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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Civil Law

Civil law deals with dispute resolution. This covers a broad range of specific areas, and civil lawyers (a.k.a. litigants) generally specialize in one or two practices. A civil defense attorney can be found in the courtroom representing a defendant in a medical malpractice suit and the next day they might deal with a dispute concerning environmental law.

Think of it this way: Many centuries ago, you might have witnessed two champions, each selected by someone involved in a dispute, fighting each other. The champion who won the fight essentially won the dispute for the person who hired them. These champions, assuming they survived, might have gone on to work for another person who had an entirely different dispute to settle.

Today’s litigants act in a very similar capacity, but without the literal bloodshed and the clanging of weapons on shields. Note that civil law concerns matters which do not include criminal charges like murder, armed theft, arson, and so on. That’s the realm of the criminal lawyer.

Before you start calling and sending out emails, it is best to try and understand exactly what a civil law attorney does in their job.

Civil lawyers represent clients in lawsuits as opposed to criminal trials. In general, one lawyer won’t practice both civil and criminal law. A victim has to hire their own civil lawyer, which means you’re not entitled to a lawyer provided by the court in a civil case.

If litigation concerns money at stake, you want a civil lawyer. You won’t go to jail if you lose a civil suit, so stick with a litigant. (Talking of which, a civil lawyer can represent either defendants or plaintiffs.)

You may have heard the term “insurance defense lawyer.” This refers to an attorney who specializes in representing defendants in civil cases regarding insurance claims. They are often hired by insurance companies to represent a business or individual who has been sued on a claim covered by an insurance policy.

Find Good Legal Services Abroad

Areas of Specialization

One of the travails of establishments operating in a foreign country is finding good legal services. Lawyers usually specialize in one particular type of law, or other related areas. A lawyer may generally work on immigration cases, while another one may be a tax specialist. Note that there are lawyers who only render advice to their clients, and not represent them to actual court litigation.

General areas of legal practice include: personal injury, criminal law, tax, employment and family law. It is best to choose a lawyer that specializes in one’s legal concern and one that has a firm foundation in the laws of the host country.

Different Types of Lawyer

Foreign Legal Consultants may be classified as lawyers working for international law firms based in foreign countries. These attorneys may advise clients regarding the requirements and conditions of the host country’s law, but they may or may not be licensed to practice law in the country where they are based. If court representation is needed, a licensed lawyer in the country where he works is required.

Solicitors and Barristers are specialized lawyers who may be practicing in foreign countries. Solicitors generally do not represent clients in court, but advise them, and may put together legal cases for barristers to take to court.

Notaries usually do the functions of attorneys, but depending on the country they practice, their job description may vary. Notaries may draft transfers of property titles and wills. In some countries, notaries are Ministry of Justice appointees and may act as administrators in estate settlements.

Where to Find a Lawyer

Searching for a lawyer in a foreign country is no longer too tasking. Overseas embassies and consulates of most countries have listings of local lawyers who have expressed their willingness to assist citizens of another country. For example, an American in Thailand may go to the U.S. embassy and he will be furnished with a copy of local lawyers willing to assist a U.S. citizen.

There are international bar associations with local chapters that could help foreigners with their legal problems. Most of these associations and similar organizations have standing agreements with accredited members in other countries.

Law firms maintain websites. This should make it doubly easy for anyone needing legal counsel to find a qualified lawyer through this mode.

Law schools have credible law professors who may be practicing or may know a practicing lawyer in his circle. If the legal advice and drafts are needed, senior law students could handle these requirements.

Surely local contacts could refer qualified lawyers to meet one’s legal requisites.

Legal Aid Society

Some of the typical civil cases that legal aid society handles include but are not limited to:

• Landlord-tenant disputes
• Domestic abuse protective orders
• Bankruptcy
• Family law-divorce, domestic violence, and child support
• Immigration-securing the appropriate documents in order to remain in the United States, contest deportation
• Elder law-preparing wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, helping them apply for public benefits

The cases they do not handle are criminal cases. The services offered by legal aid society range from advice and information to representation throughout the entire case. Sometimes seminars are offered to help inform the local residents about their legal rights. They will also answer basic legal questions at seminars.

Although the process to determine eligibility varies by jurisdiction, there are general steps that have to be taken in each case. The main step is to do an evaluation of the client’s assets and income. The reason is that in order to qualify for a pro bono attorney their total household income has to fall below a threshold that has been pre-determined. In the case of domestic violence or divorce situations, legal aid society may consider the spouse’s income to determine the household income. This can happen if it appears that the client does not have access to the spouse’s income. The one exception to meeting low-income requirements is victims of domestic violence, as legal aid society does not usually verify their income. The reason is that a victim of domestic violence may need urgent legal assistance like getting a protective order against the abuser.

If the applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements, the services they receive from legal aid society will be free of cost in most cases. A client may still have to pay the mandatory filing fees but there may be a fee waiver. This waiver is a request that is filed by the client requesting that the court waives the filing fee for their case. The court will generally waive the fee if they determine that the client is unable to afford the filing fee.

All about Law Enforcement Investigator

Interviewing potential suspects:

In order to find out who the actual culprit is, the investigator will need to interview various individuals associated with the crime. He will also need to verify the location of the prime suspects at the time the crime was committed.

Interviewing witnesses:

Investigations also include checking out if any witnesses can provide information that will help reveal the identity of the culprit.

Examining records:

The investigator will need to examine database and records to carry out background checks of people associated with the case.

Providing updates:

Regular updates will need to be provided to the police department regarding the progress of the case.

Maintaining records:

Records of the investigations will need to be maintained so that they can be produced as and when required.

Testifying in the court:

The investigator may be required to testify for the case in the court of law.

Let us see how private investigators help law enforcement authorities:

Gathering evidence:

An investigator collects sufficient evidence using ethical means. This is used by the authorities to press charges and make the arrest. This evidence may need to be presented in the court of law as well.

Manpower support:

Many a time the police authorities have too many cases to handle. In such cases, they hand over the responsibility of investigating certain cases to private investigators. They collect evidence, interrogate witnesses, etc. so that the authorities have time to pursue more important cases.

Different Approach:

Since a private investigator works with an approach that is different from that of the authorities, the case can be viewed from a different perspective. Moreover, they may be more experienced in certain types of cases than the authorities.

Interviewing witnesses and locating people:

Many people are not comfortable in talking to authorities. In such cases, the services of a private investigator are very useful. This is because they can locate and interview witnesses. They can easily serve warrants, subpoenas, etc.