Logo for the Law Firm of Richard J. Rutledge, Jr. PLLC. Winston Tower
301 N. Main St., Suite 2402
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Call: (336) 283-0284
info@RickRutledgeLaw.com

My Areas of Interest

While I'm willing to consider just about any legal question, and I don't shrink from a challenge, there are areas that are particularly interesting to me.  These are areas that I spent the most time on in law school, and that I read about for my own interest.  Give me a try; at the very least, if I can't help you, I can help you find someone who can, if it sounds like you have a legitimate legal problem.

Estate Planning

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Probate
  • Elder Law

Life Planning

  • Pre-Marital Agreements
  • Domestic Partnership Agreements
  • Asset/Equity Sharing Agreements
  • Guardianship Plans
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Long-Term Planning

 

Property

  • Title Research
  • Boundary or Use Disputes

Small Business

  • Registration
  • Succession Planning
  • Policy & Procedure Planning &Review

Contracts

  • Drafting
  • Review
  • Negotiation

Civil Litigation

  • Matters Mentioned Above
  • Landlord / Tenant **
  • Employment Law

Employment Law

  • Title VII Discrimination/Harassment
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Wage & Hour Issues
  • Unemployment Appeals

Domestic Relations / Family Law

  • I will handle assisting alternative families in developing cohabitation agreements or contractual arrangements for sharing property/equity, etc.
  • I handle divorce cases with limitations. (See the page linked above.)
  • Other family law matters will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Criminal Law

  • Because good people sometimes make mistakes, I will handle many misdemeanor criminal matters, such as traffic violations, especially for established clients.
  • For felony or complex criminal matters, I am more likely to refer the case.

Nobody knows everything, and the law changes every day.

Let's put that right up front.  Many attorneys specialize in an attempt to know practically everything about something.  The law changes every day, and just keeping up with it is hard work.  Cities pass ordinances.  States pass laws.  Congress passes laws.  Administrative and regulatory agencies pass rules.  Judges apply the law.  Courts of appeal interpret, narrow, expand, and overrule laws.  Right now, today, there are several hundred people working hard (or we hope they are; we're paying them) to change the law.

How do you keep up?  You don't have to.

First, accept that you can't know it all.  But, you can find it out.  That's what I can do for you; it's my job to know as much as I possibly can, to stay current on the law, and to make sure that we're all up-to-date.

Part of what a lawyer is trained to do in law school is research.  Legal research is specialized research.  Sure, you might find answers to some legal questions on Google.  But, it's probably not a good idea to tell a judge, “I did a Google search and it said it was fine to do that.”  The judge is not very likely to say, “Oh, well in that case, no problem.  Case dismissed!”  Another part - probably the biggest part - of what a lawyer learns in law school is “the general rule.”  We learn the general rules for lots of stuff - constitutional law, criminal law, property, and so forth.  Then, to pass the bar exam, we have to learn all the rules specific to our state.  You can probably see why a lot of people specialize, especially if they're really interested in something like securities law, or mergers of large companies, or environmental laws on toxic waste.  So much to know!  The purpose for knowing the general rule is to help you make initial decisions about what you can and can't do.  From there, we research to make sure we understand the nuances and requirements, to ensure that your contract, will, or lawsuit isn't tossed out on a technicality.

The “everyday” areas change a bit more slowly.

Sure, the courts and the legislatures give us surprises.  But, partly because the most common legal problems are not new, and because they affect so many people, the most common laws change more slowly.  This is part of the reason that a general practice lawyer can cover such a broad range of law.

The fact that I list an area here does not mean that I have acquired any special certification or endorsement.  While a number of agencies or associations (including the state bar association) offer certificates of specialization, I do not currently hold any such specializations.

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Nothing on this web site is intended to provide, nor should be intepreted as providing, legal advice. Every legal question turns on the facts of the individual situation, and any examples, illustrations, or cases presented here are presented as illustrations only.

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