About the Bar

FAQ/All [+] Show All Answers

  1. How did SOLACE originate?

    SOLACE started in Louisiana. It was conceived by United States District Court Judge Jay Zainey of New Orleans as a way for the bar to reach out in a meaningful way when a member of the legal community suffered a loss or developed a need as the result of a sudden catastrophic event.

  2. Will I be asked for money?

    SOLACE will not solicit cash contributions. The point of SOLACE is to tap into the legal community’s network of contacts. Often what is needed is in-kind donations or non-monetary assistance such as transportation, housing, or a medical referral. Any monetary donations that SOLACE receives will be returned to the donor.

  3. A woman came to my office for help with her divorce case, but there is another lawyer representing her now. May I speak with her?

    Yes, unless you currently represent someone whose interests are adverse to hers. Rule 4.2 does not prohibit a disinterested lawyer from providing a second opinion to someone who is currently represented by counsel.

  4. Are Journey Through Justice souvenirs available?

    Yes. Every student receives a free personalized Honorary Attorney for the Day certificate. In addition, students and teachers may purchase a Journey Through Justice patch. Patches are $1.00 each (tax is included). We do not have change available. We suggest that you collect patch money from students in advance of the tour.

  5. Are communications between the Inside Mentor and the Beginning Lawyer confidential?

    The confidentiality of communications between the Inside Mentor and Beginning Lawyer will depend on the firm’s or office’s policies subject to applicable Rules and Regulations of the State Bar of Georgia.

  6. Are communications between the Outside Mentor and the Beginning Lawyer confidential?

    No. The Beginning Lawyer shall not reveal to the Outside Mentor any confidential communications between the Beginning Lawyer and the Beginning Lawyer’s client, according to the terms of the CLE Agreement that Outside Mentors and Beginning Lawyers are required to sign.

  7. Can CLE hours be carried forward?

    Yes. Regular CLE hours - 12 hours can be carried to the next year In-House CLE hours - 6 hours can be carried to the next year Ethics hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year Professionalism hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year Trial hours - 3 hours can be carried to the next year

  8. Can a Beginning Lawyer nominate the person he wishes to have appointed as his Inside Mentor?

    The assignment of Mentors within a firm, office, or practice group will be based on the recommendation of the firm or other employer itself subject to the stated qualifications for appointment as a Mentor and compliance with the other TILPP requirements.

  9. Can any CLE hours be taken by online or other distance learning format?

    Yes, 6 hours per year can be taken in a distance-learning format. These type of hours are called in-house hours and they are tracked on attorneys' CLE transcripts maintained by the State Bar of Georgia CLE department staff. An attorney can take 6 in-house hours per year and can carry forward 6 CLE hours to the next succeeding year.

  10. Can homeschool groups attend Journey Through Justice?

    Yes. Homeschool groups may attend Journey Through Justice on Mondays and Tuesdays. If your group wants to come on another day of the week, we will try to accommodate you, but we may not be able to provide free parking in our parking deck. Our program is designed for students in grades 4-12 , so we do ask that you make alternate arrangements for any younger siblings.
     

  11. Does "Group Mentoring" apply to me?

    If you are unable to find employment as a lawyer or you are employed but in a job setting where you are not practicing law, you still have to comply with TILPP unless you elect Inactive Status. Your compliance will occur in a Group Mentoring environment. Group Mentoring events cover the Model Mentoring Plan developed by TILPP. See more. Do you have questions about Group Mentoring? Download your Group Mentoring Manual which includes timelines, answers to frequently asked questions, a copy of the model mentoring plan utilized in Group Mentoring events, and other applicable forms.

  12. Does the State Bar need a member's official mailing address on file? Can the address be marked private?

    Bar Rule 1-207 requires that all members maintain a valid official address and phone number with the State Bar of Georgia. All address changes must be in writing by one of the following methods: (1) logging into the member's account at www.gabar.org and selecting "Edit Contact Information", (2) emailing the Membership Department at membership@gabar.org or (3) mailing information to State Bar headquarters, attention Membership Department. 

    If a member does not want their contact information visible in the printed or online directories, they may contact Membership at 404-527-8777 or email membership@gabar.org and request their information be marked private. Their firm/employer name, street address, phone, fax and email addresses will be hidden from public view. To release the privacy restriction, the Membership Department must be contacted. 

  13. Does the client have to arbitrate?

    No. If the client does not want the dispute resolved in this manner, no arbitration is held.

  14. Does the lawyer have to arbitrate?

    No. But if the lawyer elects not to arbitrate, the process may continue without his participation as a party at the hearing. If the client prevails in such a hearing, the award becomes prima facie evidence in any future litigation over the fee, and the client may be furnished with free counsel if such litigation is needed.

  15. How am I notified if my hours are deficient?

    In January or early February of each year, an Annual Report of CLE hours for the previous calendar year is sent to all active members of the State Bar of Georgia unless an exemption has already been entered. If the attorney has completed all the required CLE hours for the previous year and does not owe any course fees, then the attorney does not need to do anything further. However, if the attorney either needs more hours for the previous year or owes a course fee that is listed on the Annual Report, then he or she has until March 31 to satisfy the deficiency.

  16. How are CLE exemptions taken by attorneys?

    Age 70 exemptions are automatic

    Inactive exemptions are automatic for members electing that membership status for a full calendar year.

    Hardship Exemptions - Forms to request hardship exemption can be found on our website by clicking here.

    All other exemptions must be marked on the Status Report mailed in October of each year or the Annual Report mailed in January of each year.

    Also, you can login by clicking here to view your current CLE Status.

  17. How are legal fees determined?

    Abraham Lincoln once emphasized the value of a lawyer's time when he said, "A lawyer's advice is his stock in trade." The value of the professional services of the lawyer are not easily measured since legal matters differ widely and no two factual situations are exactly alike. Therefore, in most instances, the fee will depend upon the factors involved in the specific case at hand and cannot be determined by any pre-established general fee schedule. The elements most often considered include:

    1. the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the question involved, and the skill needed to perform the legal service properly; 

    2. the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer; 

    3. the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

    4. the amount involved and the results obtained;

    5. the time limitations requested by the client or by the circumstances; 

    6. the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client; 

    7. the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers, performing the services; 

    8. whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

  18. How are the awards collected?

    In most cases, the losing party tenders payment within 90 days. If this does not occur, the award may be filed with the Superior Court of the county of the losing party and it becomes the equivalent of a judgment of that court. It may be enforced by the parties just as any other Superior Court judgment. The State Bar may be able to assist in the collection process, but its participation in the arbitration process normally ends with the filing of the award.

  19. How can I be sworn in to practice in the higher courts?

    You can contact the clerk of the court that you wish to practice in and they will arrange for you to be sworn in. You must first be admitted in Superior Court before you can be sworn in to the higher courts. Some of the telephone numbers for the higher courts are listed below:

    Supreme Court - 404-656-3470
    Court of Appeals - 404-656-3450
    U.S Court of Appeals - 404-335-6100
    U.S. Northern District - 404-215-1660
    U.S. Middle District - 478-752-3497
    U.S. Southern District - 912-650-4020

    In order to be notified of any mass swearing in ceremonies for the higher courts, email the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia by clicking here.

  20. How can I best comply with my MCLE requirements?

    Take all the required hours before the December 31 deadline.

    If your hours are incomplete on December 31, make them up during the grace period, which expires on March 31. This saves the $100 late CLE fee.

    If you miss the March 31 deadline, pay the $100 late fee which extends the deadline to June 30. After June 30 an additional $150 in fees are due for a total of $250 for late completion of your CLE requirement.

