Peabody Law Firm

Common Myths About Legal Processes in the USA

The application of law to complicated cases makes it even more challenging to handle for both attorneys and people. From court cases to documentation, legal processes might not be easy to understand for individuals without any prior experience. This is why legal procedures in the US are often misunderstood, especially when they are concerned with complicated matters such as civil litigation.

There are certain myths commonly understood as a general rule when it comes to litigation. Some of them are as follows.

Myth #1: An Appeal Can Be Filed in Just About Any Court

Many believe that appeals can be filed in any court, especially after a guilty verdict. However, as any probate attorney in Southlake will tell you, this isn’t true. For instance, appellate courts in Texas are made particularly for civil and criminal appeals cases only. In fact, throughout the state, there are 14 appellate courts located, which includes the First Courts of Appeals of Texas in downtown Houston. This court only takes up appeals for cases in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County, besides seven other counties.

Myth #2: Personal Assets Are Always Safe From Business Debts

This is another myth that has to be tackled by business attorneys in Southlake. The prevailing concept is that personal assets are exempted from the liability to pay for business debts, especially in litigation. Actually, this is not true in all cases. A sole trader or proprietorship business legally binds personal assets to business liabilities. So, when it comes to paying a business’s debts, personal assets are also sold out by order of courts to make up for the payment of the business’s liabilities.  

However, if the business is a corporation or company, the personal and business assets would be considered and dealt with as separate entities. In this case, the personal assets of the owners or partners are not held liable to pay for the business’s debts.

Myth #3: Lawsuits Are Not as Easy as They Sound

In the 1990s, the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit became quite famous. In the case, a woman spilled hot coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s for it, making a lot of money after the case. This might seem ridiculous at first because there is more to the case.

The victim got third-degree burns because the coffee spilled all across her body and needed skin grafts for recovery. The victim also offered money to McDonald’s to settle the case, but they offered $800 in return, which is why the court eventually had to move to litigation. Accordingly, any lawyer in the region will tell, be it an estate planning attorney in Southlake or the one dealing with lawsuits, that it’s not easy to get money out of such cases.

Myth #4: A Will Has to Go Through Probate

According to will and trust services in Southlake, not every will goes through probate. There are certain exceptions. For instance, if the owner has small estates or jointly held assets, the will won’t go through the probate. However, the probate laws differ from state to state.

If the will goes through the probate, the courts ensure the assets are distributed according to the instructions in the will. Probate usually occurs in cases when the person dies without a will or estate planning documents. Other reasons might include a beneficiary refusing an inheritance if the will has not been updated in time. Accordingly, to avoid the will going through probate, individuals should do proper estate planning and keep it updated to avoid the will going through probate.

Myth # 5: LLC Registration Can Protect a Company’s Business Name

LLC formation in Southlake can be confusing. This is usually because many people confuse it with trademark protection. But the fact is that LLC formation does little to protect the business name. A competitor may name their business substantially similar to one’s business not yet trademarked. Trademarking a business ensures that the business’s name will remain the sole property of the company, and a competitor cannot intentionally take advantage of that name.  This is why it is crucial to trademark the business name after forming an LLC.

Myth #6: An Appeal Grant Guarantees Freedom

This is another common misconception. However, if the appeal grant is accepted, it means it is sent to the lower court for reconsideration or remanding. In some cases, the appellant might get results in their favor and be released from jail. However, this is usually an exception and not something that always happens.

Myth # 7: The Will Has to Be Executed Immediately

The time to execute a will varies according to the laws in a particular state. The Executor generally has to file the will within five years of the concerned individual’s death in the probate court. The will’s validity after death is also not subject to a time frame because the wills don’t come with an expiry date.

Myth # 8: Prenups Are Legally Binding

Prenups are legally binding in most cases. However, certain nuptial agreements might not be recognized in court, and the lawyers might have the discretion to go against the agreement. Yet, if they are drawn up properly, then the prenups are legally binding in most cases.

Myth # 9: Personal Injury Cases Are Lost Causes

Many people believe that personal injury cases are difficult to fight and might not be worth pursuing. However, personal injury law in the US is designed to bring justice to the victims suffering from injuries caused due to another party’s negligence. These cases are particularly important if the results have caused alteration in the lives of the injured. Therefore, victims of such cases should pursue them in court.

Myth # 10: All Attorneys Are the Same

Every attorney has a certain specialized skill in a particular field and expertise in particular practice areas. Accordingly, not all attorneys can deal with all types of cases or might be a good fit to handle the matter. Therefore, it is crucial to look for the right attorneys when it comes to dealing with legal matters and make sure the attorneys have enough expertise in the field to handle the case.


Legal cases and matters can be very confusing. However, lawyers can help resolve even major cases smoothly because they understand how courts and the litigation process work.