About Our Practice
I have now been practicing law for more than 28 years, either as a member of a larger firm, a small firm owner, and/or as a sole practitioner. In 1983, I began practicing law in the area of commercial litigation, more specifically in the area of trade secrets and propriety information. I pride myself on the fact that I still represent today my very first clients.
In the mid-1980s, I continued to specialize predominantly in litigation, but the focus of my practice became the representation of small businesses and small business owners, many of them involved in the real estate industry, including builders, developers, realtors, mortgage brokers, and home or property owners. I also began doing more transactional work for my clients, including incorporations, general real estate and business contracts, employment contracts, wills, trusts and probate.
My greatest pleasure in the practice of law is helping fledging business owners set up their new businesses, helping them grow and flourish, serving the personal broader legal needs of their owners and employees, handling their basic document needs and, when necessary, handling their litigation and/or alternative dispute resolution needs either as plaintiff or defendant.
Within the last few years, Superior Court Judges have called upon me to serve as special master, receiver and/or commissioner in real estate matters, including quiet title actions. I also offer services, and have been trained, as a third-party, court-registered "neutral" in mediation proceedings.
Since I started my own business in 1992, I have variously had associates and/or worked within a collaborative legal practice, sharing space with several other attorneys. Currently, I am a sole practitioner, but I network with a wide variety of legal and financial professionals. If you need a lawyer, please give us a call to let us know how we can best serve you. If we cannot fulfill your needs, we will do our best to find you someone who can.
-J. Patrick McCrary, November 2011
275 14th Street, N.W. Suite 200
Atlanta GA 30318
Real Estate Services
We provide a broad range of real estate-related services. I began representing real estate developers and builders in 1983, and over the years have broadened my real estate practice to include just about every conceivable aspect of that area of the law. We regularly draft and negotiate both residential and commercial real estate sales contracts and leases, including joint ventures. We regularly represent homeowners in disputes with contractors, contractors and builders in disputes with homeowners, condominium and homeowners associations, realtors and real estate brokerages, and property owners who have title and boundary line issues. I regularly serve as a special master in the Superior Court of Fulton County, in quiet title actions and tax sale matters. We represent residential and commercial landlords in disputes with their tenants, and tenants in disputes with their landlords. We represent private lenders, in foreclosure and eviction matters. We represent borrowers in wrongful foreclosure actions.
Real Estate Purchases and Sales: Probably the best advice we can give to anyone potentially entering into a real estate purchase or sale, either as buyer or seller, realtor or investor, is to consult with a lawyer before you sign the contract. Especially in today's volatile real estate market, no one can afford to have a contract that is not binding or which leaves too much room for interpretation if controversies arise. Sellers need to know their obligations under current authorities concerning disclosures about property conditions. Buyers need to know what disclosures sellers are obligated to make, and if, and when, they can expect to get their earnest monies back if their deals fail to close. Everyone needs to read every word of every contract they sign. If you do not understand some of those words or what implications they have, you need to consult with a qualified lawyer.
Leases: Landlords need to know what their obligations are concerning security deposits and property repairs. Tenants need to know what obligations their landlords have to make repairs that are not the tenant's fault. Commercial tenants need to know that commercial landlords have or may have significantly fewer obligations to the tenant than residential landlords do. Never use "canned" lease (or sales) contract forms that you find on the internet or buy at the office supply store, at least not without having them reviewed by a Georgia attorney first. Contracts tailored for general usage, or for usage in another state, may omit provisions critical to their effectiveness and enforceability under Georgia law.
Associations: Condominium and homeowners associations need to have careful guidance to comply with the Georgia Condominium Act and related association laws. In the current real estate environment, more and more condominium and homeowner associations are faced with budget problems when repairs need to be made to common areas, while unit owners and members are failing to pay their dues necessary to fund those repairs. Associations need to know how to deal with bankruptcy and foreclosure issues.
Boundary and Title Disputes: All property owners need to know the right ways, and the wrong ways, to resolve boundary line and title issues. Ignoring a neighbor's encroachment is not the right way. Waiting too long to address an encroachment, may result in loss of title due to prescription and/or adverse possession. If you and a neighbor have disputes over a boundary line, it would be prudent to agree upon and record a written boundary line agreement which settles the dispute once and for all. Never assume just because you bought title insurance, that your title insurance will protect you from all boundary or title problems. Title insurance policies usually contain many exceptions to coverage.
Lenders and Borrowers: Lenders, big and small, need to have legal counsel who understand the intricacies of usury laws, laws governing predatory lending practices, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z promulgated thereunder. Lenders in the current market need to know how to cope with borrowers who know how to "work the system," so to speak; leading the lender down a path of endless bankruptcies, court challenges and appeals designed to allow the borrower to stay in his or her home or business without making mortgage payments or paying rent. Conversely, honest borrowers need to know when a lender has engaged in illegal practices or made critical mistakes in enforcing their rights under loan contracts or applicable law. Georgia law allows "power of sale" foreclosures, meaning foreclosures without judicial process, but only if the lender strictly complies with notice and publication laws. Lenders and borrowers need to know about post-foreclosure proceedings, including "confirmations" and evictions.
If we can help you with any of these issues, please call us. If we are not able to help you with your problem, we will do our best to refer you to someone who can.
Please note that we generally do not do real estate closings, per se. However, we are affiliated with several excellent real estate closing firms and work closely with them to accommodate our clients' needs.
-Patrick McCrary, November 2011
Rae is our paralegal and legal assistant with 14 years experience. She graduated from Miami-Dade Community College in 1999. The majority of her legal experience was obtained working for several law firms in the Miami area. In 2008, Rae and her family relocated to the Atlanta area and currently reside in Hiram. She is excited about working with our firm and raising her family in Georgia.
Rae can be contacted directly by phone at our offices, or by email at: [email protected]