Oakland Law Firms

Oakland Law Firms

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Oakland Law Firms

A brief guide to Oakland law firms

Every situation which calls for someone to consider retaining the services of an attorney is different. Likewise, Oakland law firms tend to offer specialized services. Though no two cases are the same, here are some general guidelines you should follow if you decide you need to seek out private legal counsel.

Oakland law firm structure

Regardless of the type of services they offer, every firm consists has two levels of authority for lawyers:

• Practices manage Oakland law firms, own a part of the business and divide profits left over after employees are paid among themselves.

• Associates are salaried lawyers who work for the firm.

Most Oakland law firms have two kinds of attorneys among their employees:

• Transactional lawyers handle all documentation and matters that do not unfold in the courtroom.

• Litigation lawyers present the strongest possible case on behalf of their client in the courtroom.

Because the legal process is heavily dependent on written evidence and documentation, both kinds of attorneys are generally necessary. Large Oakland law firms may employ additional staff who specialize in maintaining and preparing paperwork.

Preventive litigation

Retaining a transactional lawyer is often a routine expenses for businesses. Oakland law firms can help guard against the threat of future litigation by reviewing the terms, financial agreements and legality of documents such as:

• Mortgage agreements

• Real estate contracts concerning the purchase or lease of property

• Employee manuals

• Employee contracts

• Tax documents

Private individuals who are signing any kind of document which requires them to commit to some kind of payment plan should also try to have an Oakland law firm review this paperwork.

Criminal law

There are three kinds of offenses which can lead to charges filed by the police or a government agency:

• Infractions refer to such minor transgressions as speeding tickets.

• Misdemeanors are more serious charges such as possession of a small amount of a controlled substance or aggravated assault.

• Felonies are the most serious types of offenses, such as murder or rape.

Anyone charged with a misdemeanor or felony is entitled to free legal advice and representation if they cannot afford the private services of an Oakland law firm. Whether you are represented by a court-appointed attorney or engage private legal counsel, you are not required to follow a lawyer’s advice at any time. People of sound mental health may represent themselves or override their legal counsel’s recommended course of action.

Throughout the criminal process, a representative of an Oakland law firm will be present to offer counsel:

• During an arraignment hearing, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain after formally presenting the charges. An attorney can help evaluate the desirability of accepting any such offer.

• Throughout the pretrial process, Oakland law firms will regularly exchange evidence with the prosecution. Should your legal representatives any procedural errors or illegalities used in preparing the case against you, charges may be dismissed. At any time before a verdict is issued, both sides may be able to negotiate a mutually acceptable plea bargain.

• During your trial, an Oakland law firm attorney or solo practitioner will present the strongest possible case on your behalf.

• If you are found guilty, an attorney will appear at your sentencing hearing to present any mitigating circumstances justifying a sentence less severe than requested by the prosecution.

Civil law

In civil law, one person or business files a lawsuit against another person, generally for the purpose of receiving financial compensation for such things as:

• Personal injury that is the responsibility of another party

• Violation of an employee contract

• Being requested to do something illegal by an employer

• Medical malpractice

• Sexual harassment

• Real estate disputes

Most civil litigation will be resolved by Oakland law firms representing both parties before the scheduled court date. Unless explicitly instructed by their client to pursue a court date, attorneys will attempt to create a mutually acceptable financial settlement. Unlike criminal charges, if you are notified of any complaint against you, you are not entitled to free representation from an Oakland law firm.

Other legal issues

Couples who agree to divorce and can draft a written document detailing how they will handle all issues related to their separation will not need to consult with an attorney. However, if two spouses cannot come to terms, they may attempt mediation discussions under the guidance of a neutral third party, who may be a member of an Oakland law firm or a non-attorney specialist. This expense will still be far less than that of hiring an attorney to appear in family court.

Couples who wish to adopt a child will need an Oakland law firm to help them undertake the lengthy process of having their fitness as parents evaluated. Anyone who is filing for bankruptcy will also want an attorney to help them navigate the complicated and technical legal process.

Finding an Oakland law firm

If you decide to seek out private legal counsel, ask friends, family and business associates to recommend any specialists they have successfully worked with. Prior to agreeing with a meeting with any member of an Oakland law firm, examine their disciplinary records online to make sure that they have not been cited or censured for any ethical violations.

It may be necessary to schedule several initial consultations before deciding upon an attorney to represent you. Be sure to arrive with all documentation that is relevant to your case. Members of all Oakland law firms should be prepared to answer questions such as:

• What is your level of experience with my type of case? 

• If your firm is not experienced with my kind of problem, can you refer me to another Oakland law firm with specialized knowledge?

• What are your fees, and on what basis are they charged?

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

 

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