In today’s digital age, technological advancements are revolutionizing the legal industry. One such breakthrough is the integration of Chat GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) technology into law firms. This cutting-edge language model, powered by artificial intelligence, has the potential to streamline and optimize various aspects of legal practice. By utilizing certain aspects of Chat GPT, law firms can enhance their efficiency, improve client experiences, and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Legal Research Made Easy
One of the most time-consuming tasks for legal professionals is conducting extensive research to build strong cases and support arguments. Chat GPT can significantly reduce the burden of legal research by providing quick access to relevant information. Lawyers can use the chat-based interface to ask questions or seek guidance on complex legal issues, and the AI model will generate detailed responses based on its vast knowledge base. This saves valuable time and allows legal professionals to focus on higher-level tasks, such as case analysis and strategy.
Automated Document Generation
Law firms deal with large amounts of paperwork. From contracts and agreements to legal opinions and briefs, Chat GPT can automate the document generation process by generating drafts based on predefined templates and specifications. Lawyers can provide the necessary inputs, such as factual details and case notes, and the AI model can generate accurate and customized documents. Chat GPT can help streamline the workflow, minimizes errors, and improves overall productivity.
Enhanced Client Communication
Effective client communication is critical for every law firm. Chat GPT can be utilized as a virtual assistant, interacting with clients through chat interfaces and addressing their inquiries in a prompt and personalized manner. This ensures clients receive timely updates and clarifications, fostering stronger client relationships. Moreover, Chat GPT can assist in providing initial legal advice, screening client inquiries, and offering general information on legal processes, thereby improving accessibility and client satisfaction.
Predictive Analytics and Case Assessment
Another valuable application of Chat GPT in law firms is its ability to analyze large volumes of case-related data and provide insights. By leveraging machine learning techniques, the AI model can identify patterns, highlight relevant precedents, and offer predictions on case outcomes. This assists lawyers in making more informed decisions and devising effective legal strategies. Furthermore, Chat GPT can assist in risk assessment, aiding in the evaluation of potential legal challenges and their associated probabilities.
New Technology Brings New Potential
The integration of Chat GPT technology in law firms has the potential to revolutionize legal practice, offering numerous benefits in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and client satisfaction. By automating tasks such as legal research and document generation, providing enhanced client communication, offering predictive analytics, and facilitating ongoing legal education, Chat GPT can empower law firms to adapt to the demands of the digital age. Embracing this AI-powered technology enables law firms to optimize their operations, deliver better outcomes for clients, and stay at the forefront of the legal profession.
It is important to note that Chat GPT is not a replacement for an educated attorney. However, it is a tool that attorneys may utilize in modern times to be more efficient in practice management.
Photo Credit: James Williams Photography
Want to know the answers to the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients? Check out the top Tressler FAQ and answers.
As a law firm, we get asked lots of questions every day. We don’t mind because we understand people make better decisions when they are fully informed. It’s one of the many ways we are committed to being different from other law firms. We never want you to feel afraid to contact our team. Afterall, you are the reason we do what we do and answering your questions is one way we can help.
These questions are the most asked for a reason, because legal and title services can sometimes be confusing, and everyone goes through moments in their life when they need a legal team they can trust.
Is there a consultation fee to speak with an attorney?
No. At Tressler, we take the time to understand your needs before taking any transactional steps. You will have the opportunity to speak with an attorney about your matter without any upfront financial obligation.
What is a retainer fee?
A retainer fee is an upfront amount of money paid in full for future services performed by our team. We keep our clients updated on the status of their allotted retainer funds as we handle their matter. Should the maximum amount be reached before your matter is complete, our team will reach out before the retainer reaches its limit to discuss next steps. Portions of retainer fees are refunded if the services you requested end up costing less than originally planned. Please reach out to our team if you have any questions about retainer fees.
Do I need an Operating Agreement for my LLC?
Yes. To protect the business’ limited liability status: Operating agreements give members protection from personal liability to the LLC. Without this specific formality, your LLC can closely resemble a sole proprietorship or partnership, jeopardizing your personal liability.
Why should I de-title a mobile home on my property?
