The Florida Bar

Practice Area Descriptions

AREAS OF LAW DESCRIPTIONS

Not sure what kind of attorney you need? This section lists different Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service legal categories with brief descriptions that should help you to determine the proper category for your referral through this office. If your problem is not identified, please contact our office for further assistance.

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Business-related licensing issues. This area includes matters before the Federal Trade Commission, Civil Service, Federal Aviation Association, OSHA, and medical licensing groups. Limited issues related to school law representing teachers or students.

ADMIRALTY
Boat-related issues involving damage to a ship, damage to cargo, or injury to an individual. Sometimes referred to as Maritime Law.

ADOPTION
Issues relating to the adoption of a child and the relationship of parent to child of another person, usually a minor, by official legal action.

AGRICULTURAL LAW
Issues relating to the practice of producing crops, cultivating soil, raising livestock, etc.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES
Issues relating to legal problems associated with the discrimination of physically-challenged individuals.

ANIMAL LAW
Animal Law includes all interaction with animals within traditional areas of law including, but not limited to criminal, property, tort, environmental, estate planning and family law. The subjects of animal law include, but are not limited to companion animals, wildlife and animals used for research.

ANTI-TRUST
Cases involving such statutes as the Shennan Anti-trust Act, directed against unlawful restraints of trade and monopolies.

APPEALS- CIVIL
Appeals to trial court decisions in civil cases.

APPEALS-CRIMINAL
Appeals to trial court decisions involving criminal cases.

AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Issues relating to automobile accidents and injuries.

AVIATION LAW
Issues related to air traffic, pilot licenses, commercial airlines, and injuries or death associated with airline crashes.

BAKER ACT
Issues relating to the involuntary commitment of a person to a mental health facility.

BANKING LAW
Issues relating to the banking and finance industries.

BANKRUPTCY – CORPORATE
Corporate bankruptcy issues including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.

BUSINESS LAW – GENERAL
A broad category pertaining to the various types of business transactions.

CHILD CUSTODY/VISITATION
Issues related to children including custody orders and modifications, contempt actions, and interstate/international issues.

 CHILD SUPPORT
Issues related to child support and modifications of child support.

CIVIL RIGHTS – GENERAL
Cases involving the interpretation of the doctrine that the state exists for the individual and not for the state and therefore freedom should not be over-restricted by governmental or social regulation. The sub-categories refer to areas of law where an individual’s freedom may be restricted by governmental agencies. Issues such as discrimination including but not limited to age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, employment discrimination, voting rights, prisoners’ rights, sexual harassment, and hate crimes.  

COLLECTIONS – BUSINESS
This category is applicable if a person has money owed to him/her (creditor), or if the client has a collection matter pending against him/her (debtor).

COLLECTIONS – CONSUMER
This category is applicable if a person has money owed to him/her (creditor), or if the client has a collection matter pending against him/her (debtor).

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
Business trial matters including anti-trust issues, trade secrets, unfair competition, and non-compete agreements.

COMPLEX WILLS
Issues relating to wills that are complex that state where and to whom possessions, money, property, etc. of the deceased are to be given.

CONDOMINIUM LAW
Issues concerning condominiums, bylaws, rules, regulations, restrictions, and zoning laws pertaining to condominiums.

CONSTRUCTION LAW
The area of law focusing on the construction industry.

CONSUMER – GENERAL
Broad area covering most issues related to consumer purchases including consumer fraud, consumer goods-related problems, credit problems, homeowner improvements and repairs, utility problems, and small claims court representation.

 CONSUMER CREDIT/REPOSSESSION/GARNISHMENT
The area of law dealing with the legal means and procedures to collect debts and judgments, and the repossessing of vehicles and/or property, and the legal action of taking someone’s wages to pay off a debt.

COPYRIGHTS/TRADEMARK
The area of law concerning the right to control the copying, distributing, performing, displaying, and adapting of works. The area of law concerning any mark, word, letter, number, design, picture or a combination that is used to identify the products it makes or sells. Also known as service marks.

CUSTOMS
Issues relating to taxes levied on imports from other countries.

 DENTAL MALPRACTICE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
The area of law that focuses on representing dentists who have been accused of negligence, misconduct, breach of duty in the performance of a professional service resulting in injury or death.

