PRACTICE AREAS

Practice Areas

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Adoption:

Michael J Smith is a licensed adoption attorney and carries out numerous adoptions every year. For more information on the adoption process, click here (please include hyperlink to the following page

Probate:

Michael J. Smith & Associates, P.C. provides a full range of services in probate, estate planning and administration. We will assist you in the planning process itself and will prepare all necessary documents, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and related documents. We also handle the probate and the administration of estates and trusts, from the simplest to the most complex.

Domestic:

Family/Divorce Law— We help our clients with a full range of family law issues. We provide representation for:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody, Visitation and Support
  • Alimony and Spousal Maintenance
  • Modification of Previous Orders and Awards
  • Prenuptial/Premarital Agreements
  • Paternity
  • Restraining and Protective Orders
  • Adoption

We believe that all of these matters should be handled painlessly, and economically.
Michael J. Smith & Associates, P.C. represents and advises clients on a full range of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, property division, spousal maintenance / alimony, modifications of custody, support, visitation, and alimony, domestic violence / restraining orders, contempt of court proceedings, grandparents rights, mediation and paternity matters.
We understand the emotional stress involved in these areas, and we listen carefully. We strive to get the best result possible for our clients, while minimizing the damage and keeping costs down.

Corporate:

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Bankruptcy:

The purpose of filing for bankruptcy is to relieve pressure and anxiety resulting from mounting debts and the inability to repay them. Bankruptcy was created to give individuals a fresh start. There are two major types of consumer bankruptcy, chapter 7 and chapter 13. An attorney with extensive experience in the area of bankruptcy can guide you through the laws and the myriad of documents necessary to successfully complete a discharge of debts under the bankruptcy code.

The Law Office of Michael J. Smith & Associates, P.C. have attorneys, who together, have handled hundred of bankruptcies and keep very current on the laws pertaining to Bankruptcy. They know what their client's needs are and strive to work with the client to relieve the anxiety that results from debt and move them on with a future hope.

Estate:

Michael J. Smith & Associates, P.C. provides a full range of services in probate, estate planning and administration. We will assist you in the planning process itself and will prepare all necessary documents, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and related documents. We also handle the probate and the administration of estates and trusts, from the simplest to the most complex.

An estate is the total property, real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will. Real property is real estate and personal property includes everything else, for example cars, household items, and bank accounts. Estate planning distributes the real and personal property to an individual's heirs.

Estate planning is the process by which an individual or family arranges the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries and flexibility for the individual prior to death. A major concern for drafters of estate plans is Federal and state tax law.

Wills and trusts are common ways in which individuals dispose of their wealth. Trusts, unlike wills, have the benefit of avoiding probate, a lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of assets. Sometimes, though, it will be useful to make inter vivos gifts (gifts made while the donor is alive) in order to minimize taxes. The Federal Gift Tax exempts certain levels of lifetime gifts.

Civil Law:

Injury and Death Litigation
A primary area of representation is of persons who have been injured by either the negligence or the intentional acts of others and of the families of persons who have lost their lives to such action or inaction. Our representation has included automobile collisions, highway defects, intentional assaults, premises liability matters, and abusive litigation. We would be honored to consult with you regarding your case.

Medical Malpractice
We consider a certain number of medical malpractice cases each year. Where, after consulting with our experts, we determine that the physician has failed to meet the appropriate standard of care, we determine whether an action may be successfully prosecuted.

Commercial Litigation
We handle a variety of matters on behalf of businesses either prosecuting or defending matters of dispute between businesses. This includes collection matters from small amounts to a quarter of a million dollars. We have handled matters involving alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of restrictive covenants, breach of contract, and many other areas. We have handled cases concerning the valuation of professional practices and other businesses. If it's related to business or commercial law, please contact us and we will discuss with you how we can handle your case.

Criminal Law:

Michael J. Smith & Associates knows the importance of fighting a criminal complaint before charges are filed and the case goes to court.

Pre-File Investigation – Client is contacted by a law enforcement agency, however, charges have not actually been filed.

Goals of a Pre-File Investigation:

  • Prevent filing.
  • Reduce Charges; ie, felony to a misdemeanor.
  • Divert allegations into an informal resolution.
  • Ease client's concerns about the case.
  • Keep clients apprised of legal rights.
  • Assist with surrender and avoid arrest.

Ways to prevent charges from being filed

  • Bolster client’s credibility
  • Private polygraph – if the results are favorable, then they will be shared.
  • Reference letters from community leaders, religious leaders, teachers, friends, etc.
  • Attack complaint credibility of the victim
  • Use other witnesses to question the reputation and truth of the victim.
  • Unsubstantiated allegations against others made by the victim.