    Monitor your record during the year by logging into your account by clicking here. Some sponsors take several weeks to report your attendance, so check back if a seminar is not listed in your record. If it does not appear, contact the CLE department staff at (404) 527-8710.

  21. How can I get more information about Fee Arbitration?

    Contact a member of the Fee Arbitration Department, or call the State Bar of Georgia at (404) 527-8750 or 1-800-334-6865 and ask for the Fee Arbitration Department.

  22. How can I view my CLE record?

    You can check you CLE by logging into your account by clicking here.

  23. How did the Georgia Law Honor Society begin?

    GLHS was founded in August of 2007 as a project of the Georgia Law-Related Education Consortium, which at that time was housed at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. GLHS is now administered by the State Bar of Georgia's Law-Related Education Program.

  24. How do I apply for an exemption?

    Complete the Exemption Affidavit which is a portion of the paperwork required in order to enroll with the State Bar of Georgia.

  25. How do I book a Journey Through Justice tour?

    Journey Through Justice tours are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, and we begin accepting reservations five years in advance. Determine which dates are available by clicking the calendar HERE and confirm that your preferred date does not conflict with your school calendar (holidays, early release dates, testing). You may book a tour by contacting a member of the Law-Related Education Department:

    Deborah Craytor, director, Law-Related Education
    Email: deborahcc@gabar.org
    Phone: 404-527-8785

    Shannon Jenkins, program assistant, Law-Related Education
    Email: shannonj@gabar.org
    Phone: 404-526-8617

  26. How do I change my name?

    CLICK HERE to download the Name Change Form. This is a fillable form, which may be completed online before you print it for a signature. Please fax or mail this form.

  27. How do I change my status to active?

    If you have not paid your dues for the year, simply mark your dues notice and pay the active dues amount. If you have already paid inactive dues for the year, mail a check for the difference between inactive and active dues along with a note and your Bar Number to: State Bar of Georgia, PO Box 102054, Atlanta, GA 30368-2054. If you are unsure of the amount to send, email  membership@gabar.org and someone will be happy to assist you.

  28. How do I change my status to inactive?

    If you have already paid active dues, you may send an email to membership@gabar.org and request that your status be changed. Be sure to include your Bar Number and the effective date. If you have not paid your dues, the change can be indicated on the dues notice and you may pay the inactive dues amount shown on the notice.

  29. How do I login to the website?

    State Bar members, if you have created a username and password, please use the one you created. Proceed by clicking here.

    If you have not created an account, your username is your Bar number and your password is your last name with no punctuation or spaces and four digit birth year in all lowercase (i.e., username: 006400, password: smith1978).

  30. How do I obtain a disciplinary history?

    Any member seeking a disciplinary history that includes information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, should send their written request to the Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Attn: Deloise Mathews. The request must include the member's explicit authorization to release such information. Requests sent via email are not accepted. There is no cost to a member requesting their own disciplinary history.

  31. How do I obtain information about Admission on Motion (Reciprocity)?

    Under some circumstances, Georgia offers admission on motion without examination to lawyers who are licensed in another jurisdiction. Out-of-state lawyers who wish to apply for admission on motion without examination to the State Bar of Georgia should visit the website of Georgia's Office of Bar Admissions: www.gabaradmissions.org. Each jurisdiction may have different eligibility requirements. Please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at 404-656-3490 for more detailed information.

  32. How do I opt out of SOLACE emails?

    If you do not wish to receive SOLACE emails, reply to any SOLACE email you receive and request to be removed from the mailing or follow the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any SOLACE email.

  33. How do I order a Letter of Good Standing?

    A Letter of Good Standing is usually required for a member of the State Bar of Georgia to be admitted to practice in another jurisdiction. Letters of Good Standing include the attorney's name, Bar Number, address, current status and a history of any public disciplinary actions that have been taken against the attorney. If the jurisdiction you are applying to requires information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, please see the last paragraph below for instructions.

    Some jurisdictions require that the letter come from the highest court in the state. In Georgia, the highest court that you are required to be admitted in, in order to practice, is the Superior Court. However, you may have been separately sworn in to the Supreme Court of Georgia and/or the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

    The State Bar of Georgia is an official arm of the Supreme Court, but if the jurisdiction in which you are applying requires you to submit a letter from the highest court to which you are admitted (i.e., Supreme Court of Georgia, Court of Appeals of Georgia, etc.), you must contact those courts directly, (but only if you are admitted to them) to request a letter of good standing. Otherwise, if you have only been admitted in Superior Court, a letter of good standing from the State Bar of Georgia will be sufficient.

    Letters are available from the Membership Department at a cost of $15 for the first letter and $5 for each additional letter requested at the same time. Requests for Letters of Good Standing will be processed and mailed out each business day. Cutoff time for receipt of orders is 12 p.m. If your order indicates that you would like to pick up your letter, you will be notified by email or phone when the letter is ready. To order a letter after 12 p.m. for same day pick up, an additional charge of $20 will apply for expedited letters. To receive a Letter of Good Standing your Membership Dues must be current.

    To order your letter of good standing please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront. To order with a check by mail or courier, click here to download an order form.

    Any member seeking a disciplinary history that includes information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, should send their written request to the Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Attn: Deloise Mathews. The request must include the member's explicit authorization to release such information. Requests sent via email are not accepted. There is no cost to a member requesting their own disciplinary history.

  34. How do I order a Membership Certificate that is suitable for framing?

    Any active member in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia is eligible to order a personalized membership certificate. Printed on ivory parchment paper, these certificates are stamped with the official seal of the State Bar and signed by the current president. Unframed certificates are $25.

    Framed membership certificates are double-matted in black and gold and enclosed in a gold wood frame. Complete with a hook for easy hanging, they are available for $50.00.

    To order your certificate, please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront.

  35. How do I order a Photo ID?

    A photo ID card is a convenient and quick way to identify you as a State Bar of Georgia member.

    To order your photo ID, please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront.

    Once you make your purchase, you will need to email membership@gabar.org and attach a high-resolution picture. Be sure to include your Bar Number. The State Bar of Georgia reserves the right to decide if the photo you provide is appropriate for use on your State Bar of Georgia photo ID.

    If you would prefer to pay by check, mail $11 to Membership, State Bar of Georgia, Suite 100, 104 Marietta Street, Atlanta GA 30303. Be sure to include your Bar Number with the request.

    (If you don't have the ability to send a photo electronically, you may mail those to Membership as well. Be sure to include your Bar Number on all requests.)

  36. How do I request Fee Arbitration?

    You complete a form known as a petition. This may be obtained by writing or calling the State Bar of Georgia.

  37. How do Mentors sign up to attend or to view a Mentor Orientation Program?

    All Mentors receive copies of the program brochure from ICLE of Georgia whenever a live version of the event is scheduled. To arrange a video rental or internet streaming of a previously recorded “Mentor Orientation Program” contact ICLE of Georgia at icle@iclega.org or 800-422-0893 (toll free).

  38. How do students prepare for the mock trial?

    We use the lunch break to prepare students with speaking roles for the mock trial.  We cannot supply the scripts in advance. The students use the scripts throughout the trial (no memorizing).

  39. How does JDPP relate to the Office of General Counsel or the Judicial Qualifications Commission?

    The Program operates independently from the disciplinary systems presently in place with the Office of General Counsel and the Judicial Qualifications Commission. The JDPP is informal, private and voluntary rather than formal and mandatory, and it does not address violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct or violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

  40. How does a Beginning Lawyer enroll in TILPP?

    Beginning Lawyers don’t enroll in TILPP until after admission to practice in Georgia. Once admitted to practice, the TILPP Enrollment form is a portion of the material submitted when registering with the State Bar of Georgia. When the TILPP Enrollment form is received and processed, Beginning Lawyers are given additional TILPP compliance information, including a checklist and manuals. COMPLIANCE WITH TILPP IS MANDATORY. State Bar enrollment materials must include TILPP Enrollment form.

