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Joseph L. Phelps, III - Southeast Georgia Litigation Attorney Joseph L. Phelps, III
PRACTICE AREAS

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Mr. Phelps has litigated numerous personal injury claims on behalf of injured victims. These cases include automobile collisions, premises liability and other similar cases where individual or corporate negligence results in serious injury or death. Joe focuses on preparing each case with the expectation of presenting that case to a jury. Whether it be promptly returning telephone calls or meeting with you in your own home for your convenience, Mr. Phelps strongly believes in providing personalized service to each of his clients.



Trucking Accidents
Mr. Phelps represents victims who have been injured or killed in accidents caused by the negligent operation of large trucks. Negligence committed by drivers for large trucking companies, such as unsafe driving or the carrying of oversized loads, results in thousands of deaths and severe injuries each year. Joe's litigation expertise and tenacious advocacy allows him to maximize the compensation his clients receive for the negligence of these trucking companies and their drivers.


Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Mr. Phelps handles cases involving complex issues of contractual liability, breach of fiduciary duty, business torts and other similar disputes arising out of business operations and transactions. Cases are approached and litigated with the objective of obtaining favorable results in an efficient manner, with an emphasis on maximizing value for the client while protecting the client's trade secrets and proprietary business interests.


Business Transactional and Advisory Services
Mr. Phelps handles numerous issues that arise with respect to the formation, operation, sale/purchase and dissolution of business entities. Joe's practice includes drafting documents and contracts required by incorporations and formation of partnerships and limited liability companies. Mr. Phelps prepares partnership and shareholder agreements and other similar contracts required to protect the interests of partners and shareholders. Joe also advises businesses and business owners regarding disputes that often arise in the context of running a business.


Appellate Practice
Mr. Phelps handles appeals of civil and criminal cases to the Court of Appeals of Georgia and the Supreme Court of Georgia. Joe is experienced in preparing written briefs and presenting oral arguments to higher tribunals regarding errors of law and erroneous findings at the trial court level. Each case Mr. Phelps tries is approached with an eye towards preserving all legal errors for ultimate review by a higher court, if necessary.


Domestic Relations/Family Law
Mr. Phelps assists clients with domestic disputes involving divorce, complex asset division, child support, prenuptial agreements, legitimation, paternity, child custody, and the modification of prior awards and court orders. Joe has handled hundreds of cases in this area and is committed to helping clients through this difficult and often emotional process.


Real Estate Litigation
Mr. Phelps has significant experience in real estate-related litigation, including matters involving commercial and residential leases; the resolution of nuisance and trespass claims; real estate sales contract claims; and the filing or dismissals of lis pendens, tax liens, materialmen's liens and other encumbrances upon real property.


Estate Planning & Administration
Mr. Phelps provides clients with the following estate services:
  1. Basic Estate Planning: Drafting wills, trusts and durable and healthcare powers of attorney.
  2. Estate Administration: Advising personal representatives on all aspects of probate procedures and administration of decedent estates.

Criminal Defense
Mr. Phelps is among the most accomplished, experienced criminal defense attorneys in Southeast Georgia. In 2009, Joe defended a man accused of Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Wayne County Superior Court. After an 8 day trial, the jury acquitted the man of both charges. Mr. Phelps has also defended several other clients charged with drug crimes and Burglary and obtained not guilty verdicts and mistrials for his clients. Joe has displayed a commitment to vigorously defending all accused of serious crimes.


Mr. Phelps' criminal practice includes the following areas:
  1. Federal: Joe has significant experience and education related to the defense of Federal Drug and Firearms Offenses. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Booker, held that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are advisory only, not mandatory. Since that time, Mr. Phelps has followed the decisions of the Federal Courts in which the Courts grant a downward departure from the Guidelines. In 2009, Joe defended a man accused of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. At sentencing, the Government asked the Court to sentence the man to 46 months in prison, based on the Guidelines. Mr. Phelps presented evidence of numerous mitigating factors that justified the Court to depart from the guidelines and obtained a prison sentence of only 26 months for his client.
  2. Violent Crime: Murder, Manslaughter, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, etc.
  3. Drug Offenses
  4. Fraud, Theft or Property Offenses
  5. Sex Offenses
  6. DUI and other Traffic Offenses: From his experience as a defense attorney and as a Municipal Court Judge, Mr. Phelps knows all the "ins and outs" of DUI and traffic law.
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