Attorneys are legal experts with law degrees. Whether they’re prosecuting criminals, fighting for civil rights, or helping businesses hash out contracts, attorneys are the legal professionals you want in your corner.
You’ll also hear them referred to as solicitors, barristers or counsel at law in other countries. However, the distinction between lawyer and attorney is largely historical in the United States.
Legal advice is a professional opinion about the law and its application to a particular factual situation. It comes from years of study and experience, and can only be given by a licensed attorney.
Individuals who are familiar with some facet of the law can offer legal information without being attorneys. This is often called “the unauthorized practice of law.” It can result in serious penalties including fines and even incarceration in some states.
Legal information can be obtained from many places, including websites such as the American Bar Association’s Find Legal Help and legal aid organizations. Individuals can also get legal advice from their friends and family members, or from a lawyer they know. However, individuals should be careful to distinguish between legal information and legal advice. For example, grabbing an acquaintance at a party and asking them what they think about your divorce case is not legal advice because it does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Litigation is a legal process in which one party, often an individual who believes that their rights have been violated, brings an action against another. The person bringing the suit is known as the plaintiff and the party against whom they are taking action is known as the defendant.
Litigation can involve various proceedings, from pre-trial negotiations to mediations to depositions. Discovery is a crucial part of the litigation process as it allows attorneys to question witnesses under oath about information related to the case.
While most cases will settle out of court, it is necessary to go through the litigation process when an amicable resolution is impossible. A lawyer can help you navigate the complicated process and ensure that you receive adequate compensation. The legal process can be lengthy and stressful, depending on the case and its circumstances. It may take months or even years to reach a final resolution. This is why it is important to hire an attorney who specializes in litigation.
Wills & Estates
When someone dies, their estate must be settled by the court. This process is called probate. A will is a document that sets out the person’s wishes for the distribution of their property. If a person dies without a will (called dying “intestate”), their estate is distributed according to state inheritance laws.
Many people choose to set up trusts to manage their assets while they’re still alive. Trusts can avoid the need to file a will and may also help minimize taxes.
If you’re a beneficiary of an estate or are interested in creating your own will, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney. They can assist you in preparing a valid will and ensure that it is not challenged after your death. A will is a confidential document until it is admitted to probate or small estate. After that, it becomes a public record. It’s important to store the will somewhere that is safe and accessible.
When someone suffers a major injury, or even a minor one that could have a long-term effect on their quality of life, a personal injury attorney can help. They can investigate the incident to gather evidence and then advise clients of their rights and legal options. They can also assist in negotiating with insurance companies to obtain fair compensation for their clients.
Most personal injury claims are based on the theory of negligence, where a wrongdoer fails to act with the standard level of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances. However, some claims are based on strict liability, such as when an unsafe product causes harm (product liability), or intentional torts like assault and battery.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. They can be categorized as either special or general damages. Special damages are measurable costs, such as medical expenses and property damage; general damages are not so easily quantifiable, including emotional distress, defamation, and a loss of reputation.Anwalt