  41. How does a Beginning Lawyer enrolled in GROUP MENTORING certify to the TILPP Director that they have satisfactorily completed TILPP?

    TILPP consists of two (2) components: (1) Mentoring and (2) CLE. Beginning Lawyers receive written confirmation from the TILPP Director for their records upon successful completion of both components. To Complete CLE – Attendance is automatically reported to our computer database if you attend CLE events facilitated by ICLE of Georgia because a portion of your registration fee pays for that service. If they attend CLE events facilitated by other CLE providers, you must insure that the CLE provider will forward proof of attendance to the State Bar of Georgia CLE department. Remember, all attorneys can check their CLE status online by logging on to the State Bar of Georgia website. To Complete Group Mentoring – Participate in six (6) hours of Group Mentoring activities. Generally, each individual Group Mentoring activity last three (3) hours, but program agendas are subject to change.

  42. How does a school apply for chapter membership?

    Schools wishing to apply for chapter membership are required to complete a School Chapter Membership Application, which involves submission of acceptable proof both that the school participates in a civic or community service project related to law studies and/or criminal justice and that the school offers qualifying law-related coursework. A list of qualifying courses and activities can be found on the State Bar of Georgia website under "Law-Related Education." Annual dues for school chapter membership are $50.00 and should be enclosed with the application.

  43. How does a student apply for membership?

    Students wishing to apply for membership are required to complete a Student Membership Application and pay $10.00 student dues ($5.00 to the school chapter and $5.00 to the State Bar of Georgia Law-Related Education Program). The school chapter will collect all of the applications, checks and transcripts, and mail the documents together. On the application, the student must prove that he or she has met/exceeded the required minimum GPA and has completed, or is currently enrolled in, qualifying law-related coursework by attaching an official school transcript to the application. If the qualifying coursework does not appear on the transcript, the student is required to include a copy of his or her current schedule proving enrollment. The student will need to demonstrate an active interest in law and/or criminal justice by proving participation in at least one qualifying law-related activity and at least one qualifying law-related community service project. The student must have two Chapter Council Faculty Members sign the application to verify his or her eligibility for membership.

  44. How does the Program work for Beginning Lawyers working in prosecutors’ offices, governmental agencies, public interest law settings, in-house positions, and other special practice settings?

    Prosecutors, Solicitors: Contact your supervisor or the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia at 404-969-4001. Public Defenders: Contact your supervisor or the Public Defender Standards Council at 404-232-8900. Other Beginning Lawyers employed by large legal organizations or large law firms: Contact your supervisor to determine if your organizations or law firm has a Master Mentoring Plan in place for newly admitted attorneys to comply with TILPP requirements.

  45. How is JDPP authorized?

    The Program was submitted to and approved by the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia and ultimately by the Georgia Supreme Court by Order dated February 24, 2000. The Supreme Court adopted Rules governing the operation of the Program which are found at Part XIII of the Rules and Regulations for the Organization and Regulation of the State Bar of Georgia ("Bar Rules"). At the same time, the Supreme Court approved Internal Operating Procedures for the administration of the Program and granted the Bench and Bar Committee of the State Bar authority to adopt additional Operating Procedures not inconsistent with the Rules.

  46. How is SOLACE funded and administered?

    SOLACE is a program of the State Bar of Georgia. Ken Shigley, past president of the State Bar of Georgia, is chair of the SOLACE Committee and coordinates requests and responses. Additional coordinators may be added in the future. Voluntary donations for operational expenses of SOLACE shall be held in a separate SOLACE fund by the State Bar of Georgia.

  47. How is a mock trial selected for my tour?

    We generally select a mock trial for your students to perform based on the law lesson topic you select. Once you select a lesson, you will receive an email with a brief description of your trial and a list of speaking roles. We ask that you select your best readers as it makes the trial go more smoothly. Students not assigned roles will serve as jurors.

  48. How long does a Beginning Lawyer have to complete TILPP?

    TILPP covers Beginning Lawyers in the year of their admission in Georgia and the next calendar year. The pertinent State Bar Rule is 8-104.

  49. How long does arbitration take?

    Many cases settle before an arbitration hearing takes place. Some do so within a few weeks, while others take much longer. If the arbitration process goes to conclusion without settlement, a case takes, as an average, eleven months to complete. Of course, some cases take less than this while more difficult ones may take longer.

  50. How long should I keep closed client files?

    The ethics rules don't require a lawyer to keep closed files for any particular length of time. The exception is trust account records. Rule 1.15(I) does require that a lawyer keep trust account records for at least six years after the case is over. There is a four year statute of limitations for disciplinary investigations; Rule 4-222 provides that the statute may be tolled up to two years in certain situations. You should also take into account potential malpractice claims and other law when making a decision to destroy a file.

  51. How many SOLACE emails will I receive?

    Each SOLACE request generates only one email. You can expect to receive one or two emails per month. If you are able to assist, the email will contain information regarding how to contact the person in need or that person’s representative. If you are not able to assist, there will be no further contacts regarding the request.

  52. How many times can my school attend Journey Through Justice during a single school year?

    There is no limit on the number of days a particular school may attend Journey Through Justice during the school year. For instance, if you want to bring more than our maximum of 70 students, you can schedule multiple dates in order to accommodate your entire group.

  53. How may I submit a request for SOLACE assistance?

    To submit a request for SOLACE assistance for yourself or another member of the legal community, start with an email to SOLACE@gabar.org, briefly identifying and describing the crisis and needs.

  54. How much does a Journey Through Justice tour cost?

    There is no charge.

  55. How much time is a Mentor expected to spend with the Beginning Lawyer?

    The Mentor and Beginning Lawyer are expected to spend sufficient time to carry out the Mentoring Plan mutually agreed upon. While regular meetings are suggested, the Program does not specify the number or length of meetings.

  56. How much will I pay for Fee Arbitration?

    Nothing. This is a free public service of the State Bar. However, in the event appeals, subsequent litigation, or collection actions are required after an arbitration is concluded and an award is received, the parties bear their own expense for such additional litigation.

  57. I am a member of the State Bar of Georgia and my information in the online directory is incorrect. Who must I contact to fix it?

    The Online Directory is a direct reflection of the State Bar of Georgia's membership database. To change this information, you can change your address online by clicking here, write an email to membership@gabar.org or send a fax to the Membership Department at 404-527-8747.

  58. I am having technical problems with this site, or the above questions do not apply to my problem.

    For technical questions about the site, please contact the Webmaster by email at webmaster@gabar.org. Please keep in mind that the Webmaster is a technology professional, not a legal professional, and cannot answer any legal questions.

  59. I am not employed yet, should I wait to be sworn in?

    You have one year from the date you received your certificate of eligibility from Bar Admissions to be sworn in. If you do get sworn in, you have 60 days from the date you were sworn in to apply for admission to the State Bar of Georgia. If you passed the July exam and are not practicing, you can save ½ year of dues by waiting until after January 1 to be sworn in. Or if you passed the February exam and are not practicing, you can save ½ year of dues by waiting until after May 14 to be sworn in.

  60. I can't find...

    The State Bar of Georgia's website is equipped with two tools to help you navigate our site -- the Site Map and the Search function at the top of the page. The Site Map is a detailed listing of all major areas of the State Bar of Georgia's website. The Search function allows you to search the entire site for specific information. Both tools are available at the top of every page.

    If you cannot find what you are looking for on the State Bar of Georgia's website, you might wish to search the World Wide Web. You can do so by going to Search Engines on our Online Resources page.

  61. I have a hardship right now and cannot pay my dues. Is there a hardship exemption I can apply for or can I make payments?

