Law Office of David Butler

(650) 873-3750

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Frequently Asked Questions

1Do I need a Lawyer?

A: It depends on your case. It is always a good idea to at least talk to a lawyer about your case. Some cases are simple enough that you may be able to handle your particular case without a lawyer as long as you do your homework, get help when needed, and are good at following rules and procedures.

But there are many cases that are very complicated and, without a lawyer, you could hurt or even lose your case, no matter how strong it is and how right you think you are.

2 Why do I need a lawyer in a case involving competing title to real estate?

A: Real estate cases that allege someone committed fraud, like cases in which there is competing title to real property, are usually too complicated for a person without a lot of legal training and experience. Also, even if you win, if you make a mistake in writing up the final order (in civil cases, the court generally does not prepare orders, it is up to the parties to do it), the title insurance company may not insure title, in effect preventing you, as the property owner, from selling or refinancing

3How do I find out background on a Lawyer in California?

A: The California State Bar website provides information on California lawyers and will tell you if a member has been disciplined or disbarred for misconduct. You can also find out where the lawyer went to school and when he or she was admitted to practice in this state.

There are other lawyer directories that you can find at your local law library and most public libraries.

4Where can I find Federal Court Opinions online?

The federal court system includes the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. The U.S. Courts of Appeals consist of 11 circuit courts in addition to the District of Columbia Circuit and the Federal Circuit. California is in the Ninth Circuit along with Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. For information about the other circuits, you can go to your local public law library or use the Ask a Law Librarian service.

California is divided into four U.S. District Court jurisdictions: the Northern District, Eastern District, Central District, and Southern District. You can also access opinions in federal courts using the Villanova University School of Law federal case locator. The U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in California are also divided into the Northern District, Eastern District, Central District, and Southern District. Each district has information online including opinions for the bankrupcty courts.