What does a lawyer do? image

What does a lawyer do?

Damage suffered at the hands of someone else, arrested by the police or wanting to stand up for your own rights: various cases in which the assistance of a lawyer is certainly not an unnecessary luxury and in civil cases even an obligation. But what exactly does a lawyer do and why is it important to hire a lawyer?

The Dutch legal system is very comprehensive and confirmed. In order to avoid misunderstandings and to convey the purpose of legislation correctly, every choice of words has been considered and complex systems have been put in place to ensure certain legal safeguards. The disadvantage is that it is often difficult to maneuver a way through this. A lawyer is trained to interpret the law and knows his way through the legal ‘jungle’ like no other. Unlike a judge or public prosecutor, a lawyer only represents his clients’ interests. At Law & More the client and the most successful and fair outcome for the client comes first. But what exactly does a lawyer do? In principle, this depends very much on the case for which you engage a lawyer.

There are two types of proceedings that a lawyer can start for you: a petition procedure and a summons procedure. In the case of an administrative law issue, we work through the appeal procedure, which will also be further explained in this blog. Within criminal law, you can only receive a summons. After all, only the Public Prosecution Service is authorized to prosecute criminal offences. Even then, a lawyer can assist you in filing an objection, among other things.

Petition procedure

When starting a petition procedure, as the name suggests, a request is made to the judge. You can think of matters such as a divorce, the dissolution of an employment contract and the placement under guardianship. Depending on the case, there may or may not be a counterparty. A lawyer will prepare a petition for you that meets all formal requirements and will formulate your request as appropriately as possible. If there is an interested party or defendant, your lawyer will also respond to any statement of defense.

If a petition procedure has been started by another party with whom you are the opposing party or interested party, you can also contact a lawyer. A lawyer can then help you draft a statement of defense and, if necessary, prepare for the oral hearing. During the hearing, you can also be represented by a lawyer, who can also appeal if you do not agree with the judge’s decision.

Summons procedure

In all other cases, a summons procedure is started, in which case the judge’s opinion in a particular conflict is requested. A subpoena is basically a summons to appear in court; the start of a procedure. Of course, your lawyer is there to speak to you during the trial, but also to assist you before and after the hearing. Contact with a lawyer often starts after receiving a summons or when you want to send one yourself. When you start the procedure yourself and are therefore the claimant, a lawyer not only advises whether starting the procedure is fruitful, but he also writes the summons that must meet various criteria. Before drafting the summons, a lawyer can, if desired, first contact the opposing party in writing in order to achieve an amicable solution, without starting legal proceedings. If it nevertheless comes to a summons procedure, further contact with the opposing party will also be taken care of by the lawyer to ensure that the procedure runs smoothly. Before the case is heard orally by a judge, there will be a written round in which the two parties can respond to each other. The documents that are sent back and forth are usually included by the judge during the oral hearing of the case. In many cases, however, after a written round and mediation, it no longer comes to a meeting, by means of an arrangement between the two parties. Did your case end up in a hearing and do you not agree with the verdict after the hearing? In that case, too, your lawyer will help you to appeal if necessary.

Administrative law appeal procedure

If you do not agree with a decision of an administrative body (government organization) such as the CBR or the municipality, you can object. You can have a letter of objection drawn up by a lawyer who has insight into the success rate of lodging an objection and who knows which arguments must be put forward. If you register an objection, the body will make a decision on the objection (bob). If you do not agree with this decision, you can file a notice of appeal. To which body, such as the court, CBb, CRvB or RvS, an appeal must be submitted depends on your case. A lawyer can help you submit a notice of appeal to the appropriate authority and, if necessary, formulate a response to the administrative body’s statement of defence. Ultimately, a judge will rule on the case after the oral hearing. If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you can still appeal under certain circumstances.

(Subpoena) criminal law

In the Netherlands, the Public Prosecution Service is charged with investigating and prosecuting criminal offences. If you have received a summons from the Public Prosecution Service, you are suspected of committing a criminal offense after a preliminary investigation has been carried out. Hiring a lawyer is a wise move. A criminal case can be legally fraught and analyzing the documents requires experience. A lawyer can object to a summons so that an oral hearing can possibly be prevented. In most cases, an oral hearing of a criminal case takes place in public. A lawyer will be able to represent you best during the oral hearing. The benefits of engaging a lawyer, for example after the discovery of errors made during the investigation, can extend as far as acquittal. If you ultimately disagree with the judge’s decision, you can appeal.

A lawyer can often do something for you before you have received a summons. A lawyer can, among other things, offer support and assistance during police interrogations or advise on a criminal offense of which you are suspected.


Although you can hire a lawyer to start one of the above procedures, lawyers can also help you outside the courtroom. For example, a lawyer can also write a letter for you in a business setting. Not only will a letter be written according to your wishes that puts the finger on the sore spot, but you also gain legal knowledge about your matter. With the help of a lawyer you will be helped with the do’s and don’ts of your case and success is more a fact than just hope.

In short, a lawyer advises, mediates and litigates on your legal issues and always acts in the interest of his client. For the best prospects, you will certainly benefit from hiring a lawyer.

Do you think you need expert advice or legal assistance from a specialized lawyer after reading the article above? Please contact Law & More. Law & More’s lawyers are specialized in various areas of law and are happy to assist you by telephone or e-mail.

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