    Dues must be paid in full by the 9/1 date or you will be ineligible to practice. If you are not practicing, you can pay inactive dues and later in the year convert to active.

  62. I have just been notified that I passed the Bar Exam. What do I do now in order to practice?

    All of the materials necessary to enroll with the State Bar of Georgia are available on the website and can be accessed by clicking here.

  63. I have to appear in court but my dues are unpaid, can I still appear in court?

    After 9/1 of each dues year, unpaid members are ineligible to practice law until their dues are paid.

  64. I need a copy of my application to the Bar, how do I obtain a copy?

    Typically, an attorney when applying for admission to another jurisdiction raises this question. The other jurisdiction normally is interested in a copy of the Bar Admission application, not the data enrollment form for the State Bar of Georgia. A copy of the Bar Admission's application can be obtained by calling 404-656-3490.

  65. I wish to check my membership status, or check the membership status of an attorney. Who should I speak to?

    The State Bar of Georgia's Membership Department maintains and updates each bar member's status. For information about your membership status, or to make sure an attorney is in good standing, please check our online membership directory which is updated daily. If you still have questions call the Membership Department at 404-527-8777 or e-mail membership@gabar.org.

  66. I'd like to offer my paralegal a bonus based on the legal fees I've taken in each month. Is that ethical?

    Rule 5.4 discusses a lawyer splitting a legal fee with a nonlawyer. Formal Advisory Opinion 05-4 provides that it is ethically proper for a lawyer to compensate nonlawyer employees based upon a plan that is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement.

  67. I'm leaving my law firm. May I tell the clients whose files I have worked on that I am opening my own practice?

    Formal Advisory Opinion 97-3 holds that a lawyer who is leaving a firm may ethically notify those clients he or she has actively represented. The communication may be oral or written. The lawyer may advise the client of the lawyer's departure, provide a new address, and notify the client of the lawyer's willingness to provide legal services to the client.

  68. I've been fired but the client still owes part of my fee. May I keep her file until she pays?

    If keeping the file will be detrimental to the client's interests, you may not hold the file to guarantee payment of your fee. Rule 1.16(d) and Formal Advisory Opinion 87-5 provide further guidance on this issue.

  69. I've graduated from law school, taken the Bar Exam and am working in a law office. Can I call myself a lawyer?

    No! Even if you have passed the Bar, you must be sworn in by a court and registered with the State Bar of Georgia before you are licensed to practice law in the state. Until then you may not give legal advice to anyone. You may not appear in court or sign your name on a document to be presented to a court (other than for your own personal matters). If a judge allows you to sit with counsel during a hearing, or if you attend a deposition with a licensed attorney, you may not question witnesses or make objections. You are also obligated to clarify your status to anyone who mistakenly believes that you are a lawyer. Be sure that the firm letterhead, website and other publications do not refer to you as a lawyer before you are fully credentialed. There are many tasks that you may perform in a law office while awaiting Bar results and licensing. You may draft briefs or pleadings for a lawyer's review and signature. You may interview clients and witnesses, and pass along legal advice as directed by a lawyer (making it clear that the advice is from a licensed attorney). Formal Advisory Opinions 19, 21 and 00-2 further describe what tasks may appropriately be delegated to a nonlawyer in a law office.

  70. If I am a judicial law clerk, does the Transition Into Law Practice Program apply to me?

    A judicial law clerk is not exempt, but he or she is deferred from TILPP compliance during the term of the clerkship. Although compliance is deferred, a judicial law clerk must still enroll with the Program using a form provided with State Bar of Georgia enrollment materials (Rule 8-104 (B)(1)(b)).

  71. If I am inactive and wish to take CLE hours anyway are there any restrictions?

    Up to two years of CLE hours (24 credit hours) taken while inactive can be carried over and applied when you reactivate.

  72. If I go inactive, how difficult is it for me to become active again?

    You would simply need to send a check for the difference in active and inactive dues for that year. Be sure to include your Bar Number and a note that you would like to become active. The check should be sent to:

    State Bar of Georgia
    P.O. Box 102054
    Atlanta, GA 30368-2054

  73. If I have a need and make a request through SOLACE, will my confidentiality be maintained?

    Confidentiality is of paramount concern. If you have a need, a SOLACE coordinator will work with you to write an email that explains the need and maintains your confidentiality. You will need to provide contact information for potential donors, but you are encouraged to use an anonymous email address for this purpose if you are concerned about confidentiality. Depending on the nature of the request, you may also wish to designate a family member to receive the SOLACE responses.

  74. If I have already paid active dues for the year, would a portion of my dues be refunded if I become inactive?

    Due to the complexities and time involved with refunds for status changes, we do not refund any portion of the active dues.

  75. If I have decided I do not want to keep my membership, how do I resign? If I decide to reinstate after I have resigned, can I do that?

    Bar Rule 1-208 states that members who would like to resign their membership need to petition the Executive Committee for leave to resign from the State Bar of Georgia. Members who desire to resign their membership need to fill out the Official Petition for Resignation and send the notarized form to the address on the form. Members may resign while in good standing with the State Bar. Members may also resign while delinquent or suspended for failure to pay dues, or for failure to comply with CLE requirements. The process to be reinstated after resignation is similar to the process for non-payment of dues. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted. Click here for Official Petition for Resignation. Click here for full text of Rule 1-208.

  76. If I have not practiced in Georgia for a long period of time and have not changed my status to inactive, can I make my status inactive retro active back in time?

    You can make your status effective back to the date you stopped practicing by indicating the date and the fact that you have not practiced in Georgia on your correspondence to us.

  77. If I live out of state and do not practice in Georgia, am I required to go inactive?

    You are not required to change to inactive status. In order to eliminate the CLE requirement if you are not practicing in Georgia and live out of state, you may file an out of state exemption. Please contact CLE at 404-527-8710 for additional information about CLE.

  78. If a student was inducted last year, is he or she required to complete the Student Membership Application again this year?

    Yes. A current student member is required to complete the Student Membership Application every year to confirm that he or she remains eligible under Article III, Section 1 of the GLHS Constitution.

  79. If a student was inducted last year, is he or she required to pay the student dues again this year?

    Yes.

  80. If a student was inducted last year, is he or she required to submit an official transcript again this year?

    Current members do not need to submit another transcript but must provide certification of their current GPA. The student should indicate his or her current GPA on the application form; two faculty council members must then sign the application to certify that the stated GPA is correct. The GLHS Constitution gives the faculty council members the responsibility for ensuring that members maintain their eligibility.

  81. Is an established school chapter required to complete the School Chapter Membership Application every year?

    Yes. A school with an established chapter needs to complete the School Chapter Membership Application every year to confirm that the school has a civic or community service project related to law studies and/or criminal justice as required by Article II, Section 2 of the GLHS Constitution.

  82. Is an established school chapter required to pay the $50.00 chapter dues every year?

    Yes.

  83. Is any training required to serve as a Mentor?

    No. However, TILPP offers an optional “Mentor Orientation Program” facilitated by ICLE of Georgia. The Mentor Orientation is a three-hour program created by ICLE and currently offered live at the State Bar Building in Atlanta and simulcast to State Bar satellite offices. Each Mentor who takes the Mentor Orientation will receive three (3) hours of complimentary CLE credit including one (1) hour of Ethics and one (1) hour of Professionalism. Mentors who have attended the Mentor Orientation in one year are not required to repeat it if they serve as Mentors in subsequent years.

  84. Is the Fee Arbitration award binding?

    It is if both parties so agree. In such cases, it cannot be appealed except for very limited reasons. If both parties do not so agree, it will be considered as prima facie evidence in any future litigation. And in certain situations, an award in favor of the client may entitle him or her to the free services of an attorney to represent the client in any necessary subsequent litigation regarding the fee.

