At the Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we handle a variety of different legal issues, including those involving matters of family law, estate planning, personal injury, criminal defense, and business law. With extensive experience as a trial attorney, Rusty Williard is not afraid to litigate your case and fight for you in court, if need be.

Family Law

Domestic legal issues can threaten a family’s finances and emotional well-being. This is especially true when it comes to minor children who depend on their parents to provide stability. Young children shouldn’t be worried about where they will be going to school or where they will be sleeping on any given night, but a poorly handled divorce or other family law matter creates exactly this kind of uncertainty in their lives. If you are facing the prospect of a divorce or are taking on another significant domestic legal issue, it is worth speaking to a dedicated family law attorney as soon as possible.

All states differ on the process of divorce. In Mississippi, those seeking a divorce must have the legal grounds to do so. Your divorce lawyer can give you more information about Mississippi state law and how it applies to your situation during your initial consultation, but there essentially twelve legal grounds for divorce which are accepted as legitimate by the Mississippi chancery courts that handle matters of family law. These are:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • A wife’s extramarital pregnancy
  • Habitual cruel and inhumane treatment
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Habitual drug use
  • Desertion
  • Imprisonment in excess of one year
  • Natural impotency
  • Incest
  • An official diagnosis of insanity
  • An institutionalization for insanity

Another ground for divorce, is they can do so on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and secure what is called a no-fault divorce. After a sixty-day waiting period, a judge may grant a no-fault divorce as long as the spouses concerned are in agreement about the core issues of their settlement, including child support, child custody, and maintenance. When divorcing spouses have shared financial assets such as insurance policies, credit cards, or retirement plans, however, the details can be very difficult to sort out without the aid of a skilled Mississippi divorce attorney, even when the couple concerned is seeking a no-fault divorce and doing everything possible to end a marriage harmoniously.

Couples who end up filing for a divorce under one of the legal grounds for doing so will have the details of their settlement determined by a judge. The key elements of the settlement (including how joint assets are to be divided, the amount of expected spousal maintenance, and the details of child support and custody orders) are based on a number of factors. These include the relative income of each spouse, the quality of each spouse’s relationship with their minor children, and what the court considers to be in the children’s best interest.

Child support is normally determined by multiplying the adjusted gross income of the non-custodial parent by a percentage depending on the the number of children. This is set forth by statute Section 43-19-101 Miss. Code Ann. which sets the percentages for those whose income is between $5,000.00 and $50,000.00 per year as:

Number Of Dependent Children            Percentage of Adjusted Gross Income

1                                                                 14%
2                                                                 20%
3                                                                 22%
4                                                                 24%
5                                                                 26%

A  family law attorney can assist you with presenting your case in the best possible light and increasing the chances of you getting a fair divorce settlement. At the Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we assist spouses and parents in Mississippi with divorce, child custody and child support orders, visitation matters, modifications, enforcements, and other family law matters.

Estate Planning

There is a common misconception that estate planning is only for couples in their golden years. The truth is that adults of any age can benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan in place. A sound estate plan isn’t just about taking steps to ensure that your assets are divided among your loved ones in accordance with your wishes after your passing. It’s also about making important decisions about your medical and financial well-being in the event that you are incapacitated or become otherwise unable to handle such affairs yourself. By making wise use of legal tools like wills, testamentary trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health directives with the assistance of a good estate planning attorney, you can protect your estate against unnecessary taxation as well as safeguard your dignity regardless of what the future may hold.

Individuals who want to establish a trust that only becomes a legal reality after their death can do so by creating a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust is contained in the will of a deceased individual and allows for the distribution of part or all of their estate among their beneficiaries. The person creating the testamentary trust is known as the settlor. The beneficiaries named are often the settlor’s children, but anyone can be designated as a beneficiary. Creating a testamentary trust also involves designating a trustee, who is responsible for overseeing the assets contained in the trust on behalf of a settlor’s beneficiaries. There are many reasons why an individual might want to create a testamentary trust, but frequently it’s because they don’t want to pass on their assets to their minor or young adult children in a single lump sum at the time of their death. By allowing a reliable relative or other capable person to act as trustee and oversee their property on behalf of their children until a certain time (usually either until they have reached a specific age or get married), settlors can see that funds are used responsibly and are there for their children when they need them.

We also represent clients in probate court and during will contests or other litigation related to estate administration matters. The probate process is overseen by a personal representative who is usually named in the will itself or else appointed by the state. Most of the probate process involves creditors’ claims. The personal representative is expected to account for and gather the assets of the deceased, honor outstanding debts to creditors, and then distributing the remainder of an estate among a decedent’s beneficiaries. Unfortunately, the probate process can become very expensive and time-consuming if it is not handled effectively. By partnering with a skilled estate administration attorney during the probate process, personal representatives can often greatly reduce the time and cost associated with probate and in some cases be able to avoid it altogether. An good estate administration lawyer can also represent family members or other interested parties during will contests. If you believe that the will of a recently deceased family member may be fraudulent or otherwise compromised, contact our Brandon office today.

