YOUR RIGHT TO COUNSEL in CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
Heiting & Irwin
By: Dennis R. Stout
You have likely heard or read on multiple occasions, the expression “you have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you…” (known as the Miranda warning). These are some of the rights of an individual charged with a crime. Criminals, or persons charged with crimes, have rights. The question is: Do civil litigants have the same or similar rights?
As a party to a civil complaint, whether contract, personal injury, or domestic matters (just to name a few) the civil litigant has far fewer rights. There is no specific right to counsel and the court will rarely, if ever, appoint an attorney in a civil case. You can always speak to an attorney, but can you afford to retain that attorney to represent you? There is no public defender in civil cases. California has experimented with appointment of civil counsel for low-income litigants in cases affecting basic human needs (Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act) however, the average every-day civil litigant has no such right to an attorney.
The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are experienced civil litigators. Part of our promise to clients is to keep them well informed at all stages of the litigation process and to treat each and every client with civility and professionalism. We handle a large variety of civil cases, including personal injury, professional negligence, workers rights, and general civil litigation. An attorney is always available for an initial consultation with the prospective client on any type of legal matter.
Attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are well-known and respected through out Riverside, San Bernardino and all of Southern California and welcome the opportunity to represent litigants on a variety of legal issues. We believe that civil litigants have rights!