Mobile homes have a title exactly the same as a motor vehicle. The title shows the name of the person(s) who legally owns the mobile home. The title alone does not make the mobile home a permanent part of the real estate. The de-titling process legally combines the manufactured home with the land. It is often required by lenders before financing.
Why is a title examination important in a real estate transaction?
A title is a document that shows evidence of right or ownership of real property. If you are purchasing a home or commercial property, it is important to make sure the title is reviewed. The proper transfer of ownership will depend on whether the title is clear and can help you avoid future problems if you wish to sell the property at a later date.
When a real estate dispute arises, is litigation the only option?
Disputes are possible in any legal field, including real estate. If you are dealing with any type of real estate dispute, such as a property defect or boundary dispute, you may be able to resolve the matter outside of the courtroom through negotiation. This will usually be an attorney’s first course of action, with litigation only considered if it is impossible to reach an out-of-court agreement.
Title insurance is a policy that protects you from any issues that may call your ownership into question or keep you from completing your purchase. These issues could include illegal deeds, unknown liens, forged documents, missing heirs and unknown easements. Title insurance provides financial security to address any issues that may arise.
How long does my title insurance policy last?
For a one-time fee, your owner’s title insurance protects your property rights for as long as you or your heirs own the home.
What do I need to bring to my real estate closing?
Some of the items you will need to bring to closing are a photo ID, a cashier’s check made payable to Tressler Title or wire instructions for transferring funds electronically. Don’t worry, our team will reach out before your scheduled closing day to ensure you know all the details and what to expect at closing.
Probate is a legal process that validates the last will and testament of a person who has died, appoints an executor (if one is not named in the will) and oversees the distribution of assets outlined in the will. This process occurs before the deceased’s assets can be distributed. Probate also ensures the deceased debts are paid. When the deceased does not leave behind a will, Tennesse’s intestacy laws determine how their assets will be distributed.
What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without a will in Tennessee, your assets will go to your closest relatives under state “intestate succession” laws.
How do I know if I would benefit from a trust?
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you have a net worth of at least $100,000 and have a substantial amount of assets in real estate, or have very specific instructions on how and when you want your estate to be distributed among your heirs after you die, then a trust could be for you.
We understand every situation is unique. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We would be glad to speak with you, answer your questions and learn how we can help.
An Interview with CMO Megan Climer
Learn how Chief Marketing Officer Megan Climer transformed the Tressler brand and her advice to business owners considering a brand refresh.
A new role brings new opportunities
When Megan Climer joined Tressler & Associates in August 2022, she was eager to dive into brand development. Just a couple of weeks into her new role, she began to see opportunities for Tressler to differentiate itself from other law firms in the market. In this interview, she explains what makes a brand and shares how she developed their new visual identity.
Most people think a brand is a name and logo. How do you define a brand?
Their definition isn’t wrong, just incomplete. I have spent the majority of my professional career learning what makes a great brand. A brand is a name and a logo, but I believe it offers so much more. Your brand is your unique identity. And like a person, it has exterior and interior attributes and characteristics that make it identifiable to the world. Like a person, a brand has dreams and a purpose (a vision and a mission), values, a personality, a voice, a story, and an overall essence or feeling. Really, a brand is powerful. It is the foundation that informs and supports your overall business strategy. And it can be your most valuable asset for managing growth.
What did you do first to start developing the new brand?
The first thing I did was take a detailed look at our competition and the overall market. It sounds counterintuitive to spend your time analyzing everyone else, but a competitive analysis is critical to building a brand. By evaluating our competitors, I learned where we fit into the market and the unique opportunities we had to stand out.
What did you do after you finished the competitor analysis?
The next thing I did was complete an audit of our brand. I reviewed the competitor data to see how we measured up, which is always an eye opening experience. It allowed me to see where our brand was falling short and where we had opportunities to shine.
Like many service industries, the legal industry lacks uniqueness. The brand landscape looks very similar in both styling and messaging. I have always said that if everyone else is saying it, it probably isn’t worth saying. Industry platitudes and buzz words become expectations, not differentiators. I knew if we were committed to being different from traditional law firms, our brand had to look and feel different from a traditional law firm. It was our time to break away from the industry brand “standards” and offer a new brand experience.
What inspired the new logo?
