Garnishments in Georgia Must Be Handled by Lawyers
As a result of the September 12, 2011 Georgia Supreme Court’s adoption of the UPL Advisory Opinion No. 2010-1 issued by the Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law on June 4, 2010, employers whose employees’ wages are being garnished will be required to use lawyers in both filing garnishments or responding to garnishments.
Most Employers have considered this to be a clerical task and have not involved attorneys in garnishment proceedings. In September 2010 the State Bar of Georgia’s Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law determined that garnishment proceedings are legal proceedings which required representation by a lawyer. That Committee ruling was largely ignored until the Supreme Court affirmed that rule in its recent decision.
Compliance with this requirement will, of course, now require the use of an attorney to review and file any documents in a garnishment matter. The legal cost of involving an attorney, however, can be minimized if the Employer provides the attorney with as many documents as possible pre-prepared and to provide the attorney as much relevant information in a concise and organized form.
After the pre-prepared documents are presented to the attorney, the attorney should be able to review the information quickly and minimize the time required to assure that it complies with all statutory requirements under the applicable garnishment provisions.
If you have any questions regarding compliance with garnishment proceedings, please contact Gary Kessler via e-mail or call 404-909-8100.