At the Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we provide professional, affordable estate planning services for the State of Mississippi, including assistance with wills, testamentary trusts, inter vivos trusts, powers of attorney, guardianships, conservatorships, and other estate planning matters. We like to say that families really need three professionals when it comes to estate planning: an estate planning lawyer, an investments advisor, and a tax planner. We can’t perform all of these roles for you, but when it comes to estate planning, we have you covered.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorney | Brandon | Law Offices of Rusty WilliardHave you been seriously injured in a recent accident through little or no fault of your own? It’s in your best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney immediately. Accidents victims may be entitled to financial compensation that can used be to pay for medical bills and lost income as well as help address pain and suffering. Unfortunately, securing financial compensation doesn’t happen automatically. Victims and their families are the ones responsible for filing injury claims and making their case during negotiations or in court. By seeking legal representation immediately after receiving medical treatment for their injuries, victims can get help with gathering evidence, figuring out how much their claim is worth, writing letters of notification and demand letters, and the other portions of the claims process. Partnering with an aggressive personal injury lawyer can help you better present your case to claims examiners and significantly increase the chances of you receiving the maximum compensation to which you are entitled under Mississippi state law for your ordeal.

With millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts, the Law Offices of Rusty Williard has a great deal of experience in matters involving negligent injury. At our firm, we assist victims with personal injury cases related to auto accidents of all kinds including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. We also handle product liability cases on behalf of victims injured by malfunctioning, defective, or otherwise unsafe products and clients who have been seriously injured in slip and fall accidents or who are filing claims pertaining to other matters of premises liability law.

Furthermore, we represent clients in pharmaceutical malpractice cases. All medical malpractice cases require the solicitation of expert opinion before a victim can legally notify the appropriate parties about a pending litigation. We can assist you with securing testimony from physicians and other medical professionals whose opinion may be crucial to deciding the outcome of your case.

Our sole practitioner, Rusty Williard, is a well-known trial lawyer in Rankin, Madison and Hinds county and a member of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association who will gladly go to trial on your behalf if it becomes necessary to secure a fair outcome. From day one, we’ll be straightforward with you about what we think you can legally get from a settlement or trial, and we’re not going to take your case to court if we don’t think you can win. However, if your case does go to trial, we will do everything possible to protect your rights and get you and your family the monetary damages you deserve after a serious auto accident or other tragedy.

Criminal Defense

Being convicted of a criminal offense doesn’t just mean the possibility of prison time, it also means expensive fines and more. Felons may find it nearly impossible to get a job or rent an apartment, and under Mississippi state law, even have certain rights restricted. These could include the right to own a firearm or even to vote.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Mississippi, remember: besides seeking legal representation, the most important thing to do after an arrest is to remain silent when questioned by police. Don’t try to explain yourself or make excuses. Simply tell law enforcement officials that you need to speak with your criminal defense attorney before you make any statements concerning your case. It’s your right to remain silent after an arrest and you should do so if you expect to increase your chances of being found innocent or having your case dismissed.

The law offices of Rusty Williard have represented clients in DUI in Flowood, Pearl, Richland, Clinton Justice Courts, and other courts throughout the State of Mississippi with great success. Many of us may not think of drunk drivers as criminals, but drivers who are arrested for DUI for the first time are facing criminal misdemeanor charges and can be required to pay fines of up to $1000. Additionally, their licenses can be suspended by the Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles for three months or so following a conviction.

It’s important to note that in Mississippi, if you refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test at the time of your arrest, you can expect that your license will be suspended by the Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need an experienced attorney to get your license pending trial and help to get your license reinstated. This administrative suspension of your license is separate from the revocation of your license related to your criminal charges. A seasoned drunk driving lawyer can help you deal with this administrative suspension and the DMV as well as with the criminal justice system when it comes to helping you hold on to your license and your driving privileges.

At the Law Offices of Rusty Williard, we represent clients who have been charged with drug crimes, drunk driving, traffic violations, assault, domestic violence, weapons crimes, and other misdemeanors and felonies in Mississippi. Schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your charges. If we can help you, we’ll get to work on your criminal defense right away. In any case, we’ll give you honest advice about your situation and what we think you should do.

Business Law

Business Law Attorney | Brandon | Law Offices of Rusty WilliardA business law attorney can put you on the track to forming a new small business entity. There are a number of choices that your particular business may be in need of including a health corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or a partnership. We also have experience in advising clients in drafting documents in buy sell agreements, contracts, and litigating contract disputes.

Keeping your small business running smoothly in a competitive environment like the one Mississippi’s entrepreneurs face today requires more than just vision. It requires a keen understanding of state and federal law surrounding taxation, liability, and other business law matters may affect your bottom line. If you are starting a new business or are engaging in a major business transaction, a capable business law lawyer can help you make sure that you’re acting according to the letter of the law and protecting your interests and your rights at every step of the way. We can help put you on the track to forming a new small business entity such as a corporation or limited liability partnership as well as advise you about to how to proceed with a buy/sell agreement or other contract effectively.

We have experience representing clients in the greater Jackson metropolitan area during litigation related to business matters. Many business disputes can be resolved through mediation or other means, but if your dispute goes to civil court, we offer aggressive, capable legal representation to help you weather the storm.

Schedule a free consultation with a Mississippi attorney. Call (601) 824-9797 or fill out the form provided here.