After comparing and analyzing for several weeks, I began to brainstorm ideas for how our brand style could be unique. I knew right away what visual elements did not fit our brand personality and what opportunities were available to stand out among our competitors.
I also spoke with Todd and Lisa about our culture and brand personality to get a sense of who we are and what a Tressler brand experience feels like. Todd shared some of his grandfather’s old business papers with an added sticky note that said “brand inspo.” From all of this I began to visualize what our brand style could be. Using combinations of color, texture, pattern, typography, photography, videography, illustration and tone, you can build a complete brand identity that is unique and powerful. I pulled inspo from lots of visuals and created a mood board that kick-started my design.
What did you design first?
I started with our typography. Almost all of our competitors use typography that is traditional and serious in tone. It just made sense to try to design our logo icon using lower case letters. By making the “ta” lowercase, it now feels more approachable, accessible and warm, all things we believe make up the Tressler experience. The lowercase nods to the era of typewriters (inspo from the old papers) and adds a vintage flair to the brand. I used a sans type as our accent font instead of a traditional all caps serif for our business name. Our brand now feels modernized and more relevant to today’s consumer.
It’s great to learn the logic behind the letters. What led you to choose orange as your new brand color?
This part was fun. Color psychology is actually a thing, and it is fascinating! Did you know color works at a subconscious level faster than words or images and creates a gut response? So color choices matter. For us, our previous brand colors were black, red and gray. This overall palette communicated a more bold, corporate, serious and traditional feel all things we believe do not represent who we are. It was also a common color palette used by others in our industry. By changing our colors, we could instantly add visual uniqueness and more accurately communicate our brand personality and essence to our target audience.
Here are some of the insights that influenced this decision. Orange is known as a creative, abundant, positive, passionate, secure and comforting color. The redder tones of orange can communicate strength, stamina and determination, and brown is a color that is viewed as grounding, reliable, balanced, honest, sincere and warm. From all of these attributes, we developed the Tressler orange.
What can we expect next from the Tressler brand?
We are so excited for what is to come! We just launched our new website this month. Our website partner FortyAU, helped me bring our new brand experience to life. Our website showcases our new look, but more importantly, offers a user experience unlike anyone else in our market.
Our social media will also see a refresh. These platforms will continue to be a place we tell our story and engage in meaningful ways with our audiences. Our team also plans to release a series of free digital resources to offer more education around our practice areas to include; digital downloads, blogs, webinars and a new podcast. These extra resources will all be available on our website. As a marketer, I live in creative mode. A new brand offers so many opportunities to educate, entertain and add value to our audience.
What advice do you have for business owners considering a brand refresh?
Wow, that could be a whole other interview! But I’ll do my best to keep this short. Maybe we’ll answer in more detail on a future podcast. (smiles and winks)
1. Define your goals.
When starting any new project having a goal in mind is always a great first step. Why are you choosing to work on your brand? Defining what you want your brand to do for your business will help you create a brand identity that delivers results. Are you a start-up preparing to launch, or are you a small business getting ready to roll out a new product or service? Are you trying to stay competitive and looking for ways to gain more market share, or do you already have a brand but feel it’s time for a makeover? No matter what your reasons are, declaring your motives will enable you to set goals and stay focused as you work through the process.
2. Do the research.
Get to know your target customer and analyze your competition. I didn’t mention customer analysis earlier, but they also influence and impact your identity. Because the truth is, without our customers, we have no business. A deep dive into their personality and habits can help you learn what will resonate most with them. Knowing your competition is powerful. An analysis will take some time to complete, but it is insight you can use to position your brand for lasting success in your market.
3. Be true to who you are.
Know who you are and who you want to be. Your brand is more than a hip logo or slackline. Your brand is your story, your personality, your values, your mission and much more! It is an experience, and one that should be all your own. Your brand can do so many things for your business. It should set you apart, communicate a clear message, tell a story, build credibility, connect with your audience, motivate action, create memorable experiences and loyal fans. You can start your brand refresh today by doing a simple brand audit. Ask yourself how your brand is doing? How well does it do all the things listed above? Where are there opportunities to improve, and where can YOU shine?
As Chief Marketing Officer of Tresler & Associates, Megan leads the marketing, communication and development initiatives for the Tressler brands. She works to strengthen the company’s position as a trusted leader in the legal and real estate industries.
