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Pass the Water, Please

I feel like I did nothing but talk during the month of January! Though that's not much different than most months, January was a bit different. As you may have read in one of Michael Manely's earlier post, the month (and year) started off with Shelia and I presenting at the State Bar of Georgia's mid-year meeting. We were asked to speak about a topic very important to our collective whole - access to justice.

We presented our Justice Café model with an interesting mix of panelists. One of the panelists remarked very early on how they couldn't conceive family law being practiced within a limited scope model. We were able to demonstrate how it's not only possible, but we've been doing it for 3 years. The panelist that followed us, Mr. Bill Howe from Oregon, commented on how The Justice Café is leading the way on a national level as the practice of law evolves. It was a huge compliment and great to hear; it's become so much a part of our daily practice that we forget how few attorneys will actually accept limited scope representation cases.

The month of January ended with me presenting at the Savannah Bar Association's annual "Hot Topics" Continuing Legal Education seminar. My topic there was case law update on the family law cases from the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals in 2015. We have seen an increase in grandparents' rights cases over the past few years, and 2015 was no exception. It follows the census data: between 2000 and 2010, there was a 22% increase in the number of grandparents living with grandchildren. In 2011, 7 million grandchildren lived with their grandparents as the primary care provider for some 3 million of those children. It's definitely a hot topic in the family law arena and one we take seriously at The Manely Firm, PC.

All of this on top of my regular work of trying family law cases, mediating family law cases, counseling clients, and teaching another semester of family law at the Savannah Law School. I feel like I haven't stopped talking family law and access to justice all month! At The Manely Firm, it's what we do, all day, everyday, all around Georgia, all around the world!

And February is off to just the same busy start...

David Purvis

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