Friday, September 9, 2011


A business attorney can obtain three types of relief through litigation: equitable, legal, and declaratory.  Equitable remedies, such as an injunction preventing a particular action, or an order requiring someone to perform a particular act (including transferring possession or title to property).  Legal remedies, or remedies "at law," are money damages.  Declaratory relief is an adjudication by the court of a party's rights, such as an interpretation of a contract.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Divorce Attorney

When a divorce lawyer commences a divorce action, it is often done through a Summons with Notice, meaning that the other spouse will be served with a notice that an index number (i.e. file number) has been purchased with the court, but no documents have yet been filed with any substantive allegations.  If what you are looking for is an opportunity to present a neutral third party with a laundry list of all the things that annoy you about your spouse, the venue for that would be therapy, Confession (or the religious counseling of your choosing), or (preferably) a heart-to-heart with your spouse.

When a marriage is irretrievably broken, divorce attorneys and the courts are concerned not with fixing the marriage, but rather with facilitating the parties' transition into separate lives and households.  Aside from any child custody issues (which may or may not be addressed in the same proceeding), a divorce action is a winding-down of the financial partnership of a marriage.  Your lawyer may file or defend an application for pendente lite relief, meaning interim relief while the action is pending regarding such issues as temporary child custody, use and occupancy of the marital residence, or continued support and maintenance from the more-monied spouse to the less-monied spouse.  A divorce lawyer will assist you in preparing a statement of net worth, where you catalog your marital and non-marital assets and debts, and there may be discovery (i.e. depositions and document requests) regarding those assets and debts. Eventually, there is either a settlement or a trial, resulting in a Judgment that finalizes the dissolution of the marriage and unwinds the financial relationship between the parties.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury attorney enables a person who has been hurt in an accident to receive compensation for their injuries.  The area of law that personal injury lawyers practice is known as Tort Law, which governs the non-contractual rights and responsibilities inherent in everyday relationships.  In general, every relationship implies a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.  The scope of that duty, and what is considered "reasonable," depends on the nature of the relationship and various public policy factors.

While many people focus on damages, in my view a personal injury attorney should always focus on liability first.  Many situations have been repeatedly addressed by the courts, providing guidance as to what does and does not constitute reasonable care.  Decisions from prior lawsuits, as well as experience, help provide a guideline for the amount of money can be obtained for a particular injury, but without liability there is no basis for forcing a third party or insurer to pay that amount.

This is an area where I have substantial experience. My first few years as an attorney were with a law firm that focused largely on personal injury cases, and in law school I received both a first year award and graduation prize for Torts.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Employment Attorney

Employment attorneys serve an important function.  Many legitimate claims of employment discrimination or harassment are never reported, and many claims that are reported are not legitimate.  Overall, however, the laws against discrimination based on race, sex, age, and religion have become ingrained in our social consciousness.  Racial and gender bias, religious intolerance, and ousting older workers in favor of young cheap labor, is not acceptable.  Employment lawyers help balance the application of these laws: providing an opportunity for employees who have been discriminated against to receive compensation, while at the same time protecting employers from overreaching and guarding against employment law becoming a general civility code.