Every American has certain basic rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. They cannot be discriminated against based on their age, skin color, or other defining factor. In addition, every citizen has the right to free speech, a fair trial, and more. When a person’s civil rights have been violated, they can seek justice through the legal system.
Before moving forward with a legal case, the person whose rights were violated should speak with a civil rights attorney. The attorney specializes in protecting these rights and liberties. They deal with cases involving unlawful searches, excessive force, and false arrests. Visit maierattorney.com for more information on the types of cases a civil rights attorney might take.
Cases Handled by a Civil Rights Attorney
Civil rights attorneys take on various types of cases. They work with individuals whose rights were violated by law enforcement officers. They represent the parents of children with special needs who have been mistreated in school, and help those who are being discriminated against at work because of their sexual preference.
Abuse by an elected official is a violation of a person’s civil rights and the same holds when a migrant worker is exploited or a young woman is a victim of sex trafficking.
If there is any doubt as to whether a civil rights attorney is needed, a person should reach out to a lawyer working in this field. They will help the individual determine which attorney would best represent them in their legal matter. In many situations, this will be a civil rights attorney if the person’s rights have been violated in any way.
The Duties of a Civil Rights Attorney
Civil rights attorneys focus on discrimination claims. Many cases involve federal laws, but others are based on state or local laws. Clients find it best to work with a local attorney as they are familiar with the local regulations along with the state and federal ones.
The attorney works with the client to ensure they have fulfilled all agency and administrative requirements before moving forward with the suit. The attorney also ensures the client meets all deadlines, as statutes of limitations apply in these cases.
While an attorney may take on a civil rights case, it is best to work with one who handles these matters regularly. They are familiar with the laws and where they overlap. A person’s rights are too precious to leave to chance so find an experienced civil rights attorney to help resolve the matter. What should a person look for when choosing this attorney?
Choosing a Civil Rights Attorney
A person needs to know how to go about choosing a civil rights attorney. Certain things should be considered when making this choice. Learn whether the attorney has handled similar cases in the past because an unlawful detainer case differs greatly from a case involving retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in the classroom.
When meeting with the attorney to discuss this and other aspects of the case, the victim should pay attention to how much time the attorney is willing to spend with them. The lawyer should be focused on what is said and not rush the victim out the door. In addition, ask who will be handling the case. Will the attorney be present at every meeting, or will staff members be the primary point of contact? A person should always know who they will be working with from the law firm.
This attorney should examine the facts of the case and share outcomes of similar cases. However, if they promise a particular outcome, look for a different attorney. This is a major red flag with any attorney. No person can predict what will happen in a court case, as too many variables are involved.
Are options other than court available? A person whose civil rights have been violated may not want to appear in court to discuss this violation. It could be embarrassing or upsetting to them. They may want to see if the matter can be handled through other venues, such as an administrative review. The attorney needs to share all possible remedies with the client.
Ask about the anticipated time frame for the case. Although the attorney cannot give a definitive answer, they can call on their previous experience to provide an educated guess. For example, they have a good understanding of how long discovery takes in cases of this type and will share this information.
The Duties of the Client
The client must share all pertinent information with the attorney. Any information the client chooses not to share may be revealed as the case moves forward, and the lawyer needs to prepare for any eventuality. In addition, the attorney might wish to share this information to lessen its impact before the defendant brings it up.
Furthermore, the client needs to talk with the attorney to learn what things might harm their case. For example, a student who is filing a lawsuit claiming their professor is sexually harassing them may need to stop taking the professor’s class. The attorney will determine if this step is necessary and explain why continuing in the class will be harmful to the case. The client should follow the attorney’s instructions to ensure they don’t do harm to their case unintentionally.
Speak with multiple attorneys to find the right individual to take the case. Lawsuits take time to settle, and no client wants to find they have an attorney they don’t like or don’t feel comfortable with. They may choose to settle the case early just to end the relationship, even if it isn’t in their best interests. By speaking with several attorneys before choosing one, a person can ensure they make the right selection.
One thing a person should not worry about when their civil rights have been violated is how they will pay an attorney. Most lawyers taking civil rights cases work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win the case. Their fee is a percentage of the settlement.
Begin contacting attorneys today to discuss the case, as every person deserves justice when their basic rights have been violated. The attorney works to get them this justice.