Law Firm in Houston

Law Firm in Houston

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Law Firm in Houston

A brief guide to Houston law firms

For some people, retaining an attorney is a regular expense that helps guard them against lawsuits. For others, it will only be necessary to contact a law firm in Houston when they are charged with a criminal offense. Regardless of the circumstances in which you find yourself seeking private legal representation, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Preventive litigation

The best way to deal with a lawsuit is to try to make sure you never face one. If you are a business owner, selling real estate or involved in any other kind of professional transaction which involves signing paperwork, it may be worthwhile to find a law firm in Houston which offers preventive litigation. This service involves reviewing any document before you sign it to ensure that you are getting exactly what you have negotiated and are not opening yourself up to the threat of future litigation.

While retaining an attorney indefinitely or permanently can be expensive, if you are the proprietor of a large business it may be advisable to budget for this service. An attorney who offers this kind of assistance is known as a litigation lawyer. These do not appear in court, but work behind the scenes on your behalf.

Criminal offenses

Any law firm in Houston will generally employ not just litigation lawyers but transactional attorneys as well. These lawyers appear in court to argue on behalf of a client. People who are charged by the police or a government body with a criminal offense are entitled to legal representation at all times. If you cannot afford the private services of a law firm in Houston, the court will appoint an attorney to advise and represent you for free.

Regardless of the charges against you, the legal process follows the same steps in every instance:

• At an arraignment hearing, the prosecution will formally present the charges against you. You may be offered a plea bargain if you respond to the charges with “guilty” or “no contest.” An attorney will advise you if accepting this offer is in your best interests.

• Throughout the pretrial process, attorneys on both sides must regularly exchange evidence they plan to present in court. During this “discovery” phase, a law firm in Houston may discover that the prosecution has committed procedural errors and request that the case against you be dismissed.

• In court, an attorney will present the strongest possible case in your defense. Should you be found guilty, they will be present during your sentencing hearing to make an argument for a less severe sentence than requested by the prosecution.

If you are appointed a pro bono attorney but are worried that they cannot represent you adequately, you may want to consider contacting a law firm in Houston for private help. 

Civil litigation

Civil litigation is filed when one person seeks financial compensation from another individual or private entity for some kind of wrong committed against them. Some common grounds for a lawsuit include:

• Medical malpractice

• An injury caused by another person or a defective product

• Landlord-tenant disputes

• Violations of business contracts

• Sexual harassment in the workplace

Regardless of the charge, if there are sufficient grounds for a case to come to trial, in most cases a resolution will be achieved before the scheduled court date. Any law firm in Houston you hire will negotiate extensively with counsel for the other side to attempt to draw up a mutually acceptable agreement. 

Domestic abuse

People who are the victims of domestic abuse are required to first file a complaint with the public prosecutor. If that office declines to prosecute on their behalf, you may then pursue civil litigation with the hope of receiving financial compensation or a restraining order. For most people, it will be necessary to contact a law firm in Houston to advise them on how to press charges properly.

Divorce

Couples who agree throughout the divorce process will not need the help of an attorney to draft a mutually acceptable separation agreement. However, if the divorce proceedings are contested or couples cannot come to terms on all aspects of their separation, it may be advisable to contact a law firm in Houston which offers mediation services. In this process, couples meet to discuss their differences as prompted by a neutral third party in an attempt to reach a consensus.

If no agreement can be achieved, one or both spouses may decide to hire private legal counsel to represent them in family court. This will significantly increase the cost of separating.

How to find a trustworthy law firm in Houston

Just as with any professional relationship, finding an attorney to represent you is not a process to be rushed through. Ask friends, family and co-workers to recommend any law firm in Houston they have successfully worked with that specializes in your kind of case. Before scheduling a meeting with any attorneys, look up their disciplinary records to ensure that they have not been cited for any ethical violations.

Make the most out of any initial consultation by assembling any documentation that may have a bearing on your case for an attorney to examine. Any lawyer you talk to will have many questions to ask to get a better idea of the specifics of your case. Resist the temptation to conceal any information you feel may be damaging. You should also be prepared to ask many questions, such as:

• What level of experience do you have in handling my type of case?

• If you do not have sufficiently specialized experience to assist me, can you refer me to another law firm in Houston that will be better able to represent me?

• How often will I be informed of any progress made on my behalf?

• How long can I expect my case to take to achieve a resolution?

• How much should I expect to pay for your services?

 

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