The world of law is a vast and complicated place, especially for laymen. It can be hard to distinguish the main distinctions among the law’s many areas and the people who practice them. Without proper guidance, you won’t get the appropriate service that you require.
When you’re faced with a legal issue, you will need legal advice to solve it too. Lawyers who specialize in the many complicated areas of law are equipped with the knowledge and experience you need to get out of the sticky situation. These are people who spent years studying these fields extensively.
However, if you don’t know the right expert to approach, you won’t get the advice and representation you need for your specific problem. This is often a result of miscommunication as well. So to help you identify who to call in different situations, here are some common legal issues and their corresponding practice areas:
This specific practice area deals with everything that involves personal injuries, defamation, and other non-criminal disputes. Civil law covers all cases filed between two individuals or an individual and an establishment.
A popular and controversial case in the 90s happened between McDonald’s scalding hot coffee and the 79-year-old woman who suffered personal injuries. Stella Liebeck bought coffee from the establishment, which spilled and gave her third-degree burns on her legs.
She then required assistance from a civil lawyer to file a case against McDonald’s for selling her coffee that was too hot. Ultimately, this lawsuit ended with Liebeck winning, although the jury found her at fault for the accident. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll know who to call to represent you.
This specific practice area deals with everything that involves marriage, children, and mutual assets. Family law, which is under civil law, covers divorce settlements, property, asset division, and mediation in a few circumstances. When you find yourself wanting to divorce from your partner, you’ll require the assistance of a family lawyer.
Dealings with child custody and child support payments also fall under the family law area. If you need help proving that you should get full custody of your children and that you need financial support from your ex-spouse, you should contact a family law office to represent you.
This specific practice area deals with everything that involves criminal activities and their corresponding punishment. Criminal law handles most situations by using the fundamentals of crime: actus rea or guilty act, and mens rea, which means guilty mind.
Although criminal law is established by statute, it proves to be an effective way of dealing with and solving crime. This includes cases of sexual assault, murder, theft, and property damage, which you may find yourself accused of. In this case, you should contact a criminal lawyer to represent you.
Human Rights Law
This specific practice area deals with everything that involves all rights that human beings are entitled to. Human rights prohibit actions that indicate slavery, human trafficking, torture, and conviction without a proper trial.
Police brutality, arbitrary arrests, child labor, and sexual exploitation are also examples of human rights violations. If you find yourself in such situations, you should request representation from human rights lawyers who can help you.
There are also instances where the violations are not that noticeable but should still be granted adequate representation. Situations such as discrimination in the workplace, denying the right to health services, or forced evictions violate several aspects of human rights.
Knowing who to contact to help you in legal debacles is important because an unqualified representative might lose your case without even trying. All lawyers study the different branches of law but usually only focus on specializing in one because of each area’s complexity.
The diverse practice areas require distinctive skills and abilities that are honed accordingly. If you get a family lawyer to represent you in a criminal case, you might not get the result you expect to get. This is like asking an electrician to fix your house’s plumbing system — it won’t work because it’s not what they excel in.
Knowing the distinct areas of law and which lawyers practice in them can give you a much easier time when facing your immediate legal problem. More areas of law aren’t covered here, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to do some research.