Megan is an award winning web and graphic designer and writer with nearly two decades of business to consumer experience with large and small organizations in marketing, communications, business development, public relations, advertising and brand innovation. She’s an experienced consultant, working with large and small businesses in brand development and marketing strategy and leads brand development workshops for rising and seasoned entrepreneurs. Megan is currently working to complete her first book on brand development estimated for release in late 2023.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are not typically something you’ll hear about unless you’re deep into the world of investment opportunities. They’re special companies that operate as trusts and oversee real estate investments. A company acting as a trust may sound strange, but this is how many large trusts work.
When someone with a lot of valuable property and capital places a significant amount of it in a trust, a group of people is continuously paid by the trust to maintain it. Sometimes they work to invest it to grow the contents of the account. A famous example of this would be the executors of the Tolkien Estate, a trust created to protect and maintain the property of the famous author J. R. R. Tolkien, writer of the Lord of the Rings book series.
Currently, Tolkien’s two main executors–Baillie Tolkien and Michael George Tolkien–and a team of lawyers and investors control and care for his estate. This is similar to how many REITs operate when put in simpler terms, but how it starts and benefits a regular investor is a different matter.
Who Creates a Real Estate Investment Trust?
A group of investors can come together or be broached by professionals to invest in real estate investment trusts. Regardless of whose idea it is, investors put money into a trust that purchases and operates real estate properties on their behalf. These investors can be wealthy individuals, investment firms, or large corporations.
What Are the Benefits of Investing With REITs?
REITs are perfect for when stock market investors want regular incomes. These allow investors to invest in nonresidential investments when they wouldn’t normally be able to. Real estate properties such as office buildings, mall complexes, and storefronts are usually impossible for individual investors to purchase themselves. With a REIT, they can.
What makes these trusts even more appealing to investors is that a REIT is what can be considered a highly liquid venture. These are exchange-traded trusts, where investors put liquid cash flow in and get liquid cash flow out. They don’t see real estate agents or title transfer companies if they don’t want to. To be safe, we would recommend that you have an attorney to oversee the title transfers and the contracts to protect your investments.
Investors also only have to be involved as much as they want, which is another reason to invest in a REIT. It operates like a business, meaning others run the day-to-day and only communicate with the investors when they need to put funding in or take the profit out. Though, again, we recommend that investors at least have their attorneys watching over any REITs they’re a part of.
What Can You Invest in With a REIT?
There are many different properties that can be purchased, managed, and sold by a REIT that should interest real estate investors. These include properties that would otherwise be near impossible for an individual investor to invest in themselves due to the time and money needed to make and keep them operational.
Typically, a REIT will focus on one type of real estate, not all of these examples at once. Before you enter into any REITs, you want to make sure there’s a clear goal. It’s unlikely that there are many real estate managers who know how to manage apartment complexes, healthcare facilities, and cell towers. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone could manage retail centers and warehouses considering the connection between their businesses. They require business and legal research to make sure that your investment in a REIT is a safe one.
Contact Tressler & Associates Before Entering Any Real Estate Investment Trusts
A real estate investment trust is a good way to grow your portfolio and your capital, especially if you don’t have the time or energy to manage real estate properties yourself. But they aren’t bulletproof, so you need to make sure they’re with qualified investors and managers.
For any aspect of a real estate investment trust, contact Tressler & Associates today.
Loans and payouts aren’t only for incredibly wealthy and successful multi-billion dollar businesses. For small businesses, there is what is called a Small Business Administration loan, or an SBA loan for short. These loans are designed to support small businesses as they start and/or grow in profit and manpower.
What is the SBA?
The SBA, a U.S. agency that guarantees and oversees loans to small businesses, is designed to counsel and assist small business owners with growing their own businesses. They have tools and educational resources available, some for free and some not. These tools and resources include:
Loans: The agency itself doesn’t loan small businesses money but connects them to sources that do and oversee the loan process. These loans are issued by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions that partner with the SBA.
Entrepreneurial Development: These counseling and training programs are provided by the SBA for a low cost. There’s no experience level required to take them, and they also have mentor programs that can connect new business owners to retired and existing entrepreneurs. There are over 1,800 locations that offer these services across the country.
