Areas of Practice
Family law (also called matrimonial law) is an area of the law that deals with family matters and domestic relations, including:
marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
adoption and surrogacy
child abuse and child abduction
the termination of relationships and ancillary matters, including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards.
paternity testing and paternity fraud
This list is not exhaustive and varies depending on jurisdiction. In many jurisdictions in the United States, the family courts see the most crowded dockets. Litigants representative of all social and economic classes are parties within the system.
In the field of criminal law, there are a variety of conditions that will tend to negate elements of a crime (particularly the intent element), known as defenses. The label may be apt in jurisdictions where the accused may be assigned some burden before a tribunal. However, in many jurisdictions, the entire burden to prove a crime is on the government, which also must prove the absence of these defenses, where implicated. In other words, in many jurisdictions the absence of these so-called defenses is treated as an element of the crime. So-called defenses may provide partial or total refuge from punishment.
While it may be the last thing you want to think about, estate planning is an important step you can take to protect the interests of your family. A well prepared estate plan will help you ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are taken care of once you’re gone. If you pass away without a plan in place, your family members may be left to sort out the mess in court. To give you a better idea of what estate planning entails, this section provides detailed information on wills, trusts, health care directives, probate, and estate administration. You’ll find articles and resources on making a will, challenging a will, creating a health care power of attorney, setting up a trust, navigating the probate process, and more.
Civil litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek money damages or specific performance rather than criminal sanctions. A lawyer who specializes in civil litigation is known as a “litigator” or “trial lawyer.” Lawyers who practice civil litigation represent parties in trials, hearings, arbitrations and mediations before administrative agencies, foreign tribunals and federal, state and local courts.
Types of Civil Litigation
Civil litigation encompasses a broad range of disputes. Civil litigators generally specialize in one or two specific practice areas.