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John Dennis Duncan

John Duncan’s Answers

35 total

  • Should I sue a Jewelry store that has lost my property which they took and gave me a receipt for? Am I due the full value?

    hi, i took my diamond necklace to a jewelery store in georgia to be lengthened and made white gold. they gave me a receipt which shows a value of $8500. they were supposed to come up with a repair, have me approve the repair/cost and then proceed....

    John’s Answer

    There may be contractual terms on the "receipt" they gave you detailing the value, work done, etc. Without knowing what documents exactly were incorporated, it is difficult to say what your rights are. In the world of contracts, the language typically governs (unless terms are unfair, illegal, or some other reason).

    You also will have a problem with liability over the loss, depending on the contract. The jewelry store will likely say that an independent contractor is responsible for the loss, which may absolve them of liability.

    You could sue them, but more facts are really required to properly analyze the situation. As for the price you paid for the ring, that may be more difficult than replacement. I suggest contacting a local lawyer and bring them all paperwork associated with this transaction. With all the documents in front of them, they should be able to properly advise you.

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  • What type of lawyer do I need, if my husband have filled charges on me, ( stealing his company vehicle)?

    My husband and I had a demystified fight in the house, that morning , I locked him out of the house, he kicked in the garage door, which that door leads from the kitchen, I ran for my life, through the house to get away from him, I ran outside thr...

    John’s Answer

    A criminal lawyer is a safe bet for you considering the possibility of filed criminal charges. Even if the police on the scene did not charge you with anything, your husband could fill out a warrant application and ask a magistrate judge to find probable cause for your arrest. Criminal defense attorneys handle these problems every day.

    You may also want to talk with a lawyer that handles domestic/family law cases if you are afraid for your safety. In Georgia, we have procedures in place for temporary protective orders in cases where spouses are a danger to one or the other.

    In many cases, the same lawyer could handle both situations. Often lawyers that work criminal cases also handle TPOs and similar cases. There are a number of them in Fayetteville, Peachtree City, and Newnan. Best of luck!

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  • An attorney I hired wants me to give him a fee check to hold until I get the funds to underwrite it. Is this normal ?

    I signed a contract with an attorney who knew that I would have to liquidate assets to cover his fee. That process is taking longer than expected and he has asked in email for me to give him a check with the understanding that he won't cash it unt...

    John’s Answer

    Many attorneys will not begin work on a project until an initial fee is paid (aside from contingency work, that is). Occasionally, attorneys that want to or need to get started right away without payment may seek some sort of guarantee so that they can begin.

    You would not be committing a crime by post-dating a check unless you also had the requisite intent to defraud. And with his email, it is clearly documented that he understood your intent and that he agreed to hold the check. If he were to cash it, you might be able to recover if you had to deal with overdraft issues.

    That being said, once you give him the check he is legally able to deposit it and the bank is legally able to attempt to collect the funds. The only thing stopping him would be your email correspondence, and could quickly turn into a mess.

    Do not give anyone something you are uncomfortable with. I might write an email response confirming your intent to pay. Understand that this may mean he doesn't do any work for you until funds have been secured. Best of luck!

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  • I need a lawyer to get my kids back home so hat should I do

    I dont have any money and I wnot to kno can they work with me

    John’s Answer

    Each attorney or law firm will have their own fee structure which may involve payment schemes to suit you. There may even be a volunteer lawyer organization in your area that could help.

    A better question is where should you shop for a lawyer. When you say that you need your kids to come back home, it makes me wonder whether the kids are in the same jurisdiction as you are. Depending on the state of things, your lawyer may need to be more familiar with one location over another. If you have a divorce decree or visitation order in place and the person holding the children is in violation of that order, you probably need someone in the jurisdiction from that initial order.

    If, on the other hand, there is no order, or you need to modify what is already ordered, you likely need to find someone in the area of the children. I would start locally and tell your story; any good lawyer will let you know if you would be better off with someone in another jurisdiction. And if the kids are in another state, you will certainly want some representation in the state with the kids.

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  • Do I have a false case

    My girlfriend and I had an argument in NOV of 2014. An officer came to our house the night before the arugment cause my girlfriend called them. Well after the officer left my girlfriend and I had intimacy and that night she wanted to be sexual bon...

    John’s Answer

    Battery cases are difficult because typically the only evidence is testimony of the parties and what the officers find when they show up. Of course, what they find is typically "explained" by the one that sticks around to see the police. I can assume that your GF is saying that the scratches came from a fight. This becomes a question of credibility with your word versus hers. All the officer can say is what he was told and found.

