Valdosta law firm J. Stephen Gupton, Jr. P.C. has announced that it will merge with the law firm of Coleman Talley LLP effective April 1, 2014. Partner, J. Stephen Gupton, Jr. said the merger was pursued after the two firms realized they held a common and shared approach to business. “With this merger, we will strengthen our core practice of Residential Real Estate, and we will be able to provide many services and cover areas of expertise that we did not have the resources to provide previously,” he said. “Best of all, we will not change our client service culture and we will maintain our direct relationships with our clients. We will be able to provide our clients with all the benefits of a large firm, while maintaining our historical fee structure and client attentiveness of a mid-sized firm.”
Steve Gupton has practiced law since 1970; opening his own solo practice in 1985, where he has worked diligently through the years to become a well known and respected attorney in the Valdosta community. Steve is accompanied by attorney John E. Dalton, Jr., who joined J. Stephen Gupton, Jr. P.C. in 2000, helping Steve service the firm’s Real Estate and Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights practice.
“We are excited to welcome attorneys Steve Gupton, and John Dalton to Coleman Talley,” said Russ Henry, Managing Partner of Coleman Talley LLP. “Steve and John’s practice area expertise will be an excellent addition to our team of lawyers.”
The merger is consistent with Coleman Talley’s strategic goal of growing its real estate practice areas. Steve Gupton will continue to work from the offices on East Gordon Street, which will become Coleman Talley’s dedicated residential real estate closing facility. Gupton will be accompanied by Coleman Talley Partner, Richard L. Coleman.
As Coleman Talley expands their residential real estate area of practice, they are also working diligently to fully implement the American Land Title Association’s latest Best Practice guidelines by summer of 2014, followed by the official certification process. “These ‘Best Practices’ are the result of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) impending efforts to implement an additional level of scrutiny directed at financial institutions; taking consumer protection compliance outside of the four walls of the bank”, said Henry. “Compliance with ‘Best Practices’ is currently voluntary; however our firm wants to make certain that we are doing our part to protect the consumer and the lender’s interests. “It is expected that the CFPB will require Financial Institutions to have an effective process to oversee their business relationships that ensures compliance with Federal consumer financial law.” “When that time comes, Coleman Talley LLP will be ready with the necessary certification documentation, simplifying the review and selection process for the Lender.”
Attorney John Dalton, Jr. will be moving to the firm’s Patterson Street office in Valdosta, Georgia, where he will join the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights team, managed by Coleman Talley Partner Mark A. Gilbert. John’s knowledge and experience in his areas of practice will bring added value to the firm. The firm has extensive experience as creditors’ counsel, providing effective representation to financial institutions, secured creditors, credit card companies, commercial landlords, investors, contractors and other parties at risk of loss during the discharge or reduction of debt phase of bankruptcy. Mr. Dalton will also continue to provide services in the areas of residential real estate, estate planning and new business formation.
Coleman Talley was recognized as one of the Top Ranked Law Firm’s in the United States by Martindale-Hubbell in 2013 and 2014. More than 254,000 law firms were considered in the selection process, but less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation made the final cut.
“Our clients can still pick up the phone and continue working with the same professionals they have grown to trust and rely on,” Gupton said. “The relationships we have built with our clients are the foundation of our business, and this is embraced by Coleman Talley. I have great confidence in our success as our two firms come together as one.”
Coleman Talley traces its roots to 1937, when B. Lamar Tillman founded a small law office in Valdosta, Georgia. Tillman worked diligently to establish the foundation of the firm’s commercial transactional and litigation practices through his representation of Citizens & Southern National Bank (now Bank of America), Georgia Power Company, the City of Valdosta and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Today Coleman Talley has offices in Valdosta, and Atlanta with 33 attorneys representing clients throughout the United States.