  85. Is there a lunch break during the tour?

    Yes. Students and teachers should bring a sack lunch; we provide soft drinks. There will not be an opportunity to leave the tour to purchase lunch. Do not order lunch as we cannot accommodate deliveries. Additionally, we do not have a microwave or vending machine.

  86. May I take a new case if it will require me to sue a former client?

    Maybe. Rule 1.9 allows a lawyer to represent a new client whose interests are adverse to a former client only if the matters are not substantially related, or if the former client consents. Rule 1.6 regarding confidences and secrets also might have some impact on the lawyer's ability to undertake representation adverse to a former client. The rules require a lawyer to make very specific disclosures before obtaining client consent to this type of representation, so please call the Ethics Helpline to talk about your situation with us.

  87. Now that I have passed the Bar, where can I get sworn in?

    Any Superior Court Judge in the State can swear you in. You can make an appointment by contacting the clerk of the court in the county that you choose. A directory of Superior Court Clerks can be found at www.gsccca.org/clerks. If you reside out of state and wish to be sworn in by proxy, contact the Fulton County Superior Court Clerk’s office at 404-613-4217 or email nicholas.cotten@fultoncountyga.gov for additional information. They will require a copy of your original certificate of eligibility and a copy of a state issued ID.

  88. Should my students be prepared to take notes?

    Yes.

  89. What are sponsor fees and attorney fees?

    All courses entered into our CLE database are charged a $5 per hour per attorney fee. Sponsors of the seminars are required to pay this fee for courses held in Georgia. Attorneys are required to pay this fee for courses held outside of Georgia or in other circumstances such as online seminars when the sponsor does not pay the fee. An attorney can pay the $5 per hour fee to the State Bar of Georgia when attendance is reported to us, or can be billed on the Annual Report that is mailed in January of each year.

  90. What are the benefits of being inactive?

    As an inactive member, you are not required to complete CLE hours and your dues are lower. However, inactive status requires that you do not practice law in Georgia. A possible disadvantage is the fact that if you plan to use your Georgia license to be admitted by reciprocity to another jurisdiction, the other jurisdiction often requires that you have been active 5 of the last 7 years.

  91. What are the law lesson topics?

    We offer a variety of law lessons correlated to the Georgia Performance Standards; among the topics we can cover are torts, contracts, juvenile delinquency and unruliness, and business crimes. When you book a tour, you'll receive the full list of law lesson selections to choose from. A sample list of lessons available during the 2014-2015 school year can be found HERE.

  92. What are the minimum qualifications to serve as a Mentor?

    Minimum Qualifications for Mentors are set out in Regulation (6) of State Bar Rule 8-104 (B). The qualifications of prospective Mentors are screened by the Program Director. The names of prospective Mentors satisfying minimum qualifications are forwarded to the Supreme Court of Georgia for consideration.

  93. What are the responsibilities of the Chapter Council Faculty Members?

    General guidelines are provided in the Constitution, but individual schools are encouraged to tailor student membership requirements to recognize each school's unique curriculum, extra-curricular activities, volunteer opportunities, and student body. Faculty members are asked to ensure each student's consistent and regular attendance at chapter meetings and to confirm that each student is actually participating in at least one law-related activity and at least one law-related community service project. Additionally, school chapters can set a GPA requirement, but not less than the 3.0 set by the Georgia Law Honor Society.

  94. What browsers are supported for viewing your website?

    Internet Explorer 8 and 9, Firefox 3.6+, Chrome 13+ and Safari 5+ (the Mac version). 

  95. What can I expect during a Journey Through Justice tour?

    When the students arrive, they are greeted by Edith Galt Wilson, Woodrow Wilson's second wife. She tells them about his life and takes them on a tour of his law office, which has been reproduced in our lobby.

    The students then have a law lesson taught by an experienced attorney or teacher docent. At the end of the law lesson, the students are given a "bar exam," which may be either oral or written; of course, everyone passes and receives an Honorary Attorney for the Day certificate, personalized with their name.

    The students break for lunch. During lunch, those students selected for speaking roles in the mock trial are given their scripts to review.

    After lunch, the students go to our fully functioning courtroom, where they put on a scripted mock trial. Students who do not have speaking roles serve as jurors.
    The students then tour our Museum of Law and watch a 12-minute film called "Reel Justice."

  96. What can clients do to avoid fee disputes in the future?

    Always ask your lawyer for a written fee agreement, and make sure you understand exactly what it does and does not cover. This is critical not only because a clear initial agreement tends to prevent subsequent disputes, but also because arbitrators in most cases cannot render any award that is contrary to the terms of an executed written fee contract. If you were renting a house, you would ask if the costs of electricity, water and garbage pick-up were included in the rental price. Ask your lawyer specific questions, too. For instance, will you be charged each time you telephone the lawyer? Does the fee include making reports to you on a regular basis? What does "regular basis" mean to the lawyer? Will the fee go up if the case takes longer than either of you expects? If the lawyer charges by the hour, ask for a monthly bill. That way, you will know how much the case is costing as it moves along, and you will not be in for a big bill, or possibly a big shock, at the end. Some lawyers will take your case on a "contingency" basis when you sue someone for money. This means you will not be charged attorneys fees if you lose the case. If you win, you pay the lawyer a percentage of the money the court awards you. Before you agree to a contingency fee, make sure you know how it will work in your case. What will the lawyer's percentage be? Will it be taken from the amount you win before or after court costs are subtracted? Will the fee be less if the case settles out of court? What if you settle the case before trial, but after the lawyer has done all the work to get ready for trial? Will the fee be more if you lose in the trial court, but appeal the decision to a higher court and win? Most lawyers charge retainers. Get a clear understanding as to whether it is refundable or nonrefundable in the event the case or your attorney/client relationship concludes prior to its expected time.

  97. What cases may be fee arbitrated?

    In general, all disputes between clients and their attorneys over fees may be arbitrated. There are a few exceptions as follows. Fees charged by a lawyer who is, or who was when the services were performed, not licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. Cases involving services performed outside of Georgia or from an office located outside of Georgia. Cases where there was no express or implied lawyer/client relationship between the parties at the time the legal services in question were performed. Cases where the disputed fee is $750 or less. Fees which are governed by law or statute. Cases where the full amount or all terms of which have already been fixed or approved by order of a court. Cases filed longer than two years following the date on which the controversy first arose. Cases where the petition fails to include all of the following information: date; signature of petitioner; the identities of both the client and the lawyer and the address of both; a statement of the nature of the dispute and the particulars of the petitioner's position, including relevant dates; a statement that the petitioner has made a good faith effort to resolve the dispute and the details of that effort; the agreement of the petitioner to be bound by the result of the arbitration. Cases in which the petitioner's claim does not appear to have merit. If your case is determined to be covered by one or more of the foregoing exceptions, you will be notified that jurisdiction is declined. While this means that no arbitration hearing will be conducted, it does not affect litigation or any other remedy that you may wish to consider in lieu of arbitration.

  98. What do I do upon the completion of my judicial clerkship?

    Complete and submit the Completion of Judicial Clerkship Form to the State Bar of Georgia Transition Into Law Practice Program. Upon receipt of your completion form, you will receive complete information about how to enroll in TILPP, or how to request an exemption from TILPP.

  99. What do Judicial District Professionalism Committees do?

    The JDPCs promote traditions of civility and professionalism through increased communication, education, and the informal use of local peer influence to alter unprofessional conduct on a voluntary basis. A JDPC may choose to serve the following functions:

    * Mentoring - providing guidance in "best practices" for lawyers and judges
    * Mechanism for privately receiving and attempting to resolve inquiries and requests for assistance from lawyers and judges on an informal basis. In this regard, JDPP addresses disputes between lawyers and lawyers and disputes between lawyers and judges.
    * Initiator of other creative programs developed and implemented by each committee for the particular Judicial District.

