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Law Category Definitions

Administrative/Government Law
Administrative Law concerns the activities of government administrative agencies. This includes the decisions made by government agencies that regulate areas such as international trade, manufacturing, the environment, taxation, and transportation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) involves several methods used to resolve disputes out of court. This includes negotiation, mediation, and many types of arbitration. ADR methods are generally faster and less expensive than a court trial.

Antitrust Law
Antitrust Law prohibits agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between businesses. The government has laws prohibiting market domination or anti-competitive practices by a company.

Appellate Law
Appeals typically occur when the losing party is unhappy with the outcome or decision. Appellate lawyers handle matters involved with the appellate courts.

Aviation Law
Aviation Law concerns flight, air travel, and related legal and business concerns. Aviation law is part of international law due to the nature of air travel. However, the business aspects of airlines and their regulation also fall under aviation law which is governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Banking/Finance Law
Banking and Finance Law is a diverse practice and includes issues dealing with all types of lending, retail banking, payment systems, privacy, credit unions, electronic banking, and trust and investment services. Federal agencies that regulate banks are the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Bankruptcy Law
Bankruptcy lawyers assist clients with relieving the responsibility of paying debts or provide clients with protection while attempting to repay debts. There are two types of bankruptcies: Liquidation (your debts are wiped out) and Reorganization (you provide the court with a plan on how you intend to repay your debts).

Business/Commercial Law
Commercial Law, also known as business law, governs business and commerce. It is often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals both with issues of private law and public law. Commercial law regulates corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sale of consumer goods.

Commercial Litigation
Commerical Litigation attorneys handle a wide range of challenges which include banking and workout issues, commercial disputes, white-collar crimes, collections, employment and discrimination challenges, internal corporate investigations, environmental crimes, government contract disputes, international trade issues, product liability disputes, securities litigation, unfair competition, and tax litigation.

Construction Law
Construction Law is the body of law that deals with all matters relating to the construction process. This includes topics such as building contracts, bonds, construction and builders' liens, tendering, and construction claims. It affects all participants in the construction industry, including financial institutions, architects, builders, engineers and planners.

Consumer Law
Consumer Law deals with matters involving the purchase or lease of goods and services by consumers. Consumers may be any persons or business entities.

A contract is a legally binding agreement. It involves two or more people or businesses (called parties) and the contract details what the parties will or will not do. A contract is formed when adults or business entities mutually agree to provide each other some benefit.

Creditor-Debtor law, also known as asset protection, deals with protecting assets of individuals and business entities.

Criminal Law
Criminal Law involves laws that make certain behavior illegal and punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. Attorney practice areas may include Assault, Sex Crimes, Misdemeanors, Felonies, Murder, DWI/DUI, Drug Possession/Distribution, White Collar Crimes, and Robbery.

Elder Law
Elder Law covers an area of legal practice that concentrates on issues that affect the elderly including retirement benefits, assisted living, or age discrimination.

Entertainment Law
Entertainment Law or media law is a combination of traditional law practices with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. Entertainment Law generally involves parts of employment law, contracts, labor law, and intellectual property (trademarks and copyright).

Environmental Law
Environmental Law covers interlocking statutes, treaties, regulations and policies which protect the environment from human activities. Some environmental laws regulate the quantity and nature of impacts of individuals and businesses.

Estate Planning/Probate
Estate Planning is a strategy to prosper when you are alive and provides methods for transferring your property to a beneficiary with minimum complexity and expense after you die. Estate planning may involve making a will, living trust, healthcare directions, or powers of attorney for financial directives.

Family Law
Family Law includes matters such as divorce, property division, child custody, child support, adoption, paternity, or other matrimonial matters.

Healthcare Law
Healthcare Law involves diverse issues and involves medical care, navigation of medical/legal ethical decisions, or the regulation of the health care industry.

