Graves Palmertree PLLC

Graves Palmertree PLLC

The firm is an AV-Preeminent firm rated by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory for both legal ability and ethical standards. Our attorneys practice in all levels of state and federal courts in Mississippi and Tennessee. #businesslawyersthatmeanbusiness

Breach of Contract,
Business Torts,
Landlord/Tenant Matters,
Non-Compete Agreements,
Insurance Disputes,
Collections,
Estate Litigation,
Will Contests,
Real Estate Disputes,
Property Boundaries,
Negligence,
Defamation,
Alienation of Affection,
Land Use & Zoning

Operating as usual

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours. 03/31/2022

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours.

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours.

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their phone number. 03/28/2022

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their phone number.

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their phone number.

02/05/2021

When you hear “visitation rights”, you may picture a non-custodial parent visitation arrangement. While this is true in many cases, it is also common for grandparents to seek visitation rights with grandchildren. If you are a grandparent and desire to obtain court-ordered visitation rights in Mississippi, the following is a summary of the legal requirements for doing so.
In Mississippi, grandparent visitation is governed by a specific statute which permits grandparent visitation under two circumstances. The first circumstance is where the grandparent’s child---i.e., one of the parents of the grandchild---has died, lost custody, or lost parental rights, and the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child to have visitation with the surviving grandparent(s). In making the determination as to whether grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the child, the court will consider all relevant facts and circumstances, specifically including the following:

1. The amount of disruption that extensive visitation will have on the child’s life (i.e., school activities, summer activities, or disruptions between the interaction of the parent and the child).

2. The suitability of the grandparents’ home with respect to the amount of supervision received by the child.

3. The age of the child.

4. The age and physical and mental health of the grandparents.

5. The emotional ties between the grandparents and the grandchild.

6. The moral fitness of the grandparents.

7. The distance of the grandparents’ home from the child’s home.

8. Any undermining of the parent’s general discipline of the child.

9. Employment of the grandparents and the responsibilities associated with that employment.

10. The willingness of the grandparents to accept that the rearing of the child is the responsibility of the parent, and that the parent’s manner of child rearing is not to be interfered with by the grandparents.

The second circumstance in which a grandparent may be granted court-ordered visitation is where the grandparent can show an established, viable relationship with the child, and the parent or custodian of the child has unreasonably denied visitation rights to the grandparent. Also, as previously discussed, the court must find that it would be in the best interest of the child for the grandparent to be awarded visitation rights.
As with any other legal matter, consultation with an attorney prior to making a decision or taking action is the best course.
This article is not legal advice, is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be considered as legal advice. Free background information available upon request.


Photo By: Ekaterina Shakharova on Unsplash

12/09/2020

Going to Court? Stay at home.

Michael K. Graves
Graves Palmertree, PLLC

In today's business climate and litigious society, it should not be either unexpected or unanticipated by any business to be involved in a lawsuit with a customer or another business. Commonly litigated issues for businesses are collections, breach of contract, breach of warranty, and misrepresentation actions.

Should a business find itself in the position of needing to pursue legal action to enforce its rights, or in the position of being sued, it would be in the best interest of the business for the litigation to be conducted in a court near its geographical location. This is not because the business should expect a "local" court to be more favorable, but because of numerous legitimate business concerns, including, but not limited to, the additional travel expense of litigating in a distant court; increased disruption to normal business operations when the owner and/or employees are required to provide testimony in a distant court; the need to retain legal counsel in another jurisdiction with whom the business has no prior relationship or familiarity; possible application of the law of another jurisdiction which may very well be different than the law of the business' local jurisdiction; and, witnesses and evidence being much more costly to obtain.

To attempt to avoid these types of issues, a business should consider with legal counsel including in its contracts a “forum selection clause” (a work order, invoice, or other document used in a particular business may be a “contract”). A forum selection clause is a provision included in a contract which specifies that any legal action relating to the contract must be brought in a specified court of a particular jurisdiction. While Mississippi recognizes the enforceability of such clauses, the clause must be carefully drafted consistent with Mississippi law, or a court may find that the clause does not preclude litigation in another jurisdiction.

Certainly, the ideal solution is to avoid litigation if possible. However, should litigation become necessary or unavoidable, it would be in the business’ best interest to “stay at home” with an appropriately drafted forum selection clause.

This article is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the facts of any particular situation and the state of the law at any given moment. The information provided should only be used as a guide regarding the issues individuals and businesses may face and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Free background information available upon request.

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours. 12/07/2020

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours.

Graves Palmertree PLLC updated their business hours.

CDC Issues Guidance on Holiday Celebrations and COVID-19 Safety | Lexology 11/24/2020

CDC Issues Guidance on Holiday Celebrations and COVID-19 Safety | Lexology

This article includes a summary of the CDC's guidelines for COVID-19 era holiday celebrations.

