Our legal system’s so-called “American Rule” holds that attorneys’ fees for the winning party in a lawsuit are not paid by the losing party, except in a few specific instances.
Depending on the charges being argued, court cases are either determined in front of a judge or a jury. While people accused of crimes against society are nearly always entitled to a jury trial, not all decisions are made by juries – judges have a lot of leeway in determining what evidence can be admitted, the interpretation of written documents, and other important decisions.
Some actions taken by attorneys may some disingenuous or contrary to the idea of ethics, but several less-known rules governing attorney behavior can sometimes help to explain their behavior.
Promises are an area of law that can sometimes be foggy. Contracts are a form of promises, and typically legally binding. However, some promises are made hastily and without any legal oversight, making them less likely to hold up in court. In general, it’s a good idea to get a written note and have a lawyer look it over before considering a contract legal.
Although TV and the Internet portray lawyers in the courtroom as either geniuses or bumbling idiots, most of the time questioning a witness is a more mundane middle ground. Typically, one attorney questions a witness they believe will help their case—this is “direct examination.” Then, the other lawyer questions the witness during “cross examination.”
Judges aren’t only in charge of making important decisions, they also play a role in helping people and their attorneys navigate their ways through the judicial system. Attorney Lee R. Schroeder thinks that the most important characteristic of a great judge is intelligence, but also important in choosing a great judge are impartiality, patience and more.