Contracting: The SBA handles 23% of the U.S. government’s contracting dollars. They only give these contract dollars to small businesses that can provide a service or product for federal departments and agencies. 5% of the 23% is reserved for women-led businesses, 3% for disabled and veteran-led businesses, and the remaining 15% can go to anyone.
Advocacy: The SBA also works as an advocate for small businesses in the nation by reviewing legislation and pushing laws that serve the interests of small business owners.
What is an SBA Loan?
As mentioned, the SBA connects small businesses to loan providers and guarantees your loan. They only partner with verified loan providers that can be trusted to work with small businesses to succeed. The only time the SBA will loan out money themselves is to provide disaster relief.
Having a backed or guaranteed loan means that if the recipient defaults on it or can’t pay it on time, a third party will assume the debt. This means if a small business takes on an SBA loan and defaults on it, the SBA will have your back and take responsibility for the loan.
What Are the Types of SBA Loans?
Like any loan, there are multiple types that serve different purposes. Sometimes a business needs more money than others, and for different reasons. Because of this, the loans have different repayment schedules and different qualifications for loan approval. These SBA loan types include:
504 Loan: Also known as a Grow loan, this provides up to $5 million to a small business to buy assets the business needs to operate. This can include real estate property.
7(a) Loan: This is the SBA’s primary loan program. The maximum loan amount is $5 million and is commonly used for starting businesses.
Disaster Loans: These provide relief in the event of an uncontrollable disaster. This can include natural events like a storm, hurricane, and earthquake, or emergencies such as robberies, riots, and product recalls.
Having the backing of the SBA makes your business far more likely to receive a loan. The agency also allows businesses to make lower payments for a longer time period than loans without the backing of the SBA.
What Do You Need an Attorney For?
A common misconception about SBA loans is that if you fail to pay them, the SBA will cover them for you. You still have to pay the SBA instead, they’re just easier to handle and will charge your business less than another loan lender, but you still have to pay. What you should do in this situation is modify your repayment plan, and to do that with the loan lender or the SBA, you need an attorney.
To change your payment plan, or keep shady loan collectors off your back, contact the corporate law attorney at Tressler & Associates for help.
With the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA), there are some rules and regulations that current and potential landlords and tenants need to know about. You may not be giving services you owe your tenants under the law.
Many of our clients own one or more residential rental properties that they rent out. For the most part, these clients are people potential tenants in the community can trust. We know them to always try to do the right thing, and our legal advice helps them do that. That’s how we know there seems to be a lot of confusion and myths about what the law actually says about various rental problems.
Most of the time, if the rental property lies in a certain county in Tennessee where the population is over 75,000, it falls under URLTA. For example, residential locations here in Wilson fall under the URLTA of Tennessee. If the county’s population is under 75,000, then the laws are usually governed by Tennessee case law and are much more difficult to traverse.
These laws can be somewhat difficult to understand. When understood, they are a guide for the landlord. They can lead a landlord through the many minefields of landlord-tenant law. With the help and advice of an attorney, any landlord can understand what they need to do.
In almost all instances of landlord-tenant disputes, it takes an attorney who is a veteran in this area. Our law firm has handled hundreds of these disputes, many of which settle outside of litigation. Our residential real estate attorneys can help you proceed through your contracts as a landlord or tenant. If you have a legal question about the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, please contact us today.
The great city of Nashville has recently shown an increase in population which is a sign of a growing economy. With new buildings continuously covering the city, Nashville has become a top destination of attraction and business. These are positive signs that the economy is thriving in the real estate world, which leads to a demand in both commercial and residential properties.
In order to take advantage of the real estate market, which has been on the rise for many years now, it is important to obtain the services of a real estate attorney so that you can legally protect yourself. Consulting with a real estate attorney provides many benefits to a successful transition. An attorney is able to create or evaluate an existing lease for the property that you currently own, or wish to own in the future. There can be many liabilities that are not known while being the owner of a property. In order to feel confident when you are going through a lease agreement, it is necessary to seek the guidance of a professional who can get the facts and provide the proper services.