DIVORCE/DISSOLUTION/SEPARATION/ANNULMENT
Issues relating to the dissolving of a marriage or the legal separation from a spouse. Annulments are legal issues making a marriage void.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Issues concerning violence or abuse in marriages or other relationships. Issues relating to restraining orders to legally keep one person away from another person.

DUI – DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Issues related to the criminal charge of driving while under the influence.

 ELDER LAW
The area of law concerning a vast range of issues dealing with senior citizens. Elder Law focuses on the legal needs of the elderly, and encompasses a variety of legal techniques to meet the objectives of the older client. Includes elderly abuse, nursing home law, general estate planning issues, long-term care needs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the care of mentally ill elderly patients.

EMINENT DOMAIN
The power to take private property for public use by condemnation.

EMPLOYMENT/LABOR LAW
Representing employees and employers of private companies and government agencies or unions for issues including wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, wage claims, government procurement, retirement/pensions, ERISA, labor arbitration proceedings, negotiation/preparation of collective bargaining agreements, work-related injuries when company does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, and retaliation by a company due to a workers’ compensation claim.

ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS LAW
Issues related to entertainment and sports including contracts for entertainers, authors, musicians, book publishing, music publishing, contracts for artists, contracts for athletes, and professional sports-related legal issues.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Issues related to the environment including biotechnology, toxicology, water, OSHA requirements, and asbestos.

FALSE ARREST/POLICE BRUTALITY
The area of law dealing with the arrest of someone under false pretenses, or from mistaken identity or other errors.

FAMILY LAW – MISCELLANEOUS
Issues related to the relationship of families including adoption, child abuse matters, guardianship, divorce, annulment, separations, rights of grandparents, paternity, pre-nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, and interstate/international matters.

FELONY
Issues relating to high crimes that are not minor offenses: homicides, rape, arson, robbery, burglary, etc.

FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES
The area of law dealing with violations to the First Amendment (Freeedom of speech, etc.) of the United States Constitution.

FRANCHISE LAW
Issues concerning the franchising and/or licensing to obtain a business.

FRAUD (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Issues concerning deceit, trickery, and/or cheating.

GENERAL PRACTICE
The area of law dealing in many or numerous areas of law.

GUARDIANSHIP – ADULT
A legal arrangement under which one person (a guardian) has the legal right and duty to care for another and his or her property. A guardianship is established because of the person’s inability to legally act on his/her own behalf because of age or mental or physical incapacity.

GUARDIANSHIP – CHILD
A legal arrangement under which one person (a guardian) has the legal right and duty to care for another and his or her property. A guardianship is established because of the person’s inability to legally act on his/her own behalf because of age or mental or physical incapacity.

HARASSMENT
Issues concerning to annoying someone repeatedly, pester, bother, or to impede someone.

HEALTH LAW
Physician regulation issues. Issues related to discipline and declaratory process and provider licensing, bio-ethics, managed care, and certificate of need. Patients’ rights. Health facility licensing and accreditation.

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS
The area of law representing the needs of Homeowners Associations. Includes bylaws, property rights, easements, zoning, land use, and architectural control.

IMMIGRATION LAW
Immigration and naturalization issues related to visas, naturalization, labor certifications, fraud investigations, deportation and exclusion, and political asylum.

INSURANCE LAW
Life, health, disability, home, fire, and property insurance issues including arbitration and the obligation of defense and indemnity.

INTERNATIONAL LAW
International matters including international trade agreements, customs, and tariffs.

JUVENILE – DELINQUENCY
Criminal issues pertaining to someone under the age of 18.

JUVENILE – MISCELLANEOUS
Legal issues relating to someone under the age of 18.

 LANDLORD/TENANT
Representation of landlords and tenants in contract issues related to leases and rentals of commercial and residential properties. This area also includes matters related to deed restrictions and homeowners associations.

LEGAL MALPRACTICE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Representation of clients or attorneys in problems related to the disposition of a legal matter. Issues related to the possible negligence of an attorney in a legal matter.

LEMON LAW
Defects and problems in new cars. The Lemon Law does not cover used cars.

LIBEL & SLANDER (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Libel is the area of law dealing with false written statements that injure a person’s reputation, business, or property rights. Slander is the speaking of false words that injure another person’s reputation, business, or property rights.

LICENSING
The area of law dealing with professional licensing (nurses, doctors, etc.) and or the licensing for the handling of alcoholic beverages.

