Skilled Texas Attorneys Handle Federal Court Litigation
Houston law firm represents clients in civil and criminal matters
Since most criminal trials and civil lawsuits are prosecuted in state courts, the majority of practicing attorneys never even enter federal court. If you are charged with a federal crime or face a lawsuit where federal jurisdiction applies, you need an attorney who is more than simply acquainted with U.S. law and federal rules of procedure. The attorneys at The Law Office of Larry P. Smith serve clients in the Houston are and throughout Texas and litigate cases in the federal court system. We understand the many nuances, advantages and disadvantages of federal court, and are prepared to represent you in matters related to federal criminal defense, civil lawsuits filed in federal court and state court lawsuits where removal to federal court is permissible.
Criminal law defense from advocates who understand the special rules and procedures of federal court
If you are accused of a crime that violates a statute passed by Congress, you will be tried in federal court. Crimes against federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (e.g., securities fraud), U.S. Treasury (e.g., counterfeiting), Environmental Protection Agency (e.g., toxic waste dumping), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (e.g., gun-running) and Drug Enforcement Agency (e.g., drug smuggling) are federal crimes, as are crimes that cross state lines, such as moving a kidnap victim from one state to another. Crimes that use a federal agency, such as the U.S. Postal Service, to perpetrate an illegal act are likewise federal. Our attorneys understand federal criminal law and all aspects of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, including:
- Federal Bail Reform Act
- Motions to compel discovery
- Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Don’t give the federal prosecutor an added advantage. Retain an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.
Civil litigators advise clients on cases tried in federal court
Some civil lawsuits can and should be filed in federal court. If you are the plaintiff, you can file in federal court for several reasons, including:
- Diversity — If the issue falls under state law, but the parties are from different states, the federal court will hear the case but apply state law in adjudicating.
- Constitutional question — The case must raise some issue under the U.S. Constitution.
- Civil rights claims — State law may be sufficient, but federal law also permits civil suits.
- Class action cases — Because of their complex nature, federal jurisdiction is granted.
- Environmental regulations — Federal regulations are given primacy over the states.
A defendant in a state court lawsuit may also remove the case to federal court if jurisdiction exists. Attorneys who are unfamiliar with the federal system may be overly wary. Their hesitation may prevent clients from receiving numerous benefits. Depending on the state in question, federal court may offer:
- More favorable discovery rules
- Judges more experienced with complex cases
- A more neutral forum
- Favorable precedent binding on the court
- The right to jury trial for specific cases
- Speedier trial
- A broader jury pool
An experienced federal court litigator will fully explain why your case should be filed federally or removed from the state court to the federal.
Contact an established and successful federal court litigation law firm
To schedule a consultation with a seasoned federal court trial attorney from The Law Office of Larry P. Smith, call 713-772-7268 or contact the firm online. Our office is conveniently located in Houston and represents clients throughout Texas.