VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 9/28/2011
Michael Kwasnik, Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc.
About Michael Kwasnik Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc.: One occasional exception is the television program Law & Order, which sometimes shows the main characters researching at a computer late into the night (always using Westlaw, due to a contract between Westlaw and the show's producers). Some episodes also show lawyers keeping a small rack of clothes in their office for those times when research lasts all night and the character does not have time to go home to change. About Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc.: Despite these descriptions, some states forbid or discourage claims of specialization in particular areas of law unless the attorney has been certified by his or her state bar or state board of legal specialization. Other states allow indirect indications of specialization (in the form of advertisement language such as "our practice is limited to . . ."), but require that the lawyer states that he or she is not certified by a state board of legal specialization in the advertised practice area. Patent attorneys are allowed to advertise their specialization in all jurisdictions, since registration for patent law is administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) instead of a state-level body. Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc. Info: Arguing cases in the federal courts requires separate admission. In some states, real estate closings may be performed only by attorneys, even though the attorney's role in a closing may involve primarily notarization of documents and disbursement of settlement funds through an escrow account. Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc. Info Movies and television also generally show attorneys focused on a single case. Most litigators have many cases in progress at any given time. Each case has deadlines that must be carefully monitored and court dates which one must not forget. Because they often balance many cases at once, attorneys that litigate often have difficult working lives when important documents must be drafted or other work must be performed on different cases at one time. Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc.: Contrary to the media image of attorneys, a great deal of litigation and regulatory legal work is spent conducting research in a law library or in an electronic database like Westlaw, LexisNexis or Bloomberg L.P. Many attorneys also spend a large portion of their working time drafting documents, such as legal briefs, contracts, wills and trusts. Few television programs and movies accurately portray the hours for tasks forming the core of the occupational life of many attorneys. Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assoc. Info: Many American attorneys limit their practices to specialized fields of law. Often dichotomies are drawn between different types of attorneys, but these are neither fixed nor formal lines. Examples include: * Outside counsel (law firms) v. in-house counsel (corporate legal department) * Plaintiff v. Defense Attorneys (some attorneys do both plaintiff and defense work, others only handle certain types of cases like personal injury, business etc.) * Transactional (or "office practice") attorneys (who negotiate and draft documents and advise clients, rarely going to court) v. litigators (who advise clients in the context of legal disputes both in and out of court, including lawsuits, arbitrations and negotiated settlements) * Trial attorneys (who argue the facts, such as the late Johnnie Cochran) v. appellate attorneys (who argue the law, such as David Boies) More information: Michael Kwasnik, About Michael Kwasnik.
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