There are a few policies that can protect you from any issues that may arise during the process of buying or selling a property. The first is for the owner to obtain owner’s title insurance. This is necessary so an owner will be protected from any issues concerning the title of the property that may arise, and you will not have to solve those issues alone or out-of-pocket. The next is for a lender to also have title insurance. If the owner or lender has a title insurance policy, that is not enough to be protected. Both the owner and the lender must acquire title insurance so that you can be properly covered and not have to worry about any of the issues because you will be protected.
Our attorneys make this a peaceful process and assure that your interests will be protected. Let us take the stress off of you and eliminate any possible risks of liability. Have a professional help take you through the proper steps to be safe in your purchase or sale of property.
Are you currently buying or selling a home? Is this your first time buying or selling a home? If so, you should probably consider owner’s title insurance. There are a lot of questions people have regarding this insurance policy, but among the greatest is, “Do I really need this?” This is a completely reasonable question. In Tennessee, you are not legally required to have it, and no one wants to pay for something unnecessary.
What Does Owner’s Title Insurance Do?
At its most basic level, owner’s title insurance protects a property owner from the consequences of a claim on the title of the property. Most people assume this protects you from someone saying, “Hey, this is my house!” Although that is true, it’s not the primary reason. This would seem rather silly because this is such an uncommon and strange occurrence. A claim would likely appear in a different form. Most claims are almost completely out of the purchaser’s control.
The Need Behind Insurance
For example, human error is an ever-present risk. Of course, businesses strive to do their best, but we are human and we make mistakes. From the surveyor’s measurements of the property to the title search to the recording of liens, there is room for mistakes. And of course, there is always a possibility of fraud. Has someone intentionally not conveyed their marital interest? Is someone using fake IDs? Subject to certain limitations, owner’s title insurance protects homeowners from these types of risks.
It is also important because of the monetary protections. If there is a title issue, you will probably not be able to sell your property until you resolve the issue. If you do not have title insurance, you will have to resolve that problem out-of-pocket.
Keep in mind that even though your lender has a lender’s title insurance policy at closing, that does not automatically cover you. A lender’s policy only covers the lender.
Tressler & Associates Can Help You Get Title Insurance
Owner’s title insurance is a one-time payment at closing and one of the cheapest types of insurance you will find. Because of the broad protection that it supplies, we recommend all property owners obtain owner’s title insurance.
When you buy real estate in Tennessee, there are different options when it comes to having your property titled. It is important to know the differences because it changes your rights to the property. Here is an explanation of the basic title options available in Tennessee.
All Types of Title Options
Tenants In Common: This is the default title option for everyone except married couples. When a property is held as tenants in common, everyone with ownership rights to the property has a right to use the property. Unless otherwise specified, the ownership of the property is equal. This means when you’re selling your property, you split the proceeds equally with the other owners. Because this is the default rule, unless the owners specifically use another option, the owners will be considered tenants in common. It is also important to note that property held as tenants in common by individuals will likely have to go through probate in order to be transferred.
Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship: Joint tenants with rights of survivorship own the property equally. The biggest distinction here is that there are survivorship rights. This means that the surviving joint tenant(s) will acquire the deceased joint tenant’s portion upon their passing. This means that you do not have to go through the probate process to transfer the property. It is automatic until the last tenant living passes away. There are strict specifications on how to form the title. So if you need to title your property in this manner, you need an attorney to properly accomplish your goal.
Tenants by the Entirety: This is the default rule for married couples and is only available to married couples. Tenants by the entirety is very similar to joint tenants with rights of survivorship in that the survivorship rights exist, meaning probate will not be needed to transfer real estate when the first spouse dies. However, tenants by the entirety has one major difference–extra creditor protection. Creditors of only one spouse cannot attach to and sell the interest of the debtor spouse if the property is held as tenants by the entirety. The creditor must be a creditor of both spouses or have the permission of the non-debtor spouse to have that ability. The creditor can only attach to and sell the debtor spouse’s survivorship rights. Because of the survivorship rights and creditor protection, tenants by the entirety is an attractive option.
Contact Tressler & Associates for Real Estate Help
Title options are not simple. A real estate attorney can help you understand them and find the right one for you. If you are unsure how your property is titled or want to see if there are better options for you, contact our real estate attorney for help. We would be glad to find the best option for your situation.