CDC Issues Guidance on Holiday Celebrations and COVID-19 Safety | Lexology Is this week’s COVID-19 news giving you flashbacks to early pandemic stress and anxiety? You are not alone. With the holidays approaching - and being…

Growth of New Businesses | Lexology 11/18/2020

Growth of New Businesses | Lexology

While our firm has continued to see ongoing development in Desoto County, this is a somewhat surprising article on commercial development from a national perspective.

"Business Lawyers That Mean Business"

Growth of New Businesses | Lexology America is currently experiencing what some are calling a "startup boom." That's right — even with a raging pandemic and an ugly recession…

FDCPA Claims Based on Collection of Time-Barred Debt Claims Result in Class Settlement | Lexology 11/12/2020

FDCPA Claims Based on Collection of Time-Barred Debt Claims Result in Class Settlement | Lexology

DEBT COLLECTION: While the class action settlement discussed in this article includes a provision that the creditors/defendants will include a specific notice in all future debt correspondence if the collection of the debt is time-barred, there is no such requirement under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") relating to the collection of consumer debt (as defined by the FDCPA). However, the attempted collection of a consumer debt beyond the applicable time period for collection is a violation of the FDCPA which can result not only in the debt being extinguished but also an award of damages against the creditor seeking to collect the time-barred debt. Partial payments on the debt may affect the time within which the debt or a portion of the debt is time-barred, but that can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. In short, both creditors and debtors alike should be aware that there are specific time limitations for collection of a consumer debt, and creditors do not always understand or recognize that attempts to collect such a debt beyond a certain period of time may be a violation of the FDCPA inuring to the benefit of the debtor.

Michael K. Graves
Graves Palmertree, PLLC
"Business Lawyers That Mean Business"

FDCPA Claims Based on Collection of Time-Barred Debt Claims Result in Class Settlement | Lexology Two collection agencies agreed to new disclosure requirements when attempting to collect on time-barred debts, in a settlement agreement…

Revisiting force majeure and other contractual considerations amid covid-19 | Lexology 11/11/2020

Revisiting force majeure and other contractual considerations amid covid-19 | Lexology

The "Practical Considerations" addressed in this article provide great guidance for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Revisiting force majeure and other contractual considerations amid covid-19 | Lexology In addition to the tragic human toll that it has caused, the coronavirus pandemic has also wreaked havoc on businesses throughout world, leaving…

CDC Changes Definition of “Close Contacts” for Contact Tracing Purposes: What Does This Mean for Employers? | Lexology 11/09/2020

CDC Changes Definition of “Close Contacts” for Contact Tracing Purposes: What Does This Mean for Employers? | Lexology

"Close Contact" for COVID-19 quarantine purposes is now more strict.

CDC Changes Definition of “Close Contacts” for Contact Tracing Purposes: What Does This Mean for Employers? | Lexology On October 21, 2020, the CDC published a new definition of “Close Contact” for contact tracing purposes. This new definition will affect how employers…

11/06/2020

Get A Fresh Start On Bad Debt

Michael K. Graves

Worse than no sales or no work is not getting paid for your goods or services. Not only do you not get paid, but you have then also either absorbed the cost of the goods or sacrificed the sweat of your brow without compensation. Nothing in business is worse. While no business can wholly avoid “bad debt”, you should at least start out the new year with a plan to attempt to do so and a contingent plan when the inevitable bad debt arises.

One of the biggest issues facing businesses when considering the collection of debt is the age-old adage of “throwing good money after bad”. This is certainly a valid consideration, but one that can be largely avoided by proper planning.

First and foremost, know to whom you are extending credit before doing so. If the person/business is not financially capable of honoring his/her promise to pay, you have lost money before you even started. Although some businesses may not be comfortable requesting a credit application before providing goods or services on credit, it is certainly more uncomfortable to not get paid.

Also, while the collection of certain types of debt, as a matter of Mississippi law, includes the recovery of at least a portion of the attorney’s fees incurred in collecting the debt, that is by no means the general rule. A business should have a provision included in its contract or on its invoice consistent with Mississippi law which expressly provides that the business will be entitled to recover all attorney’s fees incurred in collection if legal action is necessary to collect the debt.

Before pursuing collection, you should also consider whether a judgment could in fact be collected against the debtor—another aspect of “throwing good money after bad”. If the debtor has no assets or net worth and no job, you very well may not be able to “get blood out of a turnip”. Of course, as previously mentioned, this is something that should have been considered on the front end before ever agreeing to sell goods or provide services on credit. Having said that, however, a judgment can be renewed every seven years for an infinite period of time, so most people will eventually marshal some assets, get a job, or try to buy/sell a house, and the judgment will therefore likely become collectible later.

As your business looks forward to the beginning of a new year, develop a plan for avoiding bad debt, and then plan to collect the inevitable bad debt.

Michael K. Graves
Graves Palmertree, PLLC
Hernando, MS
662-429-9302
www.gpfirm.com
“Business Lawyers That Mean Business”
This article is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the facts of any particular situation and the state of the law at any given moment. The information provided should only be used as a guide regarding the issues individuals and businesses may face and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Free background information available upon request.

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Hernando, MS
38632

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm

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