LIVING TRUSTS
The area of law that creates a fiduciary relationship in which one party holds legal title to another’s property for the benefit of a party who holds equitable title to the property while the person is still living.

LIVING WILLS
Issues concerning a person’s authorization for the removal of life support systems.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Representation of patients or medical personnel in matters related to possible negligent or otherwise improper medical care resulting in an injury or death.

MEDICARE/MEDICAID
Issues relating to the Federally-funded government programs of Medicare and Medicaid.

MILITARY/VETERAN BENEFITS
Matters related to military duty for active service personnel and veterans.

MISDEMEANOR
Less serious criminal offenses such as shoplifting, petty theft.

MOBILE HOME LAW
Legal issues dealing with mobile homes.

MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE
Legal issues relating to the banks right to a property if payment has not been made.

NAME CHANGE
The area of law dealing with the legal procedure for changing a person’s name.

OTHER
General category of law.

OTHER MALPRACTICE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
The area of law that focuses on representing those professionals who have been accused of negligence, misconduct, lack of ordinary skill, or a breach of duty in the performance of a professional service resulting in injury or death.

PAROLE/PROBATION
The area of law dealing with post conviction issues.

PATENT LAW
Intellectual property matters including the application and registration of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Related issues also include unfair competition, and trade secrets.

PATERNITY
When someone files a paternity suit it is to prove someone is the father of a child.

PENSION LAW
The area of law dealing with person’s pension or retirement money from an employer.

PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY
Legal issues arising from the inability of a person to pay his/her debts as they become due and the filing of bankruptcy to discharge the debts.

PERSONAL INJURY – DEFENSE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Matters including injury to a person or damage to property that involve monetary compensation. Includes issues related to negligence, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. Often referred to as Tort Law.

PERSONAL INJURY – PLAINTIFF (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Matters including injury to a person or damage to property that involve monetary compensation. Includes issues related to negligence, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. Often referred to as Tort Law.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
The area of law dealing with the legal rights of an individual who owns property.

PROBATE
Drafting wills, estate planning, tax planning, probating wills, and estate issues for deceased individuals. Additional areas include mental health matters, guardianships, and ‘elder law’ issues such as the living will and power of attorney.

PRODUCT LIABILITY (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Injury or death of person from a product involving monetary damages. Class action suits are included in this area.

PROPERTY DAMAGE (Regular Lawyer Referral Service Panel only)
Legal issues relating to damage to the property of a person or business.

REAL ESTATE – GENERAL
Commercial and residential real estate issues including preparing deeds, mortgages, closings, and foreclosures. Additional areas include complex matters such as fraud, rescission, condemnation, and eminent domain.

SCHOOL LAW/EDUCATION
Legal issues focusing on the laws of education/school/college, etc.

SECURITIES
Representation of investors, brokers, dealers, and customers in issues related to disputes involving federal securities matters, state securities matters, stock or investment counseling, and arbitration.

SIMPLE WILLS
The general making of a will, stating where and to whom possessions of the deceased are to be given.

SOCIAL SECURITY
Representation at social security hearings including claims for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefit denials, and appeals for disabled, survivors, or retired claimants.

SOCIAL SECURITY – DISABILITY
Issues relating to the laws concerning filing and obtaining funds from the Social Security Administration for a disability.

STATE OF FLORIDA CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
The area of law focusing on legal issues relating to the Florida Department of Children and Families, such as foster care, abuse, adoption, and benefits.

TAX LAW
Issues related to state and federal income taxes, corporate taxes, and interstate or international tax matters. This area also includes tax counseling.

TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS
Issues involving traffic tickets, drivers’ license suspension, car insurance, etc.

TRUSTS/ESTATES/PLANNING
Issues concerning the planning of what to do with a deceased person’s assets and property. The area of law that deals with the planning for inevitability of death, such as obtaining life insurance to pay for the costs of a funeral, preparing a will, preparing a trust, and planning for the distribution of assets and property.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
Legal issues relating to the filing for compensation and benefits when a person loses his/her job.

WORKERS COMPENSATION – FEDERAL
Representation of individuals for claims, denials, and hearings related to injury or illness sustained on the job.

 WORKERS COMPENSATION – STATE
Representation of individuals for claims, denials, and hearings related to injury or illness sustained on the job.

 ZONING/LAND USE
Legal issues concerning the zoning of property or problems in changing the zoning of property. Also includes legal issues concerning the use of land and property.