  100. What do students receive as members of the Georgia Law Honor Society?

    Each dues-paying student member receives a membership certificate and pin, and graduating seniors in good standing will have the opportunity to purchase purple honor cords to reflect their membership at graduation ceremonies.

  101. What does JDPP not handle?

    * Lawyer/client disputes. Inquiries by clients or other members of the public are handled by the Consumer Assistance Program or other appropriate State Bar programs.
    * Fee disputes. These can be handled by the Fee Arbitration Program of the State Bar.
    * Employment matters. Example: Allegation that managing attorney sexually harasses associates and support staff.
    * Lawyer/vendor disputes. Example: Court reporter alleges that lawyer has not paid bill.
    * Disciplinary matters. Example: Lawyer receives trust account check from opposing counsel; check bounces.

  102. What does “equivalent” mean as used in “Certify that he or she has professional liability insurance with minimum limits of $250,000.00/$500,000.00, or its equivalent?”

    “Equivalent” refers to those Mentors covered as an employee under a policy related to their practice setting with a law firm or corporate entity. Also, it refers to those Mentors employed by government entities eligible for immunity status.

  103. What grades can attend Journey Through Justice?

    We welcome students in grades 4-12.

  104. What happens if I do not pay my Bar Dues?

    A late fee of $75 is assessed after 8/1 and you are ineligible to practice after 9/1. Another late fee of $100 is assessed after 1/1 (Total Late Fee $175). After the second year of unpaid status, your membership status is changed to administratively suspended. Your membership will remain as administratively suspended for a five year period starting from the first year that you did not pay your annual dues. During this five year period, you may reinstate by being recertified thru the Fitness process with Bar Admissions, completing several administrative requirements and paying additional penalty fees, dues and late fees. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted.

  105. What happens if a student member loses eligibility?

    The student will lose their membership and will not receive a membership certificate and pin. Additionally, graduating seniors will not be able to purchase purple honor cords.

  106. What happens if the Beginning Lawyer does not complete the mentoring component in the required time period?

    The same deadlines, late fees and penalties for general CLE apply to TILPP. See Rule 8-107.

  107. What happens if the Beginning Lawyer needs to change to a different Mentor?

    Administratively, the Program refers to a change from one Mentor to another Mentor as a “Migration.” The Migration request is made in writing using the Migration Form. Neither the Beginning Lawyer nor the Mentor is required to report the reason for a Migration request.

  108. What happens in the event an attorney fails to comply with the Mandatory CLE program?

    If an attorney remains in noncompliance, the Supreme Court of Georgia will be notified so that it may enter any order it deems appropriate including suspension from the practice of law until, as a minimum, the deficiency is corrected, all penalty fees are paid, and a reinstatement fee is paid. A $100 penalty fee is required if hours for the preceding year are not completed by the deficiency period ending March 31.

  109. What if I want to participate in Journey Through Justice but can't travel to the Bar's headquarters?

    We do have alternatives available; please contact a member of the Law-Related Education Department for details.

  110. What if my complaint is for negligence, malpractice or unethical conduct?

    The State Bar has no program to handle cases involving negligence or malpractice claims. Litigation in the State or Federal Courts is the remedy in such cases. Complaints regarding unethical conduct may be filed with another division of the State Bar. Forms to register such complaints may be obtained by calling or writing the Consumer Assistance Program at the State Bar of Georgia. The Fee Arbitration Program is designed to handle disputes that are primarily fee oriented. If your case is really founded on malpractice or professional misconduct, the Committee has the discretion to terminate or suspend any fee arbitration, and except in unusual cases, that is what will occur.

  111. What is Fee Arbitration?

    The State Bar of Georgia, on behalf of the Georgia Supreme Court, administers as a service to both the general public and lawyers of Georgia the Fee Arbitration program. The actual arbitration is a hearing conducted by one or more persons not involved in the dispute. In most cases, two experienced attorneys and one non-lawyer public member serve as the arbitrators. Like judges, they hear the arguments on both sides and decide the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is impartial and usually less expensive than going to court. The purpose of the program is to provide a convenient mechanism for the resolution of disputes between lawyers and clients over fees.

  112. What is SOLACE?

    SOLACE is a network of individuals within the legal community who are willing to consider assisting others in need because of a sudden catastrophic event such as illness, injury, fire or natural disaster. It is administered through the State Bar of Georgia. Ken Shigley, a past president of the State Bar of Georgia and chair of the SOLACE Committee, coordinates requests and responses. Other coordinators may be designated in the future.

  113. What is considered an "inquiry" for purposes of the JDPP?

    Inquiry means any inquiry or concern expressed about unprofessional conduct as outlined in the Bar Rules or Internal Operating Procedures for the JDPP, but does not include any disciplinary charge, ethics violation, criminal conduct, or any other matter which falls under the provisions of Part IV (Discipline) of the Bar Rules or the Code of Judicial Conduct. For purposes of the JDPP, the party making the inquiry or expressing the concern is called the inquiring party. The party about whom the inquiry or concern is expressed is called the responding party.

  114. What is covered in the Museum of Law?

    The Museum of Law contains walls on such topics as the civil rights movement, independent judiciary, the death penalty, and famous Georgia and U.S. cases. You may select one of these walls as the focus of your museum visit, or you may choose to have your docent select the museum content to be covered. The list of available focus areas can be found on the website. The museum tour begins with a 12-minute film called "Reel Justice," a compilation of 75 clips from Hollywood movies dealing with the law and lawyers.

  115. What is expected of you at the arbitration hearing?

    Arbitration hearings are informal. You may be required to swear to tell the truth, but that is the only part of the arbitration that is like a court trial. Either party may elect to be represented by an attorney, but one is not required. Furthermore, the Fee Arbitration program was designed so that the clients can present their side of the dispute without incurring the expense of employing a second attorney to reduce the fee requested by the first attorney. However, it is your decision. If you feel that the amount in issue or other reasons warrant you having your own attorney present, you may be represented by the attorney of your choice. If you do elect to have an attorney present, the fee for your attorney is paid by you.

  116. What is the Annual Report?

    It is a transcript of CLE courses that is sent to all active, non-exempt members in January of each year showing all CLE hours taken for the previous year and indicating all fees owed.

  117. What is the Georgia Law Honor Society?

    The Georgia Law Honor Society of Secondary Schools promotes and rewards strong academic achievement in law-related coursework and emphasizes the value of leadership, volunteer service, and respect for the judicial system. The purpose of the GLHS is to create enthusiasm for scholarship in law-related fields, to promote law based service opportunities, to promote leadership, to provide citizenship education opportunities, and to instill a sense of respect for the justice system in law studies students throughout the state of Georgia.

  118. What is the Judicial District Professionalism Program (JDPP)?

    What is the Judicial District Professionalism Program (JDPP)? JDPP is an informal, private, and voluntary program developed by the Bench and Bar Committee of the State Bar to improve the profession and bolster public confidence in the judicial system. The goal of the JDPP is to promote professionalism through increased communication, education, and the informal use of local peer influence to open channels of communication on a voluntary basis. While no judge or lawyer is required to cooperate or counsel with the JDPP, the Program is intended as a source of support for all Georgia judges and lawyers in maintaining and enhancing the professionalism of the legal system.

  119. What is the maximum number of students I can bring?

    The maximum number of students we can accommodate on a single day is 70 and the minimum is 20, although the ideal group size is 25-40 students.

