What Are The Role Of Attorneys Play?

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Roles In the United States, attorneys provide a wide variety of services. They seem to do everything from drafting contracts and writing up wills to trying high-profile cases and arguing in front of the Supreme Court. In fact, at times it can seem like the U.S. is obsessed with attorneys as more and more things become legal issues and attorneys find themselves taking on more and more roles. Our pop culture seems to both reflect and drive our legal obsession as well, with more and more legal dramas and other shows and movies with attorneys as main characters being produced. In this paper, I will examine two of the main roles attorneys play in the modern U.S. legal system and I will offer examples of television shows and movies that portray …show more content…
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one definition of advocate is “a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law.” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.) With that being the definition, acting as an advocate and arguing on behalf of their clients is an essential role that attorneys play. This seems to be especially true since the U.S. legal system is setup to be adversarial. In Law in our Lives: An Introduction, David Friedrichs states, “the courts in the [U.S.] criminal justice system are formally organized to operate according to an adversary model, with a “contest” between the prosecution and the defense.” (Friedrichs, 2012) The U.S. also seems to have an adversarial model when it comes to civil law issues. Friedrichs writes that civil law, which is the term the U.S. uses for its system of private law, handles issues when one party complains to have been wronged by another party. Here, again, the U.S. system seems to pit people against each other in an adversarial way. Perhaps the most obvious indicator of the adversarial model in the U.S. is the fact that all legal cases are written as either U.S. or state v. offender in criminal cases or party v. party in civil cases. Even the way we identify our legal cases suggests the parties involved are versing each other. With this being the working model in the United States, one of the main roles attorneys fulfill will always seemingly be …show more content…
In civil law proceedings, attorneys act as advocates for the people who hire them. Civil law handles a wide variety of issues and thus attorneys advocate for a wide variety of interests. I have been able to witness attorneys acting as advocates in civil proceedings through the completion of courtroom observation hours for a criminal justice course that concentrated on courtroom demeanor. One particular case I witness was one in which the two parties were young man and a waste management company. In this case, the attorney advocating for the young man argued that the waste management company had acted negligibly by placing a dumpster on a plot of land that was unstable and as a result of that action, the attorney’s client the young man had his leg deeply cut by the dumpster when it fell. On the other side, the attorney advocating for the waste management company argued the company had not acted negligibly because the company’s employees simply followed the instructions they were given in the contract for the job, which directed them to place the dumpster in that location and it was not the company’s fault the young man was not instructed to not play on the dumpster. Overall, both attorneys involved in the case advocated for their clients by focusing on the facts that were in line with their clients’

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