-  Civil law (dispute cases)
(a) NegotiationsWith respect to dispute cases in civil law, we first aim at resolving cases autonomously and not referring the resolution to court initially.
Specifically, we start negotiations with the counterparty by documentation, telephone and meetings, etc., and build up a relationship of trust with the counterparty through an honest exchange of opinion on the facts and legal relations with the goal of concluding an accurate, thorough and just agreement.
In the process of negotiations, we maintain not only oral exchange, but also keep objective evidence as a proof by preparing notices and communication documents, etc. if necesssary, and by presenting these objective evidence to the counterparty, we endeavor to build up a common understanding with the counterparty as early as possible (refer to 3 of “Guidelines”).(b) Court casesIf it is determined that it is difficult to resolve a case through negotiations, we aim at resolution by litigation, etc.
We handle the following types of litigation in general: (1) Litigation over a claim for payment of money under contract law, (2) litigation over claims and liabilities, (3) litigation over delivery or registration of real estate, (4) litigation over a claim for damages under default or tort, (5) litigation concerning issues on general theory of claims, including guaranteed liabilities, (6) litigation under unjust enrichment, (7) litigation under the Land Lease and Housing Lease Act and non-contentious land lease case and litigation under the Civil Code and its special laws in general.
As stated in (a), while we basically aim at resolution through negotiations, we actively utilize litigation for cases which are deemed to be more favorable in directly instituting litigation rather than negotiations in matters for registration procedures (although the secured claim was extinguished by statute of limitation, cancellation of registration of establishment of security was not completed and the former owner has not cooperated in the procedures for registration of transfer of ownership of a private road on housing land acquired several decades ago, etc.) and the matter of confirmation of nonexistence of liabilities against corrupt claim collectors, etc.
-  Civil law (non-dispute case)
- While preparation of statements of opinion and written answers, etc., and preparation and correction of contracts, as a part of corporate legal affairs, account for most of our services, we also provide advice on legal consultations of individuals.
-  Commercial law
- Unlike disputes in civil law, most disputes in corporate law arise from fierce internal conflict in a family corporation, etc. As it is closely connected with registration of corporations, there is a great necessity to obtain court decisions in order to carry out collective and uniform treatment.
Therefore, in corporate law cases, there is a great necessity for directly commencing legal proceedings without negotiations and we utilize provisional dispositions (suspension of duties of directors and representative directors and appointment of substitutes) and litigation (confirmation of nonexistence of resolutions at a general meeting of shareholders, revocation of resolutions of a general meeting of shareholders and confirmation of invalidity of resolutions of the board of directors).
However, in terms of actual case volume of the office, operation and instruction of general meetings of shareholders and the board of directors’ meetings, etc., and preparation of statements of opinion on the Company Act as part of corporate legal affairs is much larger.
-  Administrative law
- Previously, attorneys had not been involved in administrative procedures, but as a result of the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act (enforced as of October 1, 1994), the possibility of involvement of attorneys in administrative procedures has significantly increased as people can request issuance of written documents on oral administrative guidance (Article 35, section 2 of the same Act). We are involved in administrative litigation (litigation for revocation of dispositions or decisions) as counsellors and also have been involved in administrative procedures and administrative litigation procedures as counsellors.
-  Labor law
- Advice as part of corporate legal affairs (including preparation of statements of opinion) accounts for most of the case volume and it also includes addressing demands for collective bargaining by trade unions and provisional disposition (status conservation of an employee, etc.) and litigation (confirmation of invalidity of dismissal, etc.) as a counsellor. The labor law handled by the office consists of (1) Labor Standards Act, (2) Labor Union Act and (3) Industrial Safety and Health Act and Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance Act in order of frequency of use.
-  Intellectual property law
- Advice as part of corporate legal affairs and preparation of documents, including contracts account for most of the case volume and we are also involved as counsellors in the cases of trademark rights, design rights, copyright and the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc.
We appoint patent attorneys, with whom we closely collaborate, assign procedures for application for various intellectual property rights and procedures at the Patent Office, but once a dispute arises (infringement of patent rights, etc.), we manage the entire process.
-  Civil execution
- We handle as counsellors not only compulsory execution of claims whose objective is payment of money for real estate, movable property and claims but also compulsory execution of claims whose objective is not payment of money. It is common to be involved as a counsellor of a creditor, but we may be involved in execution for appeal and any other proceedings as a counsellor of a debtor.
