation or go to trial.
Come see an Employment & Labor Law attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama.
Personal Injury Attorney Helena, Alabama
The term "personal injury" is a general term encompassing a wide variety of lawsuits. Generally, these cases are based around the tort of "negligence."
The tort of negligence occurs when a person (or corporation) fails to observe a recognized "standard of care" and an injury results.
Generally there are four elements of a negligence lawsuit that all must be proven beyond a preponderance of the evidence, they are:
- Duty: The Defendant had a legal duty requiring him to conduct himself according to a certain standard, so as to avoid unreasonable risk to others. This standard is generally thought of as a "reasonable standard".
- Breach of Duty: The Defendant failed to conform to the duty or reasonable standard as explained above. This element can be thought of as "carelessness."
- Causation: A sufficiently close causal link between defendant's act of negligence and the harm suffered by plaintiff. In other words the defendant's breach caused the harm to the plaintiff.
- Damages: Actual damages suffered by plaintiff, i.e. personal injury, wrongful death, pain and suffering.
Alabama Auto Accidents
If you have been the victim of an auto accident and have suffered due to another driver's negligence, we will use our experience and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Accidents involving motor vehicles are among the most common causes of serious injury and death in the United States each year. Despite the advancements in technology and significant safety improvements in cars and in the design of roads, automobile accidents remain quite common. In fact, car accident claims and lawsuits are probably the most common type of civil tort case filed by attorneys today and are most commonly filed under a negligence theory as outlined above.
We also protect your rights for product related injuries.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured or killed by unsafe or faulty products. This includes defective industrial equipment, faulty medical devices, dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and unsafe motorized equipment. The manufacturers and sellers of these harmful products must be held accountable.
Alabama Product Liability Lawsuits and Damages
Product recalls, prompted by safety concerns, occur all too often in Alabama and across the U.S. These recalls involve a wide range of products. They can involve cars, tires, motorcycles, ATVs, children's toys, pajamas and even the food we eat. The recalls are intended to get unsafe products off the market before they do harm. Unfortunately, the recalls don't come until after serious injuries and losses have already occurred.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 22,000 deaths and 29 million injuries related to consumer products happen each year. Annually, consumer products cause more than $500 billion in deaths, injuries and property loss or damage.
Companies who cause this damage cannot and should not escape without legal liability. The main incentive for companies to increase product safety is to avoid potential liability in product liability lawsuits that provide compensation for the personal injuries sustained from the use of a defective product.
The damages the consumer is entitled to receive may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of physical capacity, pain, suffering and mental anguish. Punitive damages are also available in many cases to punish defendants for conduct that demonstrates a reckless or wanton disregard for the safety of the public.
Dangerous or defective products may occur across a wide variety of different industries. These defective products may include familiar brand names. At Alabama Law Services, LLC, we have the legal resources necessary to pursue product liability claims including:
- Automotive defects- Design defects can cause air bag injuries; car fires; defective seat belts; defective car doors; and SUV rollovers.
- Defective tires- Poor materials or manufacturing processes can result in tire blowouts or tire recalls.
- Unsafe baby equipment- Car seats; swings; cribs; and playpens can all present a hazard when not designed properly and with the safety of the infant in mind.
- Mechanical equipment- Conveyor belts; elevators; saws; sanders; lathe machines; boilers; forklifts; bulldozers; valves; and other defective machines and equipment may cause harm if they do not function properly.
- Defective tools- Saws, sanders and lathes can all malfunction and lead to product liability cases.
- Defective safety equipment- Unsafe filtration systems can cause asbestos, silicosis, welding rod claims, and other life-threatening health hazards.
These are just a few examples of the different types of defective products that have harmed consumers in the past in Alabama, and across the U.S. If you have been injured by any product, Alabama Law Services, LLC can help you to hold the manufacturer responsible.
How Does an Alabama Product Liability Claim Work?
When you file an Alabama product liability claim, you are suing the makers or sellers of the defective products. When their product was brought to market, the manufacturers and distributors became legally obligated to provide a well-designed product that was reasonably safe when used as intended. Failure to do so can result in a claim of negligence on the part of the manufacturer.
