Irvine Law Firm

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Irvine Law Firm

A brief guide to Irvine law firms

There are many different circumstances under which someone may feel it necessary to find legal representation. Regardless of the specific needs of the client, there are some general guidelines that are important to be aware of if you are thinking of consulting an Irvine law firm. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing to begin the legal process.

What Irvine law firms do

A law firm is a collection of attorneys who specialize in different kinds of legal practice. There are two kinds of attorneys on staff at most Irvine law firms regardless of their size:

• Litigation lawyers appear in court to present the strongest possible case on behalf of their client.

• Transactional lawyers review and create legally binding paperwork. Their work does not lead them to appear in court.

Irvine law firms are owned by lawyers known as “partners.” These practicing attorneys divide the profits after paying their salaried employees. Many of these employees are “associates,” the term for lawyers who work at an Irvine law firm in return for a fixed salary. Larger businesses frequently have more people on staff, such as librarians to maintain company records.

No attorney is equally qualified to practice in all areas of the law. Similarly, Irvine law firms generally offer specialized services. This helps ensure that clients are represented by someone with experience of all applicable local, state and federal laws that may have a bearing on their case.

Criminal court

When the police or a government agency bring charges against a person, they are entitled to representation and advice from an attorney at all stages of the legal process. If you cannot afford to pay for private legal counsel from an Irvine law firm, the court will appoint an attorney to work on your behalf for free. 

Regardless of the severity of the charges, all misdemeanor and felony cases unfold following the same process:

• The first court appearance is known as an arraignment hearing. At this time, the defendants will have charges against formally presented by a prosecutor. A representative of an Irvine law firm can help you decide whether accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest and argue that any bail should be lowered.

• During the pretrial phase, the prosecution and defense will regularly share any evidence they plan to present in court. After evaluating the case against you, Irvine law firms may file a motion to dismiss the charges because evidence has been improperly collected or because it would be unreasonable to expect a jury to convict.

• At any stage before a verdict is returned, a plea bargain can be negotiated or a motion to dismiss the case may be granted by the judge. 

• During the trial, an Irvine law firm attorney will present the strongest possible case on your behalf.

• If you are found guilty, an attorney will attend your sentencing hearing to argue for a lesser sentence than requested by the prosecution.

Civil court

Civil litigation resolves a dispute between two private parties, generally by deciding whether or not to grant a financial award to someone seeking redress relating to such issues as:

• Personal injury caused by another person or a dangerous and defective product

• Real estate disputes

• Medical malpractice

• Violation of a business contract’s terms

• Underpayment

Unless explicitly directed by their clients to prepare for court, most civil litigation will be resolved before the date set for a trial. Irvine law firms representing both parties will conduct extensive negotiations to create a mutually agreeable financial settlement package.

Preventive litigation

Retaining the services of an attorney to look over any agreements you enter into or to write legally binding contracts can help guard against the threat of ending up in civil court at a later date. This kind of “preventive litigation” is often a routine expense for businesses who retain Irvine law firms to ensure, among other things, that:

• Their workplace is compliance with applicable safety standards

• All reasonable accommodations for disabled employees have been made

• All employer-employee contracts are clearly understood by both parties and not in violation of any applicable laws

• Their tax paperwork has been correctly completed and filed

It is also advisable to consult with an Irvine law firm before entering into any agreement concerning real estate, such as purchasing a house. Such contracts often require those signing to make serious financial commitments that, if not honored, can lead to their property being confiscated. An Irvine law firm can ensure both parties understand exactly what they are signing.

Hiring an attorney

If you decide you require private legal assistance, it is important to be careful about who you decide to hire. The most trustworthy referrals to Irvine law firms with specialized experience handling your kind of case will come from friends, family and co-workers. When scheduling a consultation with any of these businesses, make sure to look up the disciplinary record of any attorney you will be meeting with. 

You may need to meet with attorneys at several Irvine law firms before settling upon who to decide. Get the most out of any initial consultation by assembling all documentation that is relevant to your case. After reviewing this file, an attorney will have many questions to ask before they can give a trustworthy evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Answer all inquiries as thoroughly as possible. In return, when attending a consultation at any Irvine law firm, be sure to ask questions such as:

• What is your level of specialized experience in handling my type of case?

• If you are not capable of adequately representing me, can you refer me to an Irvine  law firm with more applicable knowledge of my circumstances?

• How long will my case take to achieve a resolution?

• What kind of expenses can I expect to be liable for?

 

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