  120. What is the procedure for a JDPC inquiry?

    Step 1: Concern or inquiry is reported to:

    * State Bar Executive Director Cliff Brashier, or any member of the Board of Governors or
    * State Bar Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) intake staff lawyer; (404) 527-8759 or (800) 334-6865.

    Step 2:
    Person receiving inquiry and information:

    * Routes inquiry to CAP for preparation of JDPP Inquiry Data Form.
    * May call the local JDPC Chair of the Judicial District where the responding judge/lawyer maintains his or her principal office.

    Step 3: CAP intake staff will:

    * Assign JDPP inquiry number.
    * Gather Inquiry Data Form information. Note: In the interest of privacy, this form does not contain the name of any person about whom an inquiry or concern has been expressed (responding party).
    * Place phone call to local JDPC Chair to provide name of responding party.
    * Forward JDPP Inquiry Data Form to local JDPC Chair.

    Step 4: Local JDPC Chair will:

    * Refer inquiry to local sub-committee of JDPC for handling; or
    * Call a meeting to discuss appropriate action based upon nature of inquiry.

    Step 5: Local JDPC or sub-committee of JDPC will determine whether:

    * Inquiry merits study or intervention.
    * Judicial Advisor should be consulted, depending upon nature of the inquiry.
    * Inquiry needs to be referred to Lawyer Assistance, Law Practice Management, or other State Bar program. 

    Step 6: If local JDPC determines further study or intervention is warranted, a meeting with the responding lawyer/judge will be scheduled, or sub-committee members and/or Judicial Advisors will be designated to handle.

    Step 7: If local JDPC determines no further study or intervention is warranted, inquiry will not be pursued further.

    Step 8: After resolution of inquiry, JDPP Inquiry Data Form will be completed showing how inquiry was handled and then returned to Consumer Assistance Program. This form does not contain the name of any person about whom an inquiry or concern has been expressed.

  121. What is the structure of the JDPP?

    The JDPP is the name of the overall program which is comprised of committees of Board of Governors members from each of Georgia's ten Judicial Districts. These committees are called Judicial District Professionalism Committees. Each Judicial District Professionalism Committee (JDPC) consists of the current members of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia from the particular Judicial District. The JDPC members for each of the Judicial Districts select one or more Judicial Advisors within each district. The longest serving member on the Board of Governors serves as the Chair for that District.

  122. What is the yearly CLE requirement?

    12 CLE hours including 1 ethics hour, 1 professionalism hour, 3 trial hours (only required for trial attorneys)

  123. What kinds of issues does JDPP handle?

    Inquiries from only lawyers or judges are referred to JDPP. JDPP committees may address the following patterns of conduct:
    Unprofessional Judicial Conduct:

    * Incivility, bias or conduct unbecoming a judge
    * Lack of appropriate respect or deference
    * Failure to adhere to Uniform Superior Court Rules
    * Excessive delay
    * Consistent lack of preparation
    * Other conduct deemed professionally inappropriate by each JDPP with the advice of the Judicial Advisors

    Unprofessional Lawyer Conduct:

    * Lack of appropriate respect or deference
    * Abusive discovery practices
    * Incivility, bias or conduct unbecoming a lawyer
    * Consistent lack of preparation
    * Communication problems
    * Deficient practice skills
    * Other conduct deemed professionally inappropriate by each Judicial District Professionalism Committee

    Inquiries or requests for assistance relating to conduct in pending litigation or ongoing transactional matters are generally better left to the judicial process or the negotiations of the parties. Consequently, any JDPP response to such requests should generally be delayed to the conclusion of the matter.

  124. What mobile devices can I use to view your website?

    The following touch-enabled mobile devices: iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS6+, and Kindle Fire.

  125. What should my students wear to Journey Through Justice?

    There is no official dress code, but our experience has been that students who "dress for court" generally seem to pay more attention and behave more appropriately.

  126. What should the client do if his or her lawyer's bill seems too high?

    First, review your original fee contract. Hopefully, it was a written contract, but even if not, the bill would be considered in light of the past agreement between you and your lawyer. If you had no agreement whatsoever, the law provides that the attorney is entitled to a reasonable fee taking into consideration all factors including those previously listed. If the bill still seems to be higher than your agreement or seems unreasonable, the next step is to say so. Sometimes a lot of hassle can be prevented if you and your lawyer talk things over. Ask your lawyer to explain why the bill is higher than you expected. You may find out the case was more complicated and took more time than you realized. Or the lawyer may agree that a mistake was made in the bill. But even if it does not work out, a good faith effort by the party requesting arbitration to resolve the dispute without the necessity of outside intervention is a prerequisite to Fee Arbitration.

  127. What time does the tour begin and what time does it end?

    The Journey Through Justice tour is four hours long. We ask that students arrive by 9:30 a.m. and stay until approximately 2 p.m. (this includes bathroom breaks and time spent moving from one room to the next). If you cannot stay for the full four hours, please let us know in advance so that we may plan accordingly. Please keep in mind, however, that parts of the tour will have to be shortened or eliminated if you cannot stay for the full four hours.

  128. What will happen once I schedule my Journey Through Justice?

    1. You will receive a checklist, which includes the list of law lessons and museum topics, that will need to be filled out, and returned within seven business days.
    2. Once the checklist has been returned, you will receive the official confirmation email that contains all of the logistics and details for the visit.
    3. After the confirmation email you will receive your mock trial roles.
    4. You will get a one-week email reminder if we have not received your list of student names.
    5. A three-day "Are You Ready" email, summarizing our understanding of the logistical details for your tour. If you do not receive these emails, please check your junk or spam folders first, then contact us by email or telephone.

  129. Where can I file a complaint against my attorney or report a problem with my attorney?

    The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) of the State Bar of Georgia handles problems between attorneys and clients. CAP has many ways to help solve your problems. For general and statistical information about CAP, please see the CAP Web page. If you wish to speak to a CAP Administrator, please call 1-800-334-6865 and ask for the CAP line, or dial direct to 404-527-8759. CAP cannot receive inquiries by email.

  130. Where can I find information about admission to the State Bar of Georgia?

    The Office of Bar Admissions is the administrative arm of the Supreme Court of Georgia responsible for the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in Georgia. This office has a website separate from the State Bar of Georgia's which can be accessed by clicking here: Office of Bar Admissions

  131. Where can I find information about the Bar Exam?

    The Office of Bar Admissions administers the Bar exam. Their website, which contains helpful links and contact information, can be accessed by clicking here: Office of Bar Admissions

  132. Where can I find information regarding the application process to appear pro hac vice before the State Board of Workers' Compensation?

    Out-of-state attorneys seeking admission pro hac vice to appear before the State Board of Workers' Compensation should review State Board of Workers' Compensation Rule 102(A)(3), which requires out-of-state attorneys to comply with Rule 4.4 of Uniform Superior Court Rules and its appendix. (There is no prescribed form for the motion.) In most circumstances, a per case per attorney fee of $200 is required. (The $200 fee can be paid by check or money order, made payable to the State Bar of Georgia). Where possible, applicants should include the name of the judge assigned to hear the motion/case and the case number of the action on the motion or in the body of the cover letter to the State Bar of Georgia. Applicants should inform the Office of the General Counsel of any upcoming hearing or trial date in the body of the cover letter. Applicants should file their notarized original motion with the Board of Workers' Compensation in the case in which they seek to appear (either to the judge or to the Settlement Division, as applicable) and send a copy of the motion to the Office of the General Counsel at: Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Attn: Kathy Jackson, 104 Marietta Street NW, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30303. For additional information please contact Kathy Jackson at 404-526-8603 or kathyj@gabar.org.

  133. Where can I find information regarding the application process to appear pro hac vice in Superior and State Courts in Georgia?

