Suggestions for Retaining an Attorney
Crime victims' rights and representation of crime victims is a new and rapidly expanding field. While increasing numbers of attorneys are gaining experience in representing crime victims in civil and criminal proceedings, the number of attorneys with actual experience or special knowledge of crime victims; problems and rights is still relatively small.
Whether a knowledge of recent developments in this area is necessary will depend on the victim's needs. If, for example, the victim is interested in commencing a civil action for damages against a known criminal for intentional injury or destruction of property or against a third party for negligence, the victim may have ready access to local attorneys skilled in tort actions, personal injury cases, or "white-collar crime" who could provide excellent representation. If the victim wishes to retain a lawyer to assist in preparation of a claim for compensation, personal injury attorneys familiar with similar kinds of claims (including specialists in workmen's compensation) may well satisfy the need.
However, if the victim is faced with the need for representation in an ongoing criminal proceeding, is faced with a complex restitution question or wishes to compel a prosecutor to bring charges in a particular case, he may have need of an attorney with special knowledge of the developing law discussed in this book and, in particular, how it affects the victim's rights in the victim's particular jurisdiction. In such a case, victims should carefully question potential attorneys about their knowledge and experience in this area.
If the victim has difficulty finding an experienced attorney, the victim might consider contacting any of the following for
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Rights of Crime Victims. Contributors: James H. Stark - Author, Howard W. Goldstein - Author. Publisher: Bantam Books. Place of publication: Toronto. Publication year: 1985. Page number: 410.
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