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Gust Sarris
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
I was a business consultant and Entrepreneur for many years. During this time I had many attorneys and often felt that they certainly knew the law but often did not understand my business. About 8 years ago through my business efforts, I was in a place and time in my life where I could take some time off. I was always curious about the law and made the decision to attend law school. The first law practice I joined was not a fit for me. When I left I wanted to have a law firm that understood business and had a common sense approach to all forms of law The Affinity Law Firm was founded and immediately merged with the Law Office of Millie Kanyar. A strong partnership was formed that relied strongly on technology, business models, and an "affinity" for the law. In a short time another partner joined, Graham Syfert, and we have not stopped growing. Affinity Law now handles many types of law but has not forgot the basics that client service is number one. From the sound of our name you will find our approach to law refreshing. I hope that if you have read this far you will give us your enough trust to come in and see us and we will earn your trust. - Gust Sarris
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Published Legal Guides

El Faro being investigated by Local Attorney

How could this happen to the El Faro? Although I am a full-time attorney I am also licensed by the US Coast Guard as a Captain. I don't pilot freighters but am very familiar with what it's like to be a captain. Currently, Adsum Law Firm has been requested by a family member to look into the legality of what happened. First, I would like to say that my heart goes out to each and every family member who has to suffer through this tragedy. I have recently been told that the Coast Guard has officially ended their search for any survivors. Here is the El Faro by the numbers. • 735 feet - the length of the boat • 33 - crew members aboard • 391 containers loaded with material bound to Puerto Rico • 293 cars also going to Puerto Rico • 2 lifeboats and several rafts • 50 survival suits • 17 knots or approximately 20 mi./h the maximum speed (fast for freighter of this size) • 140 miles per hour sustained winds of the hurricane • 30 foot seas near the hurricane • 120 miles north of Crooked Island in the Bahamas • 1 human remains found in a survival suit The question remains as to why the ship sailed directly into the path of a category four hurricane. It appears that when the El Faro lost power it began the list 15°. With the weight of 391 containers possibly containing 40,000 pounds apiece, and 293 cars estimated at 2,500 pounds apiece, and with 140 mile an hour sustained winds it is unquestionable that the ship would be lost. There are several reasons why a captain may make a poor decision to continue onward despite this bleak and known weather forecast conditions. Unfortunately most of these are financial reasons, putting the entire crew and ship directly in the path of a vicious hurricane. Even our military's nuclear battleships and carriers run from this type of danger. Maritime law is complex and may involve multiple jurisdictions and most specifically the Jones Act. This is also known as a Mariners act of 1920. This federal law enables boat owners to be sued as a result of injury or death to seamen. This act includes provisions for when the ship was poorly maintained, or when the negligence of a captain or crew puts others in danger. Besides the act there are other laws which may also govern any recovery. Currently, Adsum is working on finding out details, attempting to obtain communications between the boat and others, and determining what relief is appropriate for the families that have lost loved ones. We will keep you posted on this as his ongoing investigation continues. Our deepest condolences to all been affected by this tragedy. - Gust G. Sarris, Esquire and the Staff of Adsum Law Firm

Stopped for a DUI? What are my rights?