    Domestic and foreign attorneys seeking admission pro hac vice to appear in Superior and State Courts of Georgia should review Rule 4.4 of Uniform Superior Court Rules and its appendix. This rule, amended in September 2011, requires pro hac applicants to send a copy of their motion to appear to the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia. (There is no prescribed form for the motion.) In most circumstances, a per case per attorney fee of $200 is required. (The $200 fee can be paid by check or money order, made payable to the State Bar of Georgia). Where possible, applicants should include the name of the judge assigned to hear the motion/case and the case number of the action on the motion or in the body of the cover letter to the State Bar of Georgia. Applicants should inform the Office of the General Counsel of any upcoming hearing or trial date in the body of the cover letter. Applicants should file their notarized original motion with the court in which they seek to appear, and send a copy of the motion to the Office of the General Counsel at: Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Attn: Kathy Jackson, 104 Marietta Street NW, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30303. For additional information please contact Kathy Jackson at 404-526-8603 or kathyj@gabar.org.

  134. Where can I get an attorney referral?

    The State Bar of Georgia is a mandatory membership organization and cannot refer an attorney since we have an obligation to represent each of our members equally. Please see our list of Local/Voluntary Bars for full contact information of the Bar Associations near you. Many Local or Voluntary Bars offer Attorney Referral Services. For additional information on choosing an attorney, visit our online pamphlet "How to Choose a Lawyer."

  135. Where do we park if we're traveling by bus?

    Do not unload the bus in front of the building. Your bus driver should continue past our building to the traffic light at Fairlie Street. Turn right on Fairlie Street, and then take the first right-hand turn into the alley behind our building. Look on the right-hand side of the alley for the sign which says "Unloading/Loading Here for Journey Through Justice." Once the students have exited the bus, the bus should park on the right-hand side of the alley, between the base of the stairs and Loading Bay #3. The bus should remain there until the end of the tour, as we reload students there rather than on the street to avoid blocking traffic in the afternoon.

    In the event of rain or other inclement weather, students should exit the bus into Loading Bay #3 itself, where we will be waiting, so that they can stay as dry as possible. The bus should follow the parking directions above.

  136. Where do we park if we're traveling by car?

    If you will be traveling by private cars instead of a bus, you should park in our parking deck at the corner of Spring Street and Marietta Street (adjacent to our building); we will validate your parking, so please bring your parking ticket in with you. Also, please bring lunches and anything else you will need for the day. Cars should come to the sixth floor of the parking deck and drop off students at the door marked “Entrance to Conference Center,” where a docent will be waiting for them, before parking. Once you park, you should return to the conference center entrance, which will put you on the third floor of the building. The docent or a security officer will direct you to an available conference room, where we will assemble until everyone in the group has arrived and we can proceed to our classroom for the day (SB-1), which is located on the sub-basement level. 

    Please note: Most passenger vans will not fit in our parking garage due to height. Please contact a member of the LRE Department for alternative parking options if you plan on traveling by passenger van.

  137. Where is the State Bar of Georgia located?

    We are at 104 Marietta Street, N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

    Driving directions:

        From the East on I-20: Take the Windsor-Spring Exit. Turn right on Spring Street. Turn right on Marietta Street.

        From the West on I-20: Take the Windsor-Spring Exit. Turn left on Spring Street. Turn right on Marietta Street.

        From the South on 75-85: Take Andrew Young International Boulevard Exit. Turn left on Andrew Young International Boulevard. Turn left on Centennial Parkway. Turn left on Marietta Street.

        From the North on 75-85: Take Williams Street Exit. Turn right on Andrew Young International Boulevard. Turn left on Centennial Parkway. Turn left at Marietta Street.

        From Marta -- Five Points Station: Exit the train station heading towards Peachtree Street. Turn left out of the station onto Peachtree Street. Follow Peachtree Street to Marietta Street. Turn left on Marietta Street. Follow Marietta Street for four blocks.

  138. Which members of the State Bar of Georgia are required to complete MCLE?

    All active, non-exempt members who are not part of the Transition into Law Practice Program.

  139. Which schools are eligible?

    Accredited public and independent secondary schools within the state of Georgia are eligible to start a school chapter. Homeschool organizations wishing to sponsor a chapter are considered on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, member schools must participate in a civic or community service project related to law studies and/or criminal justice.

  140. Which students are eligible?

    Student membership in a school chapter is based upon the following qualifications: (1) Member of the junior or senior class; (2) In attendance for at least one semester in the chapter school; (3) Completed or currently enrolled in qualifying law-related coursework; (4) Meet/exceed required minimum GPA (set by school; no less than 3.0); (5) At least one qualifying law-related activity; and (6) At least one qualifying law-related community service project.

  141. While on inactive status, would I have to take CLE hours? Are there other requirements to maintain inactive status besides paying inactive dues?

    You are not required to take CLE hours while you are inactive. There are no other requirements to maintain your inactive status. You may remain inactive for an unlimited amount of time. While you are inactive it is very important to keep your address updated with the Bar and pay your dues. You may change your address by clicking here.

  142. Who are the arbitrators?

    There are normally three. Two are attorneys who must have a minimum of five years' experience practicing law. One is a non-lawyer public member. In cases with a disputed amount of $2,500 or less, one lawyer arbitrator may decide the case. They all serve voluntarily and without fee. These arbitrators, not the State Bar of Georgia, decide your case. The State Bar facilitates the Fee Arbitration process by coordination and administration of the program.

  143. Who is exempt from MCLE?

    a. members who are inactive (on their dues status with the Membership Department) for the entire calendar year b. out-of-state members who neither practice in Georgia nor represent Georgia clients c. out-of-state members who comply with the CLE requirements of their resident state ($75 fee required with this exemption.) d. members over age 70 e. judges who are prohibited from practicing law f. designated statewide elected officials g. attorneys who establish special circumstances constituting undue hardship

  144. Who is exempt from TILPP?

    (a) Newly admitted attorneys who elect to take Inactive Status (Rule 8-104 (C)(1)); (b) attorneys practicing in other jurisdictions admitted on motion without taking the Georgia Bar Examination (Rule Rule 8-104 (B)(1)(a)); (c) Foreign Law Consultants (Rule 8-104 (B)(1)(a)); (d) attorneys passing the "1-Day Attorney Examination" who meet other pertinent minimum previous law practice requirements (Rule 8-104 (B)(1)(a)); and, (e) attorneys admitted to practice in Georgia but with principal practices in another state (Rule 8-104 (C)(4)) or Rule 8-106(A)(6)).

  145. Who qualifies for assistance through SOLACE?

    Any lawyer or judge and anyone who is employed by a law firm, a court, or the State Bar of Georgia, and their family members (wherever they may be located), are eligible for assistance through SOLACE. As we do not have the capacity to do all things for all people, the scope of the SOLACE program is limited to the categories listed.

  146. Who receives SOLACE emails?

    Initially, attorneys who are members of the State Bar of Georgia will receive SOLACE emails. Anyone within the legal community can be added at their request.

  147. Why are Mentors required to have minimum levels of professional liability insurance or the equivalent?

    Serving as a Mentor in the Transition Into Law Practice Program is not an ordinary volunteer opportunity. It is a Supreme Court appointment. Therefore, it is appropriate to view minimum levels of professional liability insurance coverage as one factor in assessing whether or not a potential Mentor handles the business management of his law practice in a responsible manner.

  148. Would I have to take CLE hours to regain my active status from inactive?

    You will owe CLE for the year you activate in as well as any hours that you owed CLE from prior years when you deactivated. These hours would need to be completed by March of the following year.

    NOTE:
    You will owe CLE for the current year even if you are only active for one day, week, etc. during the year. Be sure to consider this when you are activating at the end of a year.

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