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Best Lawyers 2018 Awards For Nichols And Durward

best lawyers awards anne durwardMassey, Stotser & Nichols, PC, a law firm based in Birmingham, AL, is proud to announce that two of their attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Both were nominated for their expertise in the Family Law category.

Shea Waldrop from Massey, Stotser & Nichols, PC says: “We are so proud that Attorneys Randy Nichols and Anne Durward have been put forward for this prestigious award. It is a true testament to their dedication to family law and to making sure that their clients have the best representation regarding family issues. Their unwavering commitment to their clients is what has really made them stand out.”

The Best Lawyers organization was founded in 1981 and is aimed at highlighting the extraordinary work done by lawyers across the country. Since its establishment, Best Lawyers has set itself apart as the world’s most unbiased and reliable source for legal referrals. Being nominated for Best Lawyer is a lengthy process that includes a full peer evaluation of professional expertise. If a nominee receives sufficient peer reviews, they then go through a further authentication process to ensure they are truly in good standing and are currently practicing.

randy nichols best lawyers awardsRandall W. Nichols is Virginia born and bred, and attended the University of Virginia to obtain his law degree. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University. In 1986, he moved to Alabama where he started to practice family law litigation. He also mediates in family law disputes as a certified mediator. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1986.

Anne Lamkin Durward is from Birmingham, AL. She attended the Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA. She then returned to Birmingham to study at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. She is a true family person who spends free time with her family and friends. She also coaches the National Moot Court Team with Cumberland School of Law. Durward serves on the board of various organizations and has been very active in the legal community. She was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1995.

In order to be nominated as Best Lawyers, both Nichols and Durward had to be reviewed by their peers on numerous occasions. They did so extensively, but their client reviews have equally stood out. For instance, Cheryl B.R. says about Anne: “Anne Durward represented me in 2014-2016. She is one of the most knowledgeable and compassionate women I have ever met. Although my case was not complicated, she treated me as a valuable client and was most attentive to my calls and emails. I highly recommend her and the firm to anyone looking for individualized service and expert representation.”

That being said, the firm’s overall peer review score, according to Lawyers.com, is currently 4.7, further testament to the excellence of not just Nichols and Durward, but the entire team at Massey, Stotser & Nichols PC. The same is also evident from the various other client reviews that the business has received, in which it is clear that their personal attention and commitment to positive outcomes shines through. Adam S., for instance, says on the firm’s Google reviews page: “Cannot say enough about the folks at Massey Stotser and Nichols. I have used them on both a professional and personal level and they did not disappoint. They also participate in numerous community functions – thanks for all you do.”

For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has helped people all over the world find the best possible legal representation. Their attorney ranking service is the most respected worldwide. It has helped thousands of people identify the most appropriate legal services for their needs, finding those professionals who can represent them in unfamiliar specializations or distant jurisdictions. Indeed, the publication is used not just by those seeking legal representation for themselves, but also by other professionals in the field of law who require advice, information, and guidance.

The award is a clear recognition of the hard work of the entire team at Massey, Stotser & Nichols, PC. Shea Waldrop says: “Randy and Anne feel it was truly a team effort and that they couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone else. That is incredibly kind, but we say that the honor is all theirs.”

Who Is A Reasonable Person? The Reasonable Person Standard In Alabama

reasonable person lawyer birmingham When you are involved in an accident, you may sustain physical injuries, you may sustain mental injuries, and you may even be out of work until you are able to recuperate fully. When this occurs, you want to be compensated by those responsible for your injuries. You have two options: You can file a claim with insurance companies, or you can file suit. When you file suit, your fault in the accident and whether you acted as a reasonable person will determine whether you will be compensated for your injuries.

So, what is the reasonable person standard? If you or a loved one is seeking information about this, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham personal injury attorney to help find the best possible outcomes for your situation.

Reasonable Person in Alabama

When you have been injured in an accident and are filing suit with a claim based on negligence, the reasonable person standard will apply. To be negligent is to act or fail to act in such a way that causes injury to another person. When negligence occurs, Alabama law seeks to determine whether the actors in a negligence claim were reasonable. Reasonability focuses on how a typical person in your exact circumstance would have acted. For instance, a reasonable person would not yell “fire” in a crowded theater if there was no fire, nor would a reasonable person run a red light.

Generally, when the reasonable person comes into question, a jury will determine whether you or another person acted reasonably. It is important to note that there are nuances in place in regards to a reasonable person standard. For instance, a reasonable adult will not be held to the same standard as a reasonable minor or professional person such as a doctor. Because of this, it is invaluable to seek legal advice and representation if you find yourself in this situation.

Need Legal Advice?

The reasonable person standard and how it applies to your situation can be the determining factor inwhether you are compensated for your injuries. Because a personal injury attorney understands this, it is invaluable to seek legal advice and representation if you have been involved in an accident and have sustained injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case.

