Honolulu Law Firm

Honolulu Law Firm

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Honolulu Law Firm

 

A brief guide to Honolulu law firms

Many different types of legal situations can get you to start thinking about finding a lawyer to represent you. While some attorneys are “solo practitioners” who work by themselves, many are part of Honolulu law firms. These businesses vary greatly in the number of people they employ and the services they offer. Regardless of your circumstances, here are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking of finding private legal representation.

How Honolulu law firms work

No lawyer is capable of adequately representing a client in every legal situation. Similarly, Honolulu law firms tend to specialize in a few different areas of the law. However, all of them have the same division of responsibility:

• Partners are attorneys who own shares of the Honolulu law firm and divide the profits after their salaried employees have been paid.

• Associates are salaried attorneys.

Regardless of their position within the company, Honolulu law firms generally have two kinds of attorneys on staff:

• Transactional lawyers process and maintain legally binding paperwork.

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

Preventive litigation

It is not uncommon for large businesses to retain the services of a Honolulu law firm as part of their routine expenses. This is known as practicing “preventive litigation,” in which a transactional lawyer makes sure all parts of your business are in compliance with the law, including:

• Workplace safety standards

• Accommodations for disabled workers

• Employee contracts and manuals

• Tax paperwork

Paying a Honolulu law firm to regularly review your business’ paperwork and workplace can help ensure that you are not accidentally exposing yourself to the threat of a lawsuit in the future. This is also a worthwhile expense if you are involved in any real estate transaction that imposes significant financial commitments.

Criminal court

Regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the consequences of being convicted of a criminal charge can include a steep financial penalty or jail time. Anyone who has a charge filed against them by the police or a government agency is entitled to legal representation even if they cannot afford to retain the services of a Honolulu law firm. In such cases, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you for free.

The first step in the criminal prosecution process is the arraignment hearing. During this courtroom appearance:

• The prosecution will formally present the charges against you.

• If bail has been set, a Honolulu law firm attorney will try to have it lessened.

• If the prosecution offers a plea bargain in exchange for a response of “guilty” or “no contest,” a lawyer can help you determine whether it is in your best interests to accept.

• If you plead “not guilty,” a date for your trial will be set.

During the pretrial process, Honolulu law firms will prepare to represent you in court by:

• Exchanging evidence that will be presented during your trial in court

• Examine the prosecution’s case. If any evidence has been improperly collected or any procedural errors have been committed, Honolulu law firms may file a petition to have the charges against you dismissed.

• Attend jury selection to ensure that no potentially biased jurors are appointed

At any stage before a verdict is returned in your case, Honolulu law firms and the prosecution may submit a mutually acceptable plea bargain to a judge for approval. During your trial, a lawyer will present the strongest possible case in your defense. Should you be found guilty, an attorney will attend your sentencing hearing to make the case for leniency.

Civil court

Many things can prompt someone to seek financial compensation in civil court, such as:

• An injury caused by another person or a defective product

• A violation of the terms of a contract between two businesses

• Medical malpractice

• Underpayment of wages

• Workplace sexual harassment

Civil litigation can be pursued with or without the assistance of a Honolulu law firm by all people of sound mental health. No one in civil court is entitled to free legal representation. Nearly all such lawsuits are resolved out of the courtroom. Honolulu law firms representing both parties will negotiate extensively throughout the pretrial process with the goal of drafting a mutually acceptable financial agreement.

Victims of domestic abuse are required to file a complaint with the public prosecutor. If their office declines to press criminal charges against the abuser, you may wish to contact a Honolulu law firm to initiate litigation to obtain a restraining order, divorce or financial compensation.

Finding an attorney

No professional relationship should be rushed into. If you think you may require the services of a Honolulu law firm, it is important to first figure out:

• What kind of specialized legal knowledge you require

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

• How much time, attention and energy you can devote to the legal process

• What you hope to gain from the legal process

Once you have clarified your goals, ask friends, family and co-workers if they can recommend any Honolulu law firms with specialized experience that they have successfully worked with. Prior to scheduling a meeting with any of these, look up the disciplinary record of any attorney you will be talking and make sure they are in good legal standing.

To get the most value out of any initial consultation, arrive prepared with all documentation that is relevant to your case. After reviewing these documents, attorneys will need to ask you many follow-up questions before they can give a helpful, trustworthy evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. In return, ask as many questions as you see fit about the experience and specialized knowledge of the Honolulu law firm.

It is crucial to obtain a detailed, written estimate of any expenses you will be liable for at your first meeting. Honolulu law firms must explain any charges you do not understand.

 

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