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Under Spanish Law, individuals, unlike the government, do not enjoy the so-called right of "self-protection". This means that in those cases where their rights may be disturbed by a third party, they should request the assistance of the courts.
Depending on the type of violation that has occurred, and the applicable regulations, an individual may be able to act before different jurisdictional areas: civil, commercial, criminal, social, or administrative litigation.
In addition, a judicial proceeding belonging to a certain jurisdictional area may be developed at several levels and before several courts (Courts of First Instance, Provincial Courts, High Courts of Justice, National Court, Supreme Court, and Constitutional Court).
Litigation practicing attorneys act before those courts and may develop their activity in several stages. In the pre-judicial stage they advise clients about the chances of success of each case (it should be noted, however, that it is legally forbidden to ensure a certain outcome), as well as the risks that the initiation of proceedings may have; based on this previous advice, clients decide whether it is appropriate or not for their interests to initiate legal proceedings. Once the procedure has started, the attorney develops the legal defense of the client before the courts; this means that it is the lawyer who, in accordance with the client, establishes and develops the strategy and acts on behalf the client before the courts. This function shall not be confused with the job that in Spain is performed by the Procurator. The latter is a freelancer who holds formal representation of the client before the courts (this refers mainly to the delivery and receipt of notifications on their behalf).
In addition to their intervention during the proceedings, litigation attorneys are also responsible for negotiating with opposing counsel, in order to attempt a possible settlement, which may mean the termination of the procedure.
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