Houston Civil Attorney
Michael P. Fleming has been practicing as a civil lawyer in Houston and around Texas for 30 years and has handled thousands of civil matters. He is board certified in two areas of civil law: Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law but has handled civil matters in numerous other areas of law.
What is a Civil Attorney?
Basically, a civil attorney is a lawyer that handles various matters that are not criminal or governmental in nature. So, a civil lawyer does not have a practice that only defends people that are charged with a crime. Likewise, a lawyer working for the government as a criminal prosecutor or in another capacity generally would not be considered a civil attorney. So, as a basic concept, this type of lawyer practices law in the private sector and handles cases or matters of a private, civil type.
What does a Civil Attorney do?
A civil attorney handles civil lawsuits and transactions such as:
- Civil Lawsuits in court such as:
- Civil negligence cases such as personal injury matters. These could be cases for car accident injuries, wrongful death, industrial or work accidents, truck accidents – any claim for monetary damages for being harmed by another’s careless conduct.
- Disputes in civil court such as claims for breach of contract. Sales contracts, real estate contracts, business contracts, settlement contracts are all types of breach of contract actions which could be handled in civil court.
- Lawsuits for fraud or real estate litigation. Fraud claims can certainly handled in criminal prosecutions but claims for civil fraud can arise in any transaction such as the sale of a house, car or business.
- Basically any type of civil litigation claim or matter.
- Transactions such as:
- Contracts. Civil lawyers draft and revise contracts in all sorts of situations such as business sales, real estate sales and complicated international transactions just to name a few.
- Deeds. Deeds transfer legal title to real estate and many civil lawyers handle these transactions for their clients.
- Corporate formations. Forming a company for an individual is another function of some civil attorneys.
- Corporate documents. Once a company is formed, civil attorneys also draft the operational documents for the running of the company such as a shareholder or partnership agreement.
- Real estate documents. Civil lawyers also can draft real estate documents other than deeds such as mortgages, deed restrictions, easements etc.
Do I need a lawyer in a civil case?
The answer is that it depends. Certainly, individuals have the right to represent themselves in any civil case in court. However, it generally is not a good idea, especially in complicated civil matters. There are too many traps that can arise in county or district court that you may not know about due to lack of civil law training. People often do handle their own case without a lawyer in small claims court and this makes sense. In small claims court, the procedures are established for folks to file and handle a civil matter on their own – all the way from filing the initial civil lawsuit all the way through a civil jury trial. There are some situations where you MUST have a lawyer in court – whether small claims civil or the county or district civil courts. Non-lawyers are not permitted to represent another person or a company (even if it is your own company) as this would be practicing law without a license.
What is a civil lawsuit?
A civil lawsuit is brought by individuals, companies or the government and seeks monetary relief or a court order. It is any kind of law proceeding other than a criminal prosecution. Civil lawsuits can include, claims for breach of contract, fraud, personal injury, injunctions, real estate litigation – any type of case where money is sought. It can also include claims for relief other than money such as clearing title, getting a court order (injunction) to stop somebody from taking action or a getting a civil judgment determining the rights of parties in various situations.
If you have any questions about a civil matter or lawsuit, feel free to contact civil lawyer Michael P. Fleming.