Areas of the Law

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Business-related licensing issues. This area includes matters before the Alcohol Beverage Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Civil Service, Board of Education, Real Estate Commission, Federal Aviation Association, OSHA, Department of Transportation, medical and other professional licensing groups among others.

Government administered benefits. State and federal government agencies administering benefits and compensation such as workers’ compensation, social security benefits, unemployment benefits and the like.

Includes parents placing a child for adoption, parents seeking to adopt, and adopted children. Adoption terminates parental responsibilities of the birth parents and transfers the responsibilities to the adoptive parents.

Related site: Utah State Courts

See heading Dispute Resolution/Mediation

Agricultural law deals with plants, animals, land use, environmental rules, and the use of food products.

Protects trade and commerce from unfair restraints, monopolies and price-fixing.

Appellate law begins where most other litigation ends. If a party is unhappy with the outcome of the trial or other legal proceeding, then he or she may appeal the decision in some instances. The appellate record is limited to what was presented to the trial court.


Involves issues in the area of banking transactions and tax law as well as regulatory compliance issues.

Individuals, businesses, or creditors seeking to have debts discharged or reorganized by the federal court. Most common bankruptcy petitions are: Chapter 7 (Individual Bankruptcy), Chapter 11 (Business Reorganization) and Chapter 13 (Wage Earner’s Plan).

Related site: United States Bankruptcy Court District of Utah

Business law deals with the forming of business entities (corporations, partnerships, joint ventures and limited liability companies), business litigation and advice on such issues as shareholder rights, commercial leasing, consumer protection, mergers and acquisitions, and contracts.

Commercial law deals with the sale and distribution of goods, the financing of credit transactions and negotiable instruments.


A lawsuit filed in court in order to receive damages or to recover a right. Civil litigation usually involves disputes between individuals, businesses or non-profit organizations.

The rights of individuals to receive equal treatment in education, employment, housing, and more. The term is also used to describe the advancement of equality for all people regardless of the legally protected categories of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, and religion. Also includes freedom of speech, expression, and association; freedom of religion, including the separation of church and state; the right to privacy; safe prison and jail conditions; and equal protection and due process of our laws.

Related site: ACLU of Utah

The interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution as well as relationships among the states, the states and the federal government, the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) and the rights of the individual in relation to both federal and state government.

Involves the law of contracts, construction defect issues, and workplace injuries.

Broad area covering most issues related to consumer purchases including consumer fraud, the Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DTPA), banking matters, “Lemon Law” (new cars), credit problems, homeowner improvements and repairs, utility problems, and small claims court representation.

Related Sites: Utah Division of Consumer Protection | Consumer Action Website

Legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties (individuals or businesses), created when the parties to the agreement assume a legal duty under the contract.

Issues related to businesses including forming corporations and partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, non-profit corporations, buying/selling/dissolving a business, franchise law, employment contracts and executive compensation agreements.

Criminal defense and other legal assistance with infractions, misdemeanors, felonies, traffic violations, license suspensions, juvenile proceedings, expungements, parole violations and municipal ordinance violations.

Related site: Utah State Courts


Applies to all non-bankruptcy aspects of the credit/debit relationship. Includes proper practices for extending credit, consumers’ rights concerning collection of debt, and different forms of credit satisfaction (including liens and debt priority).

See heading Civil Rights

Disability law is largely regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, education, and access to public services.

Related Site: Disability Law Center

When parties are unwilling or unable to resolve a dispute, they often turn to mediation. Disputing parties work with a neutral third party, the mediator, to resolve their disputes.

Related Sites: Utah State Courts | Utah Dispute Resolution

A divorce ends marriage and all direct legal relationships between couples, except those relationships and obligations specified in the divorce decree. These may include such things as spousal support, parenting arrangements and support of children, division of property and payment of debts.

See also heading Family Law

Related Site: Utah State Courts


Legal issues affecting education in schools, colleges, universities, school systems and school boards, students rights and movements.

Specializes in issues faced by older individuals. Common issues include wills and trusts, health care, nursing home abuse, social security, retirement, and estate planning.

See also heading Estate Planning/Probate

Related Site: Utah Legal Services

Includes retirement, pension, and health care benefits.

See headings Employment/Labor and Health

Issues regarding wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, wage claims, 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.

Related Site: Utah Department of Labor

See heading Environment Law

Protection of natural resources and the regulation of the businesses that impact them.

Related Site: Utah Department of Environmental Quality

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.


Issues related to the relationship of families including adoption, child abuse matters, guardianship, divorce, annulment, support modification and enforcement, protective orders, same sex-partners, rights of grandparents, paternity, pre-nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, and interstate/international matters. Issues related to children including custody orders and modifications, child support, contempt actions, contested paternity, interstate/international issues, and Children’s Protective Services cases.

Related Sites: Utah State Courts | Utah Legal Services | Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake | ABA Guide to Family Law

Legal procedure that may be used by a lender if a homeowner (the mortgage holder) fails to make mortgage payments.


May include both civil and criminal law.

See headings Administrative Law, Civil Rights, and Constitutional

Legal arrangement under which one person (a guardian) has the legal right and duty to care for another (the ward) and his or her property. A guardianship is established because of the ward’s inability to legally act on his or her own behalf.

Related Site: Utah State Courts


Provides legal guidelines for the provision of healthcare services and healthcare benefits including healthcare insurance.

See also Employee Benefits

Issues related to evictions and lock-outs, home foreclosure, habitability and repairs, and problems with federally subsidized rentals.

Related Site: Utah Legal Services


Issues related to visas, naturalizations, labor certifications, fraud investigations, deportation and exclusion, and political asylum.

Related Sites: Catholic Community Services | Holy Cross Ministries |International Rescue Committee | Multicultural Legal Center

A separate and distinct body of laws and judicial system pertaining to tribal and individual broad range of rights.

Life, health, disability, medicare/medicaid, home, fire, and property insurance issues including arbitration and the obligation of defense and indemnity.

See also headings Employee Benefits, Employment/Labor, and Health.

Refers to creations of the mind such as musical, literary, and artistic works; inventions; and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related rights. Under intellectual property law, the holder of one of these abstract “properties” has certain exclusive rights to the creative work, commercial symbol, or invention by which it is covered.

See also heading Patent/Trademark/Copyright.

International business matters including international trade agreements, customs, tariffs, and foreign social security/pension/retirement benefits.


Applies to juveniles under the age of 18 who have committed a criminal offense.

Related Site: Utah State Courts


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.

Related Site: Utah Legal Services

Process of putting a case before a trial court.


Legal Malpractice: Representation of clients or attorneys in problems related to the disposition of a legal matter.

Medical Malpractice: Representation of patients or medical personnel in matters related to possible negligent or otherwise improper medical care resulting in an injury.

See heading Dispute Resolution/Mediation.

Matters related to military duty for active service personnel and veterans.

See heading Environmental Law.


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

See also heading Intellectual Property.

Matters including injury to a person or damage to property that involve monetary compensation, including death.

See also heading Wrongful Death.

See heading Estate Planning.


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.

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

See heading Consumer Law.

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.


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

Provides remedies for civil wrongs that do not arise out of contractual duties. A person who is legally injured may be able to use tort law to recover damages from someone who is legally responsible, or “liable,” for those injuries.

Violation of laws that regulate vehicle operation on streets and highways; including speed limits, traffic signal laws, and reckless driving statutes.

See heading Estate Planning.


See heading Environmental Law.

See heading Estate Planning.

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

Representation of family members on behalf of a deceased individual whose death may have been a result of negligence.