General Litigation Newsletters

Factors to Consider Before Filing a Civil Lawsuit

An attorney has a role as an advisor and a counselor to his or her client. The attorney has a responsibility to explain the adversary process to the client. The American legal system is an adversarial one, meaning that the attorneys for disputing parties present their cases, and a judge or jury acts as the neutral decision-maker. The parties' attorneys are advocates for their clients' positions. The advocates use the facts of the case and the law to present their party's claims in the most favorable light. This article discusses the attorney's role in litigation planning. A reputable attorney will honestly review the facts of a client's case and help the client weigh each of the following considerations before deciding to file a lawsuit.

Finding Federal Regulations and Administrative Decisions

Over 50 federal agencies perform regulatory functions. Most aspects of everyday life are regulated by federal agencies, including the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the air we breathe. The body of law created by federal agencies is called administrative law. Administrative law covers the rules, regulations, and decisions of federal, state, and municipal agencies. This article discusses how to find proposed and final federal regulations, as well as how to locate the administrative orders or decisions of various federal agencies.

Independence of the Judiciary

An independent judiciary is a fundamental principle of our democracy. The founding fathers assured the independence of federal judges by giving them tenure for life. The United States Constitution also prevents the reduction of a federal judge's salary while he/she is in office. The founding fathers also specified that federal judges could only be impeached and removed from office for committing treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Mental Health Courts

Specialized courts, called mental health courts, have been set up to deal with individuals entering the criminal justice system who have mental illness or a mental disability. Currently, about 30 states have mental health courts in selected jurisdictions. Juvenile mental health courts, handling delinquency cases involving mentally ill juveniles, are planned in some states.

State Appellate Courts

Most states have an intermediate level appellate court, which is generally called the court of appeals. State courts of appeals have a panel of judges who review the trial court's decision. The number of judges on the panel varies. The court of appeals determines whether the trial judge followed proper procedure and correctly interpreted and applied the law to the facts of the case.





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