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Civil Lawyers

Lawyers and Attorneys

The court system is divided into two types of cases: civil and criminal. All civil cases follow state or federal rules of civil procedure. Many people think of civil lawyers as civil rights lawyers, but a civil lawyer practices any type of law that is civil in nature rather than criminal, including: business transactions, copyright, construction, employment, environmental, franchise litigation, health care, insurance, intellectual property, trademark, trade secrets, real estate, tax law, probate law, family law, and personal injury.

Civil lawyers will generally choose one or more areas of law to specialize in. A large firm is more likely to practice in many areas. When choosing a civil lawyer, assess your case. You should know what elements are involved in your case and what elements could result as it proceeds. If you slipped on a spill in a grocery store and fell and injured yourself, you need a civil lawyer who practices personal injury. A person filing for divorce and at the same time filing a domestic violence injunction against their spouse will need a civil lawyer who also practices criminal law. The divorce is a civil matter, as is the domestic violence issue, but depending on the severity of the domestic violence, it may need to be heard in criminal court instead of family court.

Many civil lawyers are adept at both settling cases and bringing them to trial. You will want to make sure the attorney you choose has had plenty of experience in both arenas. If you decide you do not want to accept a settlement, you will want your attorney to be as experienced in the courtroom as he is at negotiating.

Before choosing an attorney, contact several. You will need to choose one who you are comfortable with and who has enough experience to represent you in the way you expect to be represented. If a firm you decide to contact is large, do some research on it and be sure to ask for a specific attorney. Some large firms cover multiple areas; for example, while some of the attorneys may be employment attorneys, some may be personal injury attorneys. Most attorneys have websites where you can check on their areas of practice, making your research easier before you schedule a consultation.

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