Major Changes in Landlord-Tenant Law

photo of a rental agreement to illustrate major changes to alabama's landlord-tenant lawsTo all the landlords out there, we wanted to let you know of  very recent changes to the Landlord Tenant Act that is of major importance.  Effective June 1, 2018, the following changes became effective:

Act 2018-473, HB421, amends Section 35-9A-421, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to noncompliance with a rental agreement, to: (1) to expand the acts or omissions that constitute a noncurable default of the rental agreement; (2) clarify that the seven-day notice period for a notice to a tenant of noncompliance with a lease is seven business days; (3) specify that no breach of a lease may be cured by a tenant more than two times in a 12-month period except by written consent of the landlord.

Of particular note is the change in the time that is available for a renter to cure a curable breach such as rent.  The law use to provide for seven days, but now provides for SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS.  Also, the tenant now only gets two chances to cure the same breach in a 12-month period.  So, if a tenant is habitually late, you only have to let them cure twice after proper notice. After that, you do not have to allow them to cure.

Should you have any questions about the changes or if you need assistance with any of your landlord tenant needs, do not hesitate to contact Massey, Stotser & Nichols, PC.

Juveniles and Drug Crimes

teenager drug charge lawyer birmingham Watching your children grow into young men and women can be an overwhelming yet wonderful experience. During this time, you try to steer them in the right direction and help them make the best decisions possible. At some point, though, they will make mistakes because they are human.

Unfortunately, some mistakes are bigger than others and can result in your child becoming a part of the criminal justice system. This often results from juvenile drug charges, which can be life altering for your child and lead to serious consequences. Because of this, if you or a loved one is seeking information about drug charges for a minor, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham juvenile criminal law attorney.

Juvenile and Drug Crimes

In Alabama, there are several types of drug-related criminal charges with which a juvenile can be charged. These criminal charges can consist of:

  • Possession of drugs;
  • Sale of drugs;
  • Manufacturing of drugs;
  • DUIs related to drugs.

In Alabama, a judge often has the discretion to charge a juvenile, which is considered to be anyone under the age of 18, as an adult or as a juvenile depending on the case and the severity of the crime committed. If a juvenile is charged as an adult, he or she will receive the same punishment that someone over the age of 18 would receive. However, when a juvenile is charged and convicted of a drug crime as a juvenile, there is a wider range of options and penalties available than if the juvenile is charged as an adult.

Juveniles may face penalties such as:

  • Paying fines and court costs;
    Receiving probation and/or community service;
    Drug counseling;
    Detention;
    Driver’s license suspension.

Unfortunately, these are not the only consequences that juveniles can face from drug crime convictions. Drug crime convictions can result in the juvenile not receiving financial aid for college, not being able to join the military, or face challenges when finding a job. Because of the severity of the consequences a juvenile can face, it is important to seek legal advice and representation if you find yourself or your loved one in this situation.

Need Legal Advice?

Juvenile drug charges can have a huge impact on your child’s life. The lifelong consequences that are attached to these crimes can be devastating and overwhelming for a juvenile. If you or a loved one is facing a juvenile drug charge, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced juvenile criminal law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today.

Can I Seek Back Child Support?

child support lawyer birmingham When you and your spouse decide to have a child, you do not expect to have to take care of that child alone. You expect your child’s other parent to do his or her part in raising that child, not only physically, but financially, as well. When this does not happen, you, as the custodial parent, may decide to seek child support from the non-custodial parent. However, what happens when the other parent fails to pay child support? Can you seek back child support? If you or a loved one is seeking information about unpaid child support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney to strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.

Back Child Support

Child support is typically awarded to any custodial parent to provide financial assistance for a child’s needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. This support is given until the child reaches the age of 18. Child support is granted by courts, though sometimes the non-custodial parent does not pay child support at all or falls behind in his or her support obligation. When this occurs, a custodial parent has the right to petition the court for any unpaid or back child support, also known as arrears.

To get this process started, the custodial parent files a petition seeking back child support in the court that initially entered the Order for Child Support. If the judge grants the petition, you must submit your enforcement order along with the original support order to the Department of Human Resources. Upon the happening of this event, the non-custodial parent is “encouraged” to pay back child support by Alabama imposing a number of sanctions upon him or her. These sanctions can consist of:

  • Withholding income;
  • Suspending licenses;
  • Jail;
  • Charging interest on the past due amount
  • Putting liens on property.

It is important to note that though child support obligations terminate upon the child’s 19th birthday, back owed child support is still enforceable upon the non-custodial parent up to 20 years from the date of the original Order for Child Support.

Need Legal Advice?

You should not have to take care of your child alone. There are obligations for both parents when they have a child and one of those obligations is taking care of children financially. If you have taken out child support on a non-custodial parent and have not received that support, you have a right to receive back child support. If you or a loved one is seeking more information about back child support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today.