I have had a few drinks and I see red lights behind me…What are my rights? First remain calm and pull over at the first safe location – a parking spot works well. If you are on the phone tell the person what is happening if you trust them and hang up immediately. Turn off the radio and hopefully you know where your driver license insurance and registration are located. This is not the time to be searching as the officer may suspect you are hiding something! Wait until he approaches the vehicle keeping your hands on the steering wheel and the car in park. Don’t make any quick moves and respond to the officer concisely. Don’t ramble. Don’t make excuses. When requested hand the officer the requested documents. Don’t try to strike up a conversation. Many times you may just get the ticket for speeding or making an illegal turn. In any case do not argue with the officer! I have had many people get DUI’s because they argued over the speeding ticket! This is not the time or place for winning an argument. If the officer asks you to step out you need to comply. If you are requested to perform the field sobriety exercises you need to make a decision. Ask yourself, how much did I really have to drink? How experienced am I at drinking? Drinking often doesn’t change your metabolism it changes how sober you appear. If two people of equal size and weight drink 5 beers. The experienced drinker will appear sober the other may appear drunk but both will have the same blood alcohol content. This is what the police measure. If you know you are drunk, don’t perform the exercises. This is your right. Often people have disabilities that may prevent them from performing well. Fatigue, back issues, vertigo or even a cold may affect your abilities. You can refuse the Field Sobriety Exercises (FSE’s). If you think you are sober you should take the tests. Understand that most people do not do well. At the end of the FSE’s or your refusal the officer will make a decision to arrest you or to let you go. Either way SHUT UP! Talking is not good at this point. If you are being arrested inform the officer you want an attorney and wish to remain silent. THEN SHUT UP. I cannot express this enough. Almost all police cars have cameras monitoring you and most people decide to ramble. You may be in there for a while. The police officer is not going to let you go to the bathroom. It is not going to happen so don’t bother asking. About 30% of the people wet themselves as the police are not going to convenience you in any way. Yes the handcuffs are hurting and they are not loosening them either. The police are not going to let you use your phone, move your car so it will not get towed, or anything else that you may want. The answer is no. Once again shut up! Yes- getting arrested sucks! You will now have only one more choice to make. You must decide if you want to take the breathalyzer. If you know you are really drunk a refusal is better than a “double blow” which is being twice the limit. If you failed the FSE’s you will not pass the breathalyzer. If you are an experienced drinker and feel buzzed you will fail the breathalyzer. If you refuse your license will be suspended for one year but you most likely will be eligible for a hardship license. You will probably spend the night in jail – also not pleasant. It is cold, the food sucks and you are told what to do. Also never discuss your case with anyone on the phone, in your cell or in holding. The phones are monitored, and often other inmates may be undercover police officers. Within 24 hours you will see a judge. A public defender is generally appointed unless you tell them you are hiring an attorney. Either way if you are by yourself - plead NOT GUILTY! A bond will be set and you can have one of your friend’s bail you out of jail. Go home shower and call an attorney that you trust or has been referred to you. Advertising is great but a good website doesn’t mean anything. Good luck and I hope you will never have to use this information. The above information is provided as advice on your rights. It is not a “get out of jail card.” The best advice is not to drink and drive! - Gust G. Sarris, Esq.

Jacksonville Dentist Class action Lawsuit - What is the statute of limitations?

What is the statute of limitations as it pertains to a Dental Issue such as Dr. Howard Schneider? Statute of Limitations questions are seldom black or white. If you sign a contract you know what the date is and clearly can count how many years it has been. Some cases are not so clear. For instance if a surgeon left an instrument in you it could be many years before you even discover it. In Florida this statute of limitations is usually two years. The question we must resolve is from when. It is generally the date when you knew or should have known you had an issue. Thus it could be 20 years later when you realize you have an injury. These questions are very complex and as recently as April of 2015 a judge had to decide if one of my client’s had waited too long before hiring my services. Even a great attorney may struggle to determine when the statute is up. Don’t guess when – see a qualified attorney!

Dr. Howard Schneider potential civil lawsuit or class action

It is official that JSO is investigating Dr. Howard Schneider. Adsum Law Firm has received an incredible amount of information regarding many parents who have had very bad experiences with this dentist. Attorney Gust Sarris believes that a class action lawsuit will occur based on not only the parents allegation but previous patients who were treated as children who remember their experience over 20 years ago with Schneider. Anyone with information please contact Adsum law Firm at (904) 398-9510.

Jacksonville Dentist possible class action Lawsuit

Adsum Law Firm has been retained by multiple clients who claim that they believe their children were inappropriately harmed by Dr Schneider in Jacksonville Florida. These claims include extracting more teeth than authorized by the parents, bruising the face and neck of the child, and having children "fall" after being sedated. Although these claims have not been substantiated by JSO or DCF as of yet they are alarming as all of these clients have substantially the same experience. Currently Gust G. Sarris of Adsum Law Firm is gathering information to determine if a class action lawsuit is appropriate. If you or anyone you know has had a similar experience with this dentist please call Adsum Law Firm at (904) 398-9510.

TRIM Notice Real Estate Tax Appeal - Appraisel - Assessments too High?

If you disagree with the TRIM notice you have just received you must appeal by September 13, 2011. Last year we had over 150 properties that needed our assistance to appeal. You should have receipts for work, pictures, etc. to assist in the appeal. If you are confused please see "how to appeal" on this blog or call us at 904 398-9510.

Deadline for Real Estate Tax Duval County Jacksonville Florida

September 13, 2010 is the last day to appeal your Duval county taxes. I have detailed how to fill out the petition as well as how to appeal on separate posts on this blog. If you need professional help our firm charges only $75 to begin the process with an absolute maximum fee of $200 to take it to the hearing. Good luck getting your taxes down!