What Can a Civil Rights Lawyer Do for Me?
Since there are basic human rights that all people within the US are guaranteed, it becomes a civil rights case when these rights are violated by either a private entity or a government agency. Whether you’re the party whose rights were violated, or you’re accused of a rights violation, a civil rights lawyer may be able to help you.
Basic Civil Rights
While the exact nature of a civil rights case can be filled with complicated nuances, there are certain basic rights that often come into play. These include:
- Equal access to education opportunities
- Equal employment opportunities
- Right to a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace
In many instances, your civil rights lawyer must demonstrate whether rights were violated based on:
- Sexual orientation or identity
There are also certain instances where the attorney will determine whether a person’s civil rights were violated because they have differing religious beliefs or are in some other way different from the accused rights violator.
Presenting a Civil Rights Case
The moment you believe someone is violating your rights because of who you are or what makes you unique, it’s critical that you begin to document everything. This can be immensely helpful after a civil rights attorney has taken your case and must being framing his or her argument. Even though you may have grounds, a civil court judge is unlikely to rule in your favor when you can’t prove any of your claims.
After you begin working with your civil rights lawyer, it’s important to remember that a great deal can be going on behind the scenes, even if you don’t hear from him or her frequently. Since interviewing witnesses, preparing a legal argument, and selecting the most appropriate experts can take time, you may feel as though nothing is happening in the early stages even when it is. It’s also good to remember that the ultimate outcome of your case may not be a trial. In many cases, you’ll reach a settlement with the other party to avoid a lengthy and expensive court proceeding.
Defending Against a Civil Rights Violation
Being accused of a civil rights violation can create a backlash of negative sentiment, regardless of whether the accusations are true or not. As soon as you learn that you or your company are defendants, it’s critical that you retain a civil rights lawyer to help manage the situation. While it won’t always be possible to immediately sway public opinion back in your favor, working with an experienced attorney can help you avoid delays in making your case.
Please note: there may be circumstances where you must see the person accusing you of the violation each day at work. Remember, treating them any differently than you would anyone else at the office is counterproductive to your case.
In instances where the evidence isn’t clearly in your favor, your lawyer may advise you to settle the case. Not only can this help to save the company money in the event of a loss in court, but it can also get you out from under the public microscope. As with any other type of legal action, your civil rights lawyer will only present the possible options to you, not force you into a course of legal action you aren’t comfortable pursuing.