In some cases, however, a plaintiff in a product liability claim does not have to prove negligence. Instead, a product manufacturer generally may be strictly liable for a defective product. To win a strict liability case, you must demonstrate that:
- The product had an "unreasonably dangerous" defect that caused injury.
- The defect occurred in the product's design, during its manufacture, or during shipping or handling.
- The defect caused injury even though the user was using the product in the way the manufacturer intended it to be used.
- The product that caused damage had not changed "substantially" from its original sales condition.
In addition to strict liability claims and negligence claims, injured victims of defective products can also bring claims for failure to warn or for breach of warranty of fitness, which is damage directly resulting from inadequate product warning.
How Can Alabama Law Services, LLC Can Help You?
When a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is filed due to a defective product, anyone in the supply chain may be held responsible for damages. This includes the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer.
Under Alabama product liability law, it is the injured party's burden to prove that the product was defective. That's why it is important that the product be inspected by one or more qualified experts. They can determine the exact nature of the defect and how the product caused the injury or death.
The first step to take in making your claim for your consumer injury is to ensure the product is not lost or destroyed. If you do not have access to the product, contact Alabama Law Services, LLC immediately. We can take the steps to preserve the product before it is destroyed. If the product is not recovered, the customer may be left with no proof that the product was defective.
Alabama Law Services, LLC can also assist in gathering other evidence necessary to prove your product liability claim, including evidence of the extent of the damages suffered. This evidence can be used to negotiate a settlement out of court or to prove your case in court to recover damages.
In modern society, personal injury lawsuits are used to protect individuals from the negligent acts of manufacturers others on American's highways, in the operating rooms, construction sites, and even on the internet. If you have been injured in an auto accident, please call us today. We are experienced in auto accidents and have helped dozens of clients receive compensation for their injuries. If you need an auto accident attorney, call an experienced auto accident lawyer today. We handle auto accidents in Shelby, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Chilton and other surrounding counties. So if you have been wronged in any way, come see an auto accident and personal injury attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama and we'll fight to get you the justice you deserve.
Business Law Helena, Alabama
We can help you with the process of buying or selling a business. Each transaction is different, but we will guide you through the different stages of the transactions along the following lines:
Investigation and Negotiation Stage
- Together with the client we will assess the status of the transaction and determine what has been done already and how far negotiations have come.
- We will discuss your motivations for buying or selling and discuss the terms of the deal, such as the purchase price/valuation and payment terms. Then we closely guide you in the investigation of the business target (if you are buying) or help you disclose and assemble what is requested by the buyer (if you are selling).
- We will discuss and advise you with respect to the best structure of the business sale (i.e. asset sale, stock (equity) sale or corporate reorganization), your tax situation before and after the transaction, the financing for the transaction and the allocation of the purchase price (if it is an asset sale);
- We will ensure all securities laws are complied with.
- We will prepare or review the term sheet (aka "letter of intent") between the parties and guide you in the decision whether to ask for a confidentiality agreement.
Draft Necessary Documents
- We will carefully draft and negotiate the sale agreement and all other closing documents, such as promissory notes and security agreements; assemble or prepare owner/shareholder/board of director approvals and consents needed for the transaction.
- We will make sure that all required third party consents (landlord, contract partners and so forth) will be provided.
- We will prepare a closing checklist and oversee the execution of all necessary documents.
- If necessary and desired, we will attend the closing, record security interests, make adjustment to the purchase price, and provide escrow for the purchase price or the equity covered by a security interest.
- We advise Startups and their Founders in all aspects of business formation, choice of entity and jurisdiction, formation of business entities, founder agreements, consulting agreements, confidentiality agreements, start-up funding, seed investments, protection of names, ideas and inventions.
- If you are relying on friends, family, or wealthy individuals (business angels) to provide your startup capital, we can help you understand the different options for startup capital, prepare and negotiate the necessary legal documentation, and make sure that your money-raising activities comply with the relevant state and federal securities laws.
