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Ramsey, Baxley, & McDougle Law Firm

When you need an attorney, choose
the experienced law firm.

About us

The firm traces its origins to J. Robert Ramsey, who began the practice of law in 1929 and continued practicing until just weeks prior to his death in 1979.

Wade H. Baxley partnered with J. Robert Ramsey in 1971 to form Ramsey & Baxley. Two years later, Joel Ramsey joined his father's firm, becoming a partner in 1973. In 1982, Charles McDougle joined the firm, and became partner in 1985 with the firm changing to its current name of Ramsey, Baxley & McDougle. Hamp Baxley, the son of Wade H. Baxley, joined the firm upon graduation from law school and became a partner in 2003.

After many years of dedicated service to the firm, Joel Ramsey retired in September of 2013. Wade H. Baxley continued his distinguished career as an attorney with the firm until shortly before his death in March of 2015.

Contact Information

P.O. Drawer 1486

212 West Troy Street (36303)

Dothan, Alabama 36302

Phone: (334) 793-6550

Facsimile: (334) 460-7814

Latest questions and answers

Our Attorneys

1Client Expectations

Capable representation by an attorney who is competent and demonstrates legal knowledge, skill, efficiency and thoroughness preservation of confidences revealed in the course of the lawyer-client relationship.

  • capable representation by an attorney who is competent and demonstrates legal knowledge, skill, efficiency and thoroughness
  • preservation of confidences revealed in the course of the lawyer-client relationship
  • zealous representation within the bounds of the law
  • the right to make decisions about your case, with the advice of your lawyer
  • information about your case or legal matter and copies of legal papers relating thereto
  • a reasonable fee for the legal services provided and an explanation of fees and expenses, if requested
  • the exercise of independent professional judgment, free from conflicting or compromising influences
  • the highest degree of ethical conduct
2Can I Discuss the Fee and Payment Arrangements With My Lawyer?

In your first meeting with a lawyer, you should discuss how much your legal work is going to cost and how your payment is going to be made.

You need this information to make an informed decision about how to proceed. Often, a lawyer cannot tell you exactly what the total charge will be because it is hard to estimate how much work is going to be involved. However, lawyers can usually estimate the minimum and maximum limits of the fee for that particular work, or give you some idea of the problems involved and the time that will be required. The timetable for paying legal fees depends on arrangements between you and your lawyer. Usually, lawyers require an advance payment, often called a retainer, to cover the initial work and court costs paid on your behalf. In other matters, you will be billed at the end of each month or at the completion of the services. You should never hesitate to discuss fees at any time during the handling of your legal matter. If you receive a statement that isn't clear to you or believe the fee isn't proper, talk it over with your lawyer. Misunderstandings about fees usually result from the fact that the client is not aware of the extent of the lawyer's work on the case. This is by no means the client's fault. If you do not regularly see your lawyer, you may understandably believe that the activities of the lawyer are limited to those which you do see. Yet, you should remember that a lawyer, unlike a doctor or dentist, performs many professional services when the client is not present. For example, clients are expected to pay their lawyer for time spent on phone calls, writing letters, or drafting and reviewing documents.

3Common Legal Problems

Typically, you should consult a lawyer before you buy or sell a home, sign a contract, make a will, organize or dissolve a business, make a statement to the police or admit or deny guilt for a crime.

You should also consult with an attorney before you change your family status through marriage, divorce, birth or adoption, after you have been in an accident involving injury to a person or damage to property, or when a lawsuit has been threatened or filed against you. Even a change in employment status may be an appropriate occasion to seek legal advice.

4Do You Need a Lawyer?

It is not always easy to know whether you have a legal problem requiring a lawyer’s assistance.

In a complex society, there are many situations in which legal advice is necessary or desirable. Nearly everyone at some time is faced with legal questions. Those untrained in the law may not always be able to recognize the existence of a legal problem or know how to analyze a legal issue. The best way to determine whether you have a legal problem or need legal assistance is to ask a lawyer. The sooner you ask, the better. The longer you wait to determine whether you have a legal problem, the more likely it is that you will have fewer options or that your situation will have worsened by the time the legal issue is addressed. Lawyers frequently do not charge for an initial consultation or for answering simple questions prior to undertaking the representation of a client. Lawyers are trained to recognize and analyze legal issues and can be expected to tell you if your problem warrants legal action. Sooner or later, almost everyone needs to see a lawyer. Many people turn to a lawyer only as a last resort -- after the contract has been signed, or the creditor is threatening, or the spouse has walked out. The saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is as true with legal matters as it is with regular medical checkups. Good legal advice is one of the greatest preventive measures a lawyer can provide. Early consultation with a lawyer may prevent serious problems later. Common situations where you should consider consulting a lawyer include: Before buying or selling a home or other real estate When making a will or planning your estate Before signing a contract involving a lot of money or calling for financing Before organizing or buying a business When there are changes in your family status -- marriage, adoption, divorce, guardianship When you are arrested or charged with a crime When you are involved in an accident in which there is personal injury or property damage When you have tax problems or questions When you are having problems with unpaid bills or bill collectors When you are not sure if your problem has a legal solution

5How to Choose a Lawyer

Just as early consultation is important in determining whether you have a legal problem, it is also important in deciding which lawyer can best deal with your particular legal issue.

The selection of a lawyer should be based on several considerations, including experience, cost and convenience. A key factor should be your ability to work effectively and comfortably with your lawyer. The relationship established between you and your lawyer should be based on trust. Your lawyer owes you the full benefit of his or her legal training and experience. You owe your lawyer a full and fair disclosure of all the facts and nuances concerning your case, both the unfavorable and the favorable sides of the issue. Without these components of a good lawyer-client relationship, your lawyer cannot effectively advise and represent you. Remember, when you hire a lawyer, he or she will be working for you. The lawyer should be genuinely interested in your problem and in giving you the best possible advice. The lawyer may not be able to accomplish everything you want because of the facts or the law that applies in your case. Many times a good lawyer will advise you to avoid court action. A lawyer should be able to explain, in terms you can understand, what he or she hopes to accomplish for you and how he or she plans to do it. Think about how the lawyer responded to your questions, about his or her experience, and about whether you will be able to work with the lawyer in the way you would like. Based on your initial consultation, you should consider the following factors before agreeing to hire a lawyer: Personality -- Do you get along well with and trust the person? Experience -- Are you satisfied with the amount of experience the lawyer has had with your type of problem? Communication skills -- Could you talk with and understand the lawyer easily? Ability to pay -- Can you afford to pay the lawyer according to the fee arrangements you discussed? If you are satisfied with your answers to these questions, it is likely that a sound basis for working together has been established between you and your lawyer.

Meet Hamp

Hamp Baxley

Attorney at Law


Meet Charles

Charles McDougle

Attorney at Law