-  Civil provisional remedies
- We are often involved as counsellors of a creditor, in provisional attachment and provisional disposition cases and file petitions for order of provisional attachment and provisional disposition, and sometimes, we are also involved as counsellors of debtors in the procedures for hearing cases petitioning for provisional attachment and provisional disposition. There was a case in which we obtained a decision on revocation of order for provisional remedy by participating in the process of objection to provisional remedies such as an order for provisional attachment and order for provisional disposition.
-  Family law
- We handle family law in general: (1) Preparation of wills and trusts, (2) execution of wills and trusts, (3) distributive share reducing request (negotiations, mediation and litigation), (4) statement of waiver of inheritance and limited acknowledgement, (5) estate division (presiding over out-of-court consultations on estate division and involvement as a counsellor in estate division mediation and adjudication before a court), (6) divorce (negotiations, mediation and litigation), (7) cancellation of adoption (negotiations, mediation and litigation), (8) petition for commencement of guardianship and assistance in duties of a guardian (preparation of reports, etc., to a court), etc.
We also make notifications under the Family Registration Act and petition for adjudication under the Domestic Causes Inquiries Act (petition for change of family name of a child, etc.)
-  Bankruptcy and rehabilitation law (corporation)
- With respect to bankruptcy and rehabilitation of corporations, we basically conduct private arrangement and corporate reconstruction as a counsellor of a debtor by responsibly handling the case to the conclusion.
- If a corporation, or a business actor, did not fall into bankruptcy by dishonor, we generally aim at business rehabilitation by the corporation. Through active involvement in operation of board of directors’ meetings and general meeting of shareholders, we establish transparent process of decision-making on important policies for corporate management and pursue business rehabilitation with the understanding of creditors and shareholders.
- If a corporation, or a business actor, was in bankruptcy by dishonor, we generally aim at continuation of business and rehabilitation, utilizing measures according to the characteristics of the bankrupt corporation. However, we may adopt liquidation treatment by giving up business rehabilitation, considering the profitability and prospects of the business, motivation and abilities of the employees, etc.
In any case, it is essential to obtain the understanding and cooperation of creditors. For that purpose, it is necessary for us to recognize correctly and clearly the direction the debtor should take in the future upon correct understanding of the entire picture of the debtor.
Then, while disclosing detailed information to the creditors, by providing specific and detailed explanationabout the direction the debtor should take in the future, we can obtain trust from all creditors for the bankruptcy procedures and business rehabilitation procedures led by us and we can obtain the understanding and cooperation of the creditors.
- In either of the cases set forth in (b) or (c) above, we carry out collective treatment as there are generally many creditors.
The essence of private arrangement and rehabilitation procedures not resorting to court proceedings is the person to person negotiations on executing the debt repayment agreement between our office as a counsellor of the debtor and individual creditors, but in fact, we can carry out prompt and appropriate resolution by eliminating the complicatedness of individual negotiations through impartial and fair reporting in writing to all the creditors in a timely manner.
-  Bankruptcy and rehabilitation law (individual)
- There are significant differences in treatment between cases where the debtor is a corporation or an individual. If the debtor is an individual but is recognized as an enterprise in reality, (if the person holds real property for business), etc., or the total liabilities is large (over 200,000,000 JPY), treatment similar to a corporation shall be adopted.
Except for the above unusual situations, if the debtor is an individual, the policy for individual bankruptcy, individual rehabilitation or private arrangement is determined based on assets, liabilities, income and expenditures of the individual.
-  Criminal law
- We accept defense requests during an investigation before indictment and defense requests at trial after indictment and criminal accusations.
- In the case where the suspect contests the alleged facts of crime, it is quite clear that the content of a defense in the stage of investigation before indictment determines the final conclusion of the case and the defense at this stage has great significance in the treatment of a suspect.
In cases of remote areas, due to the financial situation of the suspect, etc., we might accept the defense before indictment only and if the suspect should be indicted, we might assign a local court-appointed attorney the defense activities at the trial after we resign as the attorney of the defendant.
- With respect to the defense at the trial, as facts of indictment are not contested in most of the cases, success in proving the extenuations is the key to the severity of the sentence. