Questions tagged [lawyer]

For questions about lawyers and the licensed practice of the legal profession.

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64
votes
2answers
39k views

Why are lawyers typically excluded from juries?

At least in the United States practicing lawyers are called to serve on juries. But my understanding is at least one side will always remove them before trial. Why would it always be the case that ...
33
votes
11answers
10k views

Why do non-lawyers refer you to lawyers even when they know the answer?

We've all seen it: you ask a law question (a classic being "Am I violating X's copyright by doing Y?"), but they refuse to respond and instead tell you that you should be asking a lawyer, not them. I ...
33
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the purpose of a disclaimer like “this is not legal advice”?

If someone who is not a lawyer is giving out legal advice, does it make any difference if they include a disclaimer along the lines of "this is not legal advice"? For the purposes of this question, I ...
27
votes
12answers
6k views

Why do we need lawyers in the Judicial system?

Law is supposed to be known to all citizens. It is also assumed (implicitly) that it is correctly understood: Ignorance or misinterpretation is not an excuse before the judge. So why are we required ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

What should I look for when seeking a lawyer?

The standard legal disclaimer is that someone should ask a lawyer if they really need legal advice. So how do you find the right lawyer? How can you judge how "good" a lawyer is? How can you find ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are law firms with non-lawyer owners/directors uncommon?

Most law firms exist as partnerships of their main lawyers who are the owners/directors. Why isn't the model popular where a non-lawyer but talented leader/organizer/visionary just puppets lawyers on ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Are lawyers permitted to advise what the best decision is likely to be?

I have engaged lawyers (who I have not dealt with before) to convey my property. New Zealand being "in lockdown" due to COVID19 has somewhat complicated the transaction. The advice I have received ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

Both parties have retained a lawyer, what if the other party still communicates to me directly?

The other party started to use a lawyer, and then I retained a lawyer and responded to their letter. But what if they still contact me directly about the matters lawyers are dealing with? What type ...
14
votes
10answers
43k views

Why are lawyers not called “doctor”?

I don't quite understand the education process for lawyers, but I do understand there are a number of different degrees, and one of them is 'JD', the juris doctor. My Latin is quite rusty, but I ...
13
votes
9answers
48k views

What does a lawyer do if they know for absolute certain that their client is guilty?

Say that a person is accused of committing a crime, they either hire a lawyer or have one appointed to them. Some time later, the lawyer learns that their client most certainly committed the crime. ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Lawyer made a key decision without consulting me. Is this normal?

While this case is happening to a relative of mine rather than myself, I will speak in first person for the sake of simplicity. I had a medical procedure performed by a licensed doctor (Dr. A). This ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What happens if you tell the court you are not satisfied with your attorney's representation?

I have often heard judges ask parties at the conclusion of a hearing on some matter, "Are you satisfied with your attorney's representation of you in this matter?" What is the consequence of ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Alternative systems without the Right to Remain Silent

As I understand it, the "Right to Remain Silent" errs on the side of innocence in the USA justice system. Jurors are usually supposed to rule as if the defendant testified in the manner ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

“Does not put forward a case inconsistent with the confession” of guilt

In New Zealand, duties of defence lawyers require them to "not put forward a case inconsistent with the confession" if the defendant confesses his/her guilt to them (13.13.2(a)). What ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How closely must a lawyer follow a client's directives?

A plaintiff launches a lawsuit with a very complicated set of facts and law. The client says, "I want you to focus on issues X, Y, and Z, because those are the ones that I am most comfortable and ...
8
votes
2answers
953 views

Is everything between me and my lawyer confidential?

From the law point of view can I tell my lawyer EVERYTHING knowing that he is NOT allowed to disclose anything I tell him including crimes I did in the past or crimes I am planning to commit in the ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How can we resolve a bet on a question of law?

Bob and Rob debate a question of law and do not agree. There isn't any material dispute between them to go to court about. They just want to find out what the legal truth is / who is right and who is ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Is a lawyer allowed to stop representing his client?

Imagine a person accused of committing a crime hires a lawyer. After a while something happens and the lawyer decides he or she doesn't want to represent the client any more. For example: Ethical ...
6
votes
1answer
655 views

Why can't lawyers lower their fees to match unmet demand, rather than leaving legal practice?

Benjamin Barton JD magna magna cum laude, 1996, University of Michigan. Glass Half Full: The Decline and Rebirth of the Legal Profession (2015). p. 49 Middle. Please see the last two sentences ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Are prosecutors members of the bar?

In the so-called common-law countries (or common law adversarial system, or common law jurisdictions) are prosecutors members of the (state) bar? If so, is that a requirement? If so, does that mean ...
6
votes
3answers
118 views

How does lawyers' duty of fidelity to court work?

Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers say in Chapter 13: The overriding duty of a lawyer acting in litigation is to the court concerned. Subject to this, the lawyer has a duty to act in the ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

Is there a legally stronger resource than legal advise from a lawyer?

As far as I am concerned lawyers interpret, to the best of their ability, the law when giving legal advice to a client in a lawyer-client relationship. Since some legal problems can be quite complex ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why don't lawyers keep a queue of contingency cases?

I frequently encounter situations in which there is likely civil liability between two parties but where the aggrieved party does not pursue legal action because they lack money and/or expertise. ...
6
votes
1answer
712 views

Why do municipalities keep laws on the books that are invalid?

Why do some municipalities keep laws on the books that are not valid? For example, what if municipal law violates state law (for example, due to the state law having preemption) -- is it up to the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why would you wait for a lawyer before talking with the police if you're innocent? [closed]

Let's say you were arrested and detained for a crime that you didn't commit. The police/detective starts questioning you but before they get anywhere, that old saying of, I want to speak with my ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Unable to afford a lawyer, can I go into court by myself?

A lot of people are unable to afford a public defender, so I was wondering if this is possible.
5
votes
6answers
45k views

What options does a lawyer have if a client admits he is guilty but doesn't want to admit it to the court?

This question is inspired by this question. If a client tells his lawyer he is guilty of the crime but does not want to admit it to the judge, what options does the lawyer have? Must the lawyer admit ...
5
votes
3answers
880 views

Is it “unethical” for a lawyer to argue both sides of a point of law?

In other words, is hypocrisy a frowned upon or even a disciplinary matter? Suppose a lawyer has two clients and the circumstances don't warrant a "conflict of interest" problem under the ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Can a lawyer charge the business fee (Geschäftsgebühr) when my interaction with amounts only to an e-mail exchange?

Background: Last year I had a problematic tenant in our (owned by my mother) apartment in Germany. He was repeatedly late/not paying the rent and not responding to phone calls or letters. Around the ...
5
votes
3answers
308 views

Legality of lawyer retaining monies won in settlement?

In 2015 I employed a "no win no fee" law firm to fight a claim for compensation for damages from the employer of someone who was convicted and jailed. I signed a Conditional Fee Agreement, and I have ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

In the US, what kind of lawyer represents the government in court?

Just want to know whether the government has a special lawyer or something like that.
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Do pro bono lawyers have to file that they represent a client to claim attorney client privilege?

I was watching an exchange between Chris Cuomo and Rep. Matt Gaetz about the relationship between President Trump and his personal attorney Mayor Giuliani. In it Chris said: The great theory here is, ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

How are US state laws that regard who can practice law constitutional?

I'm aware of a couple states that have alternative methods to become a lawyer but most states stipulate that all practicing attorneys must A. complete courses from a recognized college and B. stay in ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Should I keep calling my court appointed attorney?

I had a medical issue, and there was a very slim chance that I could have ended up as a ward of the state. As a result, I was given a court appointed attorney. However, I have not heard from the ...
4
votes
1answer
333 views

What kind of lawyer should I seek to write a general contract?

I want a contract written that stipulates that one party agrees to provide a service, and the other party agrees to pay for said service. What kind of lawyer should I seek to help me with this? Most ...
3
votes
3answers
518 views

Why don't attorneys like to offer subjective advice?

In another question, a commenter mentioned to me that attorneys 'are bad enough about giving concrete legal advice, let alone subjective legal advice.' He was referring to my question of "is it wrong ...
3
votes
2answers
207 views

Lawyer knows trial is hopeless but tells client they can win

(Hypothetical) Rob is charged with a crime. His lawyer, upon receiving discovery, realises that they are very unlikely to win the trial if they plead not guilty, that the best course of action for Rob ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Shopping for US immigration lawyers: What to ask in consultation?

I am in the process of finding an attorney to help with my Green Card application. I consider myself very knowledgeable about this subject, but I am not an expert nor do I have any personal experience....
3
votes
2answers
129 views

What can Jay Nixon do now?

Following the Public Defender of Missouri assigning Governor Jay Nixon to a case, what are his options?
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Can lawyers testify against ex-clients?

Related: Is a lawyer allowed to stop representing his client? In the event that a lawyer stops representing the client, and the client openly has told the lawyer that they have committed a crime, ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Disclosing damning information as a lawyer

Let's say I'm a defense lawyer and my client is a criminal that killed 50 people so far, but got away with it every single time, and he's on trial for a 51st, which he's also poised to escape because ...
3
votes
1answer
482 views

Is a lawyer in the United Kingdom obliged by law to inform the court or the police if his client confesses crime he has commited?

Is a lawyer in the United Kingdom obliged by law to inform the court or the police if his or her client confesses to a crime he or she has committed? I looked everywhere, can't find this answer.
3
votes
3answers
342 views

Can I hire a lawyer with contingent pay in the US while from abroad?

We have purchased some equipment online in a pre-order from an U.S. based company. It was divided in 2 different orders: one order of 11 units (with the promise of 1 extra unit for free), and one ...
3
votes
2answers
728 views

Demanding lawyer fee discount after weak representation

Is there a practice or custom of demanding reduced legal fees for poor performance? Background example: Our company was sued for alleged patent infringement. We provided a detailed explanation to our ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

As between lawyer and client, who gets to call the shots on strategy and tactics?

This question is a followup on my earlier one. Suppose plaintiff is suing for compensation and/or damages in a tort case. I would guess that the client would have the greater say on strategic matters. ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

In English civil trial practice when does a barrister become involved?

In U.S. civil trial practice, the same legal professional, an attorney, or firm of legal professionals, usually handles a case from first client contact through trial and often appeals (if any) as ...
3
votes
1answer
792 views

If a barrister cannot convince his client to act on his advice, should not the lawyer still effect and respect the client's instructions?

Source: p 33-34, The Art of the Advocate (1993) by Richard Du Cann QC. Please advise me how I can abridge the quote below to reduce this post's length. The Legal Aid and Advice Act has made ...
3
votes
2answers
108 views

How Can I Become A U.S. Patent Attorney?

I'm a engineer with a diploma from another country, How would i proceed to become a patent lawyer in the USA? Will I have to make a full undergrad course or there is a shorter way?
3
votes
2answers
434 views

Is it unlawful and or against the rules for a lawyer to criticize a judge and or a judge's decision?

I've heard of a sentiment that a licensed lawyer should remain respectful of the court in order to promote faith in the justice system. Is there a law or a rule against criticizing judges in and or ...
2
votes
2answers
347 views

Is it legal to impersonate an abstract lawyer?

I would like to request a copy of my contract from a previous employer, where most of the staff is juridically uneducated people. I'm afraid that if I introduce myself, HR would realize that I am a ...