Protecting Your HOA Against Embezzlement and Fraud

Many of you may be aware of the recent news stories of embezzlement and fraud involving HOA property managers and Board members. Unfortunately, these actions have affected both new and long-time clients of this firm, and we are proud to assist these HOAs in getting back on their feet. It is important to note that the vast majority of property managers are highly respectable, ethical and…+

Michael Ganley Joins Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite

Attorney Michael R. Ganley, of Bagwell Holt Smith P.A., has been awarded Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite-Real Estate for 2016. Business North Carolina magazine has been honoring exceptional North Carolina Lawyers since 2002 with this prestigious award. The Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite recipients are chosen by other attorneys in the state, where every active lawyer in the state has an opportunity to vote. The…+

Understanding Depositions

When legal battles are portrayed on television, witnesses usually find themselves facing a harsh barrage of questions by passionate attorneys while sitting in a witness box.  In reality, if you are ensconced in a legal situation, these questions may come sooner than you think.  Prior to stepping foot in a courtroom, many plaintiffs and defendants come face-to-face with opposing counsel, answering questions while a court…+

5 things you SHOULD NOT DO if you are injured in a car accident.

5 things you SHOULD NOT DO if you are injured in a car accident Admit fault. While you may want to apologize, this is considered an admission of wrongdoing, so say as little as possible. Only take photos of vehicle damages. The other driver can easily claim that their car was also damaged in other areas, if you cannot refute this with evidence, so take…+

Can your dog inherit your estate? The truth about pet trusts.

Pets inheriting money may seem ridiculous at first glance-a result of hotel heiresses with funds to squander. What is Rover going to do with thousands of dollars, fill a shopping cart with dog treats and tennis balls? Your pet may not be able to spend the money, but it can help them get the care you desire. In North Carolina, pets are considered personal property.…+

My Attorney’s on Facebook: Maintaining Confidentiality in a Digital World

We live in a world inundated with social media, exist in a society that prefers texting to calling. Businesses have known the importance of webpages for years but have expanded their presence further by the creation of Instagram and Twitter accounts. Yes, your attorney probably has a Facebook page. While recognizing the ease with which we can now communicate, how does this affect people who…+

After the Affair: When Affections Have Been Alienated

In August of 2015, 37 million Ashley Madison accounts were hacked and subsequently made public. This website, created for people to engage in extramarital affairs, held personal information on people from all walks of life. The release of this list will likely lead to many divorces, but in the state of North Carolina it may lead to something more. They are often dubbed heart-balm torts,…+

Dressing for court: What message are you sending?

Whether you are showing up for traffic court or are a party in a civil suit, your appearance in court is important. What message are you sending while wearing a drug paraphernalia shirt while defending yourself on a possession charge? If you are dressed in a tight low-cut dress and you are a defendant in an alienation of affection case, it is highly doubtful that…+

10 Things To Do If You Are Injured In A Car Accident

In 2013, there were an estimated 3.8 million injuries from car crashes in the U.S. which needed medical attention. In that same year in North Carolina alone, 1,100 people lost their lives due to vehicular accidents. In fact, NC is the third most dangerous state in the country for driving in rural areas. Accidents are unpredictable and can be life-altering for those involved. If you…+

Clayton Homeowners Want Their Money Back

What happens to members of a Home Owner’s Association when they learn they were never affiliated with the HOA?  Attorney Michael R. Ganley, of Bagwell Holt Smith P.A., represents the HOA for Cobblestone, a subdivision in Clayton, North Carolina.