Georgia Law Firms

Georgia Law Firms

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Georgia Law Firms

A brief guide to Georgia law firms

At many different points throughout your life, it may be necessary to find an attorney to represent you. Georgia law firms specialize in many different practice areas that can handle many different types of legal issues. No two cases are alike, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind if you are thinking of consulting a lawyer.

How GA law firms work

Some attorneys work by themselves as “solo practitioners,” but many are parts of larger businesses. Georgia law firms are owned by “partners,” or attorneys who each have a share of the company and divide the profits after paying their salaried employees. “Associates” are attorneys who work for a fixed salary. Partners or associates can be two types of lawyers:

• Litigation lawyers appear in the courtroom on behalf of a client.

• Transactional lawyers review, maintain and create legally binding documentation.

GA law firms can vary considerably in the number of employees they have and the services they offer. Large businesses commonly employ additional employees, such as paralegals, who process paperwork under the supervision of an attorney. 

Criminal court

There are three types of crimes a person can be charged with by the police or a government agency:

• Infractions are minor offenses, such as speeding.

• Misdemeanors are more serious violations of the law, such as aggravated assault.

• Felonies are the most serious types of crimes, such as murder.

While infractions do not entitle defendants to trial by jury or legal representation, misdemeanors and felonies can result in jail time or a severe financial penalty. Defendants who are charged with either of these types of crimes are entitled to free legal representation if they cannot afford to pay for the services of a GA law firm.

Whatever the nature of the charges against you, every criminal prosecution process begins with an “arraignment hearing.” During this initial courtroom appearance, the prosecution will formally present the charges against you and may choose to offer a plea bargain in return for a formal response of “guilty” or “ no contest.” GA law firm representatives can help you evaluate whether it is in your best interest to accept this offer. If bail has been set for your release, an attorney will argue that it should be lowered.

Defendants who choose to plead “not guilty” will have a court date scheduled for their trail. Georgia law firms will take several steps throughout the pretrial process:

• The prosecution and defense must regularly exchange any evidence they plan on presenting in court, a process known as “discovery.” After reviewing the prosecution’s case, GA law firms may file a motion to dismiss the charges against you because evidence has been improperly collected. 

• An attorney will be present during the jury selection process to ensure that no potentially biased jurors are chosen.

• At any time before a verdict is returned, a Georgia law firm may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution and submit it to a judge for approval.

In the courtroom, attorneys will argue the strongest possible case on your behalf. If you are found guilty, a GA law firm lawyer will present any mitigating evidence justifying a less severe sentence than requested by the prosecution.

Adults of sound mind are not required to have legal representation or to follow the advice of their attorney. While you are always allowed to defend yourself, it is advisable to consult with a Georgia law firm before making any decisions about how to handle your case.

Civil court

Civil litigation involves two private parties, neither of whom are entitled to free legal representation. Whether you are filing a lawsuit or defending yourself against one, you must either represent yourself or pay for the services of a GA law firm. Common grounds for a lawsuit include:

• Underpaid wages

• Sexual harassment

• Violation of the terms of an agreement between two businesses

• Landlord-tenant disputes

Most civil litigation is settled without the ruling of a judge. Georgia law firms representing both parties will negotiate to create a mutually acceptable financial settlement.

Preventive litigation

For many businesses, retaining an attorney is a regular business expense. “Preventive litigation” refers to many services offered by GA law firms designed to protect business owners from the threat of future lawsuits, such as:

• Drafting employee contracts and manuals

• Reviewing and maintaining all tax-related paperwork

• Making sure a workplace is in compliance with all applicable state and federal safety standards

Finding a Georgia law firm

You should never rush into any professional relationship. If it is necessary to consult with a Georgia law firm, first consider:

• Your expectations for the legal process

• How much you can afford to pay a GA law firm

• What kind of specialized legal expertise you need

Once you are clear on your needs and resources, ask friends, family and co-workers if they can refer you to any GA law firms they have successfully worked with. While these recommendations are the most trustworthy, you should still look up the disciplinary record of any attorney you will be talking to before agreeing to any initial consultation.

It may be necessary to attend meetings at several Georgia law firms before finding an attorney you trust to represent you honestly and competently. Arrive to all initial consultations with all documents pertaining to your case. After reviewing these, a GA law firm attorney will need to ask many questions before they can give a trustworthy evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Be sure to answer any such inquiries in as much detail as you are capable of.

Before deciding to work with any Georgia law firm, it is important to receive a detailed estimate of all the expenses you will be liable for. If you are pursuing civil litigation and are likely to receive a settlement, some attorneys may be willing to represent you for free in return for a percentage of whatever compensation you are awarded. However, some GA law firms may still charge for filing fees or similar expenses.

 

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