Immigration Law
Immigration Law deals with the various procedures by which foreign citizens may remain in, or become citizens, of the United States. It involves the rules, documents, and proceedings of the federal agencies that deal with these matters, especially the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Insurance Law
Insurance Law is the practice of law surrounding insurance policies and claims. The U.S. regulates insurance companies through laws, guidelines, and regulatory bodies. These laws ensure that the policyholder is protected against bad faith claims on the insurers part, that premiums are not unreasonably high, and that issued contracts and policies meet minimum standards.

Intellectual Property
The area of law that regulates the ownership and use of creative works. This includes patent, copyright, and trademark law.

International Law
International Law refers to the system of agreements that binds together nation-states in adherence to recognized values and standards. For example, it involves the United Nations, maritime law, international criminal law and the Geneva conventions.

Juvenile Law
Juvenile Law involves the rights and obligations of youths and the procedures regarding probationary and correctional systems for youths.

Labor/Employment Law
Labor/Employment law deals with the rights and duties of employees, employers, health care providers, and insurance carriers. This includes matters arising out of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act.

Land Use/Zoning
Land Use/Zoning concerns the laws dividing cities into different areas according to use, from single-family residences to industrial plants. Zoning ordinances control the size, location, and the use of buildings within these different areas.

Landlord/Tenant Law
A landlord is the owner of any real estate, such as a house, apartment building or land, that is leased or rented to another person. A tenant is anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the landlord. The tenant may also be called the "lessee." Landlord/Tenant Law involves matters regarding leases or contracts and the rights of both the landlord and tenant.

Legal Malpractice
Legal malpractice is the term for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract by an attorney that causes harm to his or her client.

Mergers & Acquisitions refer to the aspect of corporate strategy, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling, and combining of different companies.

Military Law
Members of the armed forces are subject to military law. Military law deals with issues such as; procedures for military discipline, what is or what is not a lawful command, and obligations for service personnel.

Non-Profit Organizations
Laws govern nonprofit, philanthropic, and tax-exempt organizations throughout the U.S. Lawyers assist with strategies and tools for sound and effective nonprofit governance, board structures, and board/staff relationships. Lawyers can also help with legal documents including applying for tax exemption status, nonprofit bylaws, contracts, and for starting a nonprofit organization.

Oil, Gas, & Mineral Law
This field of law refers to the acquisition, ownership, and leasing of oil, gas, and other mineral interests. It also involves the title to and use of property.

Personal Injury
Personal Injury litigation involves matters such as vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or defective products which cause physical or mental injury to a person.

Real Estate Law
Real Estate Law concerns the the statutes and regulations governing the acquisition, transfer and use of land, and improvements on the land. Residential Real Estate deals with matters affecting homes, while Commercial Real Estate deals with matters involving business operations, and Farm and Ranch Real Estate deals with matters involving agricultural land.

School Law
School Law concerns general business affairs, human resources, collective bargaining issues, and state and federal statutory issues. Lawyers in this field generally advise school boards and school administrators.

Securities Law
Securities regulation in the United States is the field of U.S. law that covers various aspects of transactions and other dealings with securities (e.g. stocks, bonds, futures, derivatives, mutual funds). It includes both Federal and state level regulation, most notably the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Social Security Law
Social Security Law involves a number of related programs, including retirement, disability, and dependents and survivors benefits. These programs provide workers and their families with some income when their normal flow of income shrinks because of retirement, disability, or death.

Start-up Business
Attorneys who specialize in start-ups assist individuals with business entity selection (e.g. sole proprietorship, LLC, S-corp), draft employee agreements, and provide general business advice.

State Law is the law of each separate U.S. state, as passed by the state legislature. It exists in parallel and sometimes in conflict with U.S. federal law. Local and Municipal law deal with the laws and rules of cities and municipalities.

Tax Law
Tax Law primarily involves the Internal Revenue Code specifications dealing with the imposition and collection of taxes. Tax lawyers advise clients as to their rights and responsibilities regarding taxes, and are familiar with the procedures for contesting proposed and assessed taxes.