    Of course, if the marks were made during consensual activities, that becomes a defense to battery. BUT, for a defense to work, you have to convince the judge/jury or prosecutor that you are more believable. It's tough, but not out of the question. If you do not already have a lawyer, I suggest you start looking quickly. These cases can get worked out with representation, but without an attorney you may find it difficult to convince the other side.

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  • Parental grandparents

    Our daughter died November 6,2014 leaving a daughter 5 years old and the absent father which has been in (Jail) since January 2014. We want joint custody of Our granddaughter since the fathers mother got full custody illegally of our now deceased ...

    John’s Answer

    It is imperative that you contact an attorney in the Dallas area immediately. Grandparent rights are allowable under Georgia Code, but there are multiple hurdles you and a family lawyer will need to jump to make it happen. Please use this site and search for family practices in your area (or the area the children are in currently) and start reaching out. Best answer to your question is: you might be able to work out a custody arrangement, but you absolutely need a lawyer's help to do it.

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  • Me and my boyfriend wants to get marry ,but he has a warrant for his arrest, can we get marry?

    He has probation violation for a shoplifting just because he didn't report to his probation officers for his the last report day. He wants to turn himself in as soon as we return from our honeymoon.

    John’s Answer

    There is nothing stopping you from getting married that I am aware. Criminal background checks are typically not part of obtaining a marriage license; plenty of people even get married while in jail.

    Now something to consider is whether he would or might get caught or called in based on the warrant at some point during the process. Because he is on probation, it might do him good to call his probation officer first. In my experience, things go exponentially better when probation officers know what is going on and are allowed to "grant" such a permission as turning himself in on a specific date.

    A lawyer may also be able to help you with this. We typically negotiate with probation officers and may be able to work something out so that your soon-to-be husband can think about you during the honeymoon rather than the chances of him getting arrested on that warrant.

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  • Can a plaintiff or defendant who has an attorney make an opening statement?

    I am wondering instead of the attorney, is the plaintiff or defendant allowed to make an opening statement? Or maybe do the closing statement?

    John’s Answer

    Technically there is nothing stopping a represented person from speaking on his or her own behalf in an opening or closing statement. We all have the right to represent ourselves in civil and criminal matters, and have the assistance of counsel (however that assistance might be utilized).

    HOWEVER, I would never recommend a non-attorney making the argument when they have counsel to represent them. Attorneys do their job most effectively as objective to the particular problem, something our clients cannot do. It is an attorney's job to advocate for you to the best of that person's ability, and your job to ensure they have all that you know to make that happen. A client needs to help his lawyer in this respect.

    When a client represented by counsel begins taking certain jobs away from their counsel during a trial, it signals to the judge and jury that the client does not trust their lawyer. Next question in their minds is why that client would use the lawyer in the first place; not what one wants the trier of fact to consider.

    As important, the judge may not want you to make such an argument when represented. Arguably, if one is represented by the public defender's office, one may waive their representation by making an argument on their own behalf.

    I would strongly advise anyone represented to let their attorney do their job. Give them as much information as you think they need and let them be your megaphone. Have a conversation with the lawyer to go over what concerns you might have over the opening or closing statements. Even if saying the same thing, usually when coming from a disinterested lawyer, the argument becomes more powerful.

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  • Does a lawyer have to visit their clients in jail?

    We hired a lawyer for my brother and she only visit him when is time to go to court and we pay her I feel like that s not fair he's facing serious charges like aggravate cm and aggravated sodomy

    John’s Answer

    The most reliable answer is that we, as defense attorneys, meet with our clients whenever and wherever we need to advocate effectively. In typical fashion, attorneys do visit the jail if that happens to be where their clients are located. However, attorneys are not "required" to go to one place or the other; our goal is to do the best job possible for our clients. I suppose it is possible that your brother's attorney can get all the information she needs from him during court sessions, and I certainly cannot say that it would be impossible to represent someone and meet only in court.

    My suggestion to you is to speak with your brother's lawyer about your concerns. She likely has a good reason for not visiting the jail, such as privacy concerns or something similar.

    I will say this. Do not assume that she is not working hard for your brother. We attorneys often work tirelessly on our cases, but that does not always involve client participation. Witness interviews, evidence review and retrieval, negotiations with the prosecutor, judicial conferences, all take substantial time, further the case, but do not involve our clients. Have that talk and see if she calms your concerns. Best of luck!

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