Long Beach Law Firms

Long Beach Law Firms

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Long Beach Law Firms

A brief guide to Long Beach law firms

Many different circumstances can lead someone to consider finding private legal representation. For some people, retaining the services of a Long Beach law firm can be a routine part of business operating circumstances, while for others an attorney is an emergency expense when faced with the necessity of appearing in court. No two people have the same legal problem, but here are some general guidelines that should be kept in mind by anyone planning to work with an attorney. 

Long Beach law firms’ structure 

When seeking private legal representation, it is important to understand what kind of attorney you are looking for. Most Long Beach law firms are composed of two types of lawyers:

• Litigation lawyers prepare and review paperwork, working out of the courtroom.

• Transactional lawyers argue on behalf of clients in the courtroom.

These lawyers’ tasks are not related to their status within a Long Beach law firm, which has two basic levels of authority:

• Partners own shares of the business and divide the profits after salaried employees have been paid.

• Associates are attorneys who are paid with a fixed salary.

Large Long Beach law firms commonly have other kinds of employees on staff, such as paralegals who prepare documentation under the close supervision of attorneys.

Criminal law

When the police or a government agency charge someone with a criminal offense, there are three different kinds of transgressions:

• Infractions are minor offenses, such as speeding tickets. These do not entitle you to free representation by a Long Beach law firm.

• Misdemeanors are more serious crimes, such as aggravated assault.

• Felonies are the most serious kinds of charges, such as murder or kidnapping.

Both misdemeanors and felonies entitle anyone charged with them to free legal representation by an attorney represented by the court. This lawyer may either be a solo practitioner or a member of a Long Beach law firm. Throughout the criminal process, this attorney will offer many different kinds of advice and aid:

• During an arraignment hearing, the prosecution will formally list the charges against you. A plea bargain may be offered in return for a plea of “guilty” or “no contest.” A representative of a Long Beach law firm can help you decide whether it is in your best interests to accept any offered plea bargain. If bail is set, an attorney will argue that the amount should be lessened.

• The pretrial process includes a “discovery” phase, in which both sides are required to share evidence they plan to present in court. A Long Beach law firm evaluating the prosecution’s evidence may uncover procedural errors committed by the police that invalidate the case against you. 

• If your case proceeds to court, Long Beach law firms help assemble and argue the strongest possible case in your defense. Should you be found guilty, an attorney will be present at your sentencing hearing to argue that the prosecution’s requested punishment is too severe.

At no time are you required to follow the advice of Long Beach law firms. Anyone of sound mind is permitted to represent themselves in court or ignore their legal counsel’s guidance. However, because the consequences of a conviction can include jail time or a large penalty, it is advisable to attentively consider the advice of any Long Beach law firm representative before making a decision as to how to proceed.

Civil law

In civil law, two private individuals or businesses are in conflict. The process is initiated when one party files a complaint over an issue such as:

• Injury caused by another person or a defective product

• Violation of a business contract

• Sexual harassment in the workplace

• Landlord-tenant disputes

If you are notified that civil litigation has been filed against you, you are not entitled to free counsel from a Long Beach law firm. It will be necessary to either represent yourself or pay for the private services of an attorney. The goal of such lawsuits is generally obtain a financial settlement, and the vast majority are settled before their trial date arrives. Long Beach law firms representing both sides will negotiate extensively throughout the pretrial process to draft a mutually acceptable out-of-court settlement. 

Victims of domestic abuse are required to first file a complaint with the public prosecutor. If that office chooses not to press criminal charges, it may be necessary to contact a Long Beach law firm to file civil charges of domestic abuse.

Other types of law

If a couple agrees it is necessary to divorce and can draft a written agreement detailing how every aspect of their separation will be handled, it is not necessary to retain the services of a Long Beach law firm. When two spouses agree on the importance of completing this document rather than letting a judge resolve their disputes, they may wish to attempt divorce mediation, in which a neutral third party guides them through a series of discussions. This service is provided both by Long Beach law firms and non-attorney specialists.

People who have decided to file for bankruptcy should always be prepared to pay for the advice of an attorney. This is a highly complex and technical procedure in which little margin of error is allowed. A Long Beach law firm can help guide you through this process.

If you own or manage a large business, it may be advisable to retain a lawyer to review all documentation you sign or are responsible for, such as business contracts or employee manuals. This kind of “preventive litigation” ensures you are in compliance with the law at all times and are not exposing yourself to the future threat of litigation.

Finding an attorney

If you decide it is necessary to obtain private legal counsel, ask friends, family and associates to recommend any Long Beach law firms they have successfully worked with that specialize in your kind of legal situation. It may be necessary to meet with several attorneys before you find someone you feel comfortable hiring to represent you.

 

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