- As business attorneys we make it our business to keep small business owners out of court and business litigation. However, sometimes it cannot be avoided. We can help you enforce your rights in Alabama or defend any case brought against you.
- Before we begin any business litigation on your behalf, we will always make sure that any litigation makes sound business sense and won't be a waste of your time and money.
- Business litigation can be justified for any number of reasons. Take the following examples of common business claims brought by business attorneys on behalf of their clients:
Breach of Contract Disputes
Someone does not comply with the rules set forth in a contract between the two of you;
Tortious Interference with Contracts and Prospective Business:
Someone maliciously interferes with your performance under a contract, prevents you from entering into a contract or helps somebody to breach a contract;
Fraud and Misrepresentation:
Someone (1) represented a material fact, (2) the facts were untrue, (3) that somebody knew it was untrue, (4) the representation was made with the intent to deceive and to induce you to act upon it, (5) you relied on it and (6) you suffered damages by acting on the misrepresentation;
Someone steals your brand, business reputation, customer list or similar property for his own business advantage and causes your business damages by doing so;
Someone takes your property and uses it without your authorization and thus makes it impossible for you to enjoy the rights that come with ownership of that property;
Claims based on another partner's misconduct towards you as a co-owner of the business;
• Business Partnership Disputes can arise between shareholders in a corporation, partners in a partnership or members in a limited liability company (LLC).
• Businesses may want to kick out one partner, a partner is excluded from management or information, a partner doesn't receive the profit that he/she is due...the scenarios are endless.
• We can help you resolve partnership disputes by fully investigating the matter and exploring all possible alternatives prior to taking the other business partners or the business to court. If it is necessary to sue, we will guide you and forcefully pursue your rights in court.
Come see a business law attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama for any of your business needs.
Family Law Helena, Alabama
Family law is a broad term used to refer to the many statutory laws and previous court decisions that affect families legally. Family law can be thought of as an umbrella under which various legal actions are executed.
- Divorce is the most common legal action affecting families. While divorce must legally separate and divide a family and its assets, divorce does not need to destroy the emotional bonds amongst the family members, nor wipe out the family's lifetime savings.
- Divorce can be contested (often called litigated divorce) or uncontested. Uncontested divorce proceedings are usually handled through mediation processes and we are prepared to assist you in either uncontested or contested divorce situations.
- Under Alabama law, certain legal requirements must be met before a divorce can be requested; once met, Alabama law requires a 30-day waiting period. Alabama law also recognizes several avenues through which a couple can divorce, each of which usually varies in cost and always depends on the willingness of each spouse to cooperate with one another.
- Before a court will consider a petition for divorce, two requirements must be met:
- 1) at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state of Alabama, and
- 2) the court must have personal jurisdiction over at least one of the spouses.
- Once the requirements of residency and jurisdiction are satisfied, then the petition for divorce must be filed in the appropriate county. After the divorce is filed, the other spouse must be notified of the pending action. If the other spouse is not notified, any resulting divorce can be invalidated and set aside. Once notified, a spouse must respond to the notification within the time limits allowed by law (30 days).
- Mediation is a "meeting of the minds", so to speak, for which the disputing parties and at least one attorney are brought together to cooperatively discuss all of the issues or just particular issues.
- The parties form their agreements with the assistance of the mediator. The attorney memorializes the agreements for both parties to review.
- The final agreements are then presented to a court. The parties need not go to court, nor is their confidential information exposed to open court litigation.
- In an uncontested divorce, we can help ensure a smooth transition that satisfies your financial needs and/or those of your children and help peacefully determine child custody and visitation.
Child custody and visitation are perhaps the most important areas of family law, because these legal issues affect the children
- Three main issues typically arise when dealing with Child Custody:
- Temporary custody- Until a final determination can be made, the court must issue a ruling as to which parent will have custody of the child while the litigation is pending.
- Physical custody- This is exactly as it sounds. When deciding physical custody, the court decides which parent will house the children.
