Georgia Supreme Court Rules Non-Lawyers May Not Answer Garnishments


Over the years, Georgia employers have become accustomed to processing and responding to garnishments on their own. While legal counsel might be called upon to handle the more unique issues that inevitably arise in a garnishment proceeding, employers more commonly resort to their human resources or payroll departments to handle routine garnishments.

But last week the Georgia Supreme Court adopted what had until now been only an informal State Bar advisory opinion stating that a non-lawyer, such as a payroll clerk or human resources employee, who answers a Georgia garnishment is engaged in the unlicensed practice of law. In re: UPL Advisory Opinion No. 20101.

The Supreme Court’s decision effectively requires all Georgia businesses without an in-house legal department to hire outside counsel to review and respond to garnishment actions.

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