An Arizona Attorney is a lawyer who is barred and in good standing in the State of Arizona. An Arizona attorney represents clients in all kinds of legal matters. Criminal Arizona Attorneys will represent individuals charge with crimes originating in the State of Arizona whether they be misdemeanors, felonies, DUI, traffic violations or violations of local ordinances. Civil Arizona Attorneys represent their clients in actions where the cause of action for a tort, contract or other matter involving damages, injunctions, or other form or relief are at issue. Arizona Attorneys who focus on civil law will represent clients who are involved in personal injury, contracts, real estate, landlord/tenant, wills and trusts, corporate law and many others.
In order to practice law within the State of Arizona an Arizona Attorney must be barred in the State of Arizona, be in good standing and meet the disciplinary requirements of the Arizona Bar Association.
The first requirement is that the Arizona Attorney have a bachelors degree from a college or university either in the United States or an accredited University abroad. In addition, a Arizona Attorney applicant must be a graduate of an accredited law school or meet any of the alternate eligibility requirements allowed by the Arizona Board of Bar Examiners. Once an applicant has graduated from law school he, or she, must pass the Arizona Bar Exam. The Arizona Bar Exam is a two day examination. The first day is comprised of 6 essay questions based exclusively on Arizona law. The first day also includes 2 Multi State Performance Tests. The MPT exam is an test that gauges an applicants ability to take evidence and, both statutory and common law, and create a persuasive memo or brief discussing the legal issue. The second day of the Arizona Bar Exam is the Multi-State Bar Exam. The MBE is a nationwide exam consisting of 200 multiple choice questions written and administered by the National Bar Association. The average passing rate for the Arizona Bar Exam is around 71%. In addition, an applicant must take the MPRE and get a passing score of 80.
Where do Arizona Attorneys argue their cases?
The Arizona state court system is comprised of three levels of courts. There are 3 types of trial courts consisting of the municipal courts, the justice of the peace courts, and the superior courts. Appeals from those matters are brought in the Court of Appeals for the State of Arizona and the Arizona Supreme Court is the highest court in the State.
The municipal courts in Arizona are also known as the city courts or the magistrate courts. They hear criminal matters involving misdemeanors and petty offenses in the municipality. The municipal courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the justice of the peace courts over violations of State laws and also have jurisdiction over DUI, hit & runs and reckless driving. The municipal courts do not hear civil suits.
The Justices of the Peace Courts comprise a larger jurisdiction than the municipal courts and are larger than a town but usually smaller than a county. The Justices of the Peace Courts hear traffic cases, certain criminal cases; and civil matters where the amount in question is less than $10,000. The Justices of the Peace Courts also have concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior courts to hear landlord/tenant matters where the damages are between $5,000 and $10,000. The Justices of the Peace Courts also hear misdemeanors, assault & battery, preliminary felony matters, and criminal offenses where the maximum penalty is greater than 6 months in jail or greater than a $2,500 fine.
The Superior court has one location in each county and hears all felony cases and some misdemeanor cases concurrently with the Justices of the Peace Courts. The Superior Courts also hear civil matters where the amount in question is greater than $10,000, evictions, probate, divorces and naturalization.
Where do I find an Arizona Attorney?
If you are looking for Arizona Attorneys you have many options to you. The easiest way is by looking though an internet search, asking friends or co-workers, looking through newspapers, magazines and other publications. Almost every Arizona Attorney has a website that will detail their experience, education, victories, any specialities, and their areas of practice. Although this is a good start, the information about the Arizona Attorney that you will find through this method will be positive and is unlikely to show an disfavorable information about the Arizona Attorney.
Aside from looking on your own you may also want to take advantage of a referral service. The Arizona Bar Association does not operate its own referral service but most of the Arizona County and Local bar associations operate referral services.
Maricopa County, the home of Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona has a referral service at www.maricopalawyers.org. You have two options when accessing the service. You can call directly at 602-257-4434 to speak to a representative or you can fill out the referral form by clicking on the link at the right of the page. A representative from the Maricopa County Referral service will then get in touch with you about finding an Arizona Attorney to represent you in that particular county.
One other option in seeking an Arizona Attorney is to use the lawyer referral service at laws.com. Laws.com operates a valuable referral service where, just by inputting your basic contact information and a brief description of your problem a representative from laws.com will be able get you in touch with an Arizona Attorney who will be able to help you with your legal problem.
What questions should I ask an Arizona Attorney?
When you are meeting with Arizona Attorneys you will want to ask a number of questions regarding the Arizona Attorneys ability to represent you. You should sit back and make a long list of questions that you have and what aspects of an Arizona Attorney will be important to you. Here are just a few examples of questions you should ask a potential Arizona Attorney before agreeing to representation.
■ Where did you go to law school?
■ How long have you been practicing in Arizona?
■ Have you ever been disciplined by any bar association?
■ What areas of law do you practice in?
■ What percentage of these cases are in the area I need help in?
■ Who in your firm will be handling my case?
■ What is the main issue in my case?
■ What do you see as the result?