- Legal custody- This is a determination by the court of which parent will be the decision-maker. That is, who will decide important life decisions such as schooling and medical needs.
Divorce legally separates and divides family assets. In some cases, a divorce also divides the family, but through a fresh approach to family legal issues we can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Alabama Law Services, LLC helps families proceed through a divorce in a way that minimizes the psychological impact on children and parents, reduces the typical turmoil, and preserves the assets of the family for the family's future.
Come see a Family Law attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama.
Real Estate Attorney Helena, Alabama
What Can A Real Estate Attorney Do For You?
We know that not every real estate transaction will fall into one of the categories listed below, as an experienced real estate attorney in Helena, Alabama these are a few of the things we can assist you with:
- Purchase and sales contracts
- Construction contracts to build or remodel new homes
- Foreclosure defense
- Entity structure and formation (partnerships, LLC's, Inc, etc...)
- Financing transactions (Purchase, Refinance, owner financing and home equity loans)
- Insurance Matters
- Closings and related issues/documents
- Purchase of foreclosed properties (aka REO properties)
- Landlord services
Complex Transactions Require Experienced Legal Counsel
If you have ever engaged in a real estate transaction before, you have noticed that they are not simple transactions. There are a variety of factors that need to be considered in the real estate field and they include:
- Government regulations
- Financial Considerations
- Setting Objectives for Buying and Selling
- Operational Issues
Because of the complexity of real estate transactions, hiring an experienced legal counsel is necessary to ensure that you have covered every step in your transaction. You need an experienced attorney who knows the real estate industry and is familiar with the entire process from beginning to end. Though our real estate attorney's office is in Helena, Alabama, he will be happy to help with any of your issues in and around the state.
Importance of Involving an Alabama Real Estate Attorney Early
It is very important to involve a real estate lawyer based in Alabama in your transactions as early as possible. Alabama real estate lawyers know what crucial elements to look for in purchase and sale agreements. There are many documents that your real estate attorney in Alabama should review prior to the closure of the transaction. Some of these documents include but are not limited to:
- Title Reports
- Escrow Instructions
- Loan Documents
- Disclosure Statements
By "hiring a qualified Alabama real estate attorney", you are creating a better chance at defending title rights. You are also reducing your taxes and fees, which means less worries and more money in your pocket. Alabama Law Services, LLC is flexible in that we are able to work seamlessly with other professionals such as architects, contractors, engineers and CPAs to ensure that your interests are protected as much as possible. Come see a real estate attorney at our office in Helena, Alabama and get the help you need.
We Can Also Assist You In Your Landlord Tenant Dispute
An experienced attorney will assist and represent you in complying with all applicable laws and procedures when evictions become necessary. Additionally, we will vigorously pursue collection of related delinquencies, including pre-eviction and post-eviction collection and judgments.
- Evictions must strictly comply with established laws in order to be legal and insure protection of the landlord. Our attorneys will assist you with navigating through this process, whether simple or complex. We will prepare and file the necessary documents to insure a valid eviction, including, if necessary, the filing of the unlawful detainer action.
- We will also fight for you to recover the money you're owed in the collections process.
- The best practice to minimize your risk and financial exposure is to insure your lease is in compliance with Alabama's current Landlord-Tenant Act. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting, negotiating, and reviewing leases, as well as other legal documents and will assist you in compliance with all of the relevant laws.
Whatever your real estate or landlord tenant needs, call a real estate attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC.
Wills, Trusts & Estates Helena, Alabama
Do you have a plan for the conservation and distribution of your assets?
If you care about the financial security of your loved ones, then having a will is a necessity.
What is an Estate?
An estate is defined as any property (real and personal) that is owned by you. So, if you own a home, have a savings or retirement account, or own a business, you have an estate.
If you do not have a plan for your estate, the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate may be subject to unnecessary taxes, may be distributed upon your death according to state law instead of to whom you would like, or take years to sort out in probate.
What can we do for you?
We understand that each client's estate planning objectives are different and we will work with you to create a plan tailored to your specific needs while navigating you through the state and federal laws and regulations that can affect a sound plan. We can handle all aspects of your estate planning including:
- Living Wills and Healthcare Surrogates
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trust Agreements
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Business Succession and Liquidity Planning
Are you a personal representative or a beneficiary of an estate?
Whether or not the decedent had a Will, the primary way to transfer assets from the name of the deceased to the beneficiaries is to go through the probate process.
- Probate, the court's oversight of the distribution of the estate's assets, is generally needed to gain access to bank accounts or to re-title real property.
- This process may seem simple, but it can often touch on sensitive family issues and can become difficult to manage. In the state of Alabama, this process should never be attempted without the assistance of an attorney.
We work with clients throughout the state of Alabama as well as with out-of-state heirs and personal representatives to ensure that all aspects of estate administration come to resolution as quickly as possible.
We understand the need to handle these matters delicately and promptly, and we offer the proper guidance to our clients throughout this complicated, yet necessary process. We are typically called upon to handle:
- Full, Summary and Ancillary proceedings
- Identification and collection of the decedent's assets
- Preparation of Federal Estate Tax Returns
- Trust administration
We offer affordable estate planning packages and are happy to include powers of attorney and health care directives at no additional cost when you purchase a will. Contact a Wills, Trusts & Estates Lawyer at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama for any of your wills, trusts & estates needs.
Social Security Disability Attorney Helena, Alabama
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. SSA pays only for total disability and not for partial disability or for short-term disability. Under SSA's rules, you are considered disabled if you meet the following requirements:
- You cannot do the type of work that you did before
- You have worked and paid into Social Security, earning sufficient work credits
- The SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death
To decide whether you are defined as disabled according to the SSA, the advocates at Alabama Law Services, LLC can go over each Social Security Disability requirement with you and help you handle your SSD claim.
Social Security Disability Requirements for Children
SSI is not just for adults! The advocates at Alabama Law Services, LLC can assist you in securing benefits for your child before they turn 18. For a child with a disability to receive Social Security Disability the following rules apply:
Social Security has a strict definition of disability for children.
- The child must have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities; and
- The condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.
- Of course, as you probably already know from dealing with the government, the requirements listed above aren't as simple as they sound. Even lawyers don't always know them! Successfully applying for SSD can take a lot of time and effort due to government red tape. But at Alabama Law Services, LLC you don't have to worry about dealing with the government. We do it for you.
Come see a Social Security attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama and we'll help you get what you need.
Wrongful Death Helena, Alabama
A Wrongful Death claim is a lawsuit pursued when someone is killed as a result of another person's wrongful conduct. The Wrongful Death Statute in Alabama is unique compared to other states in that it only allows for punitive damages (money paid to punish the wrongdoer) and does not allow for compensatory damages (money paid to a person as compensation for their loss).
When a loved one dies from a traumatic and unexpected accident, family members are often left stunned, hopeless, angry and unsure of where to turn. Often times the next of kin is hesitant to contact a lawyer, but the time immediately following a tragedy can be crucial to ensure the responsible party is held accountable for their wrongdoings. For example, photographs of the scene need to be taken and eye witnesses need to be contacted.
At Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama you will find an attorney willing to fight for you and your loved ones.
Criminal Defense/DUI Attorney Helena, Alabama
Do you need a DUI attorney in Alabama? Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Helena, Alabama? Have criminal charges been filed against you? Do you have reason to believe charges may be filed soon? If so, contact a Criminal Defense and DUI attorney located in Helena, Alabama today. Alabama Law Services, LLC represents clients in criminal defense matters involving drugs or (DUI) driving under the influence matters.
We also work closely with trusted criminal defense specialists who will defend you vigorously in the following areas:
- Murder, Assault, and Violent Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Internet and Computer Crimes
- Federal Crimes
- Juvenile Crimes Defense
- White-Collar Crimes
If you're in trouble, come see a criminal defense or DUI attorney at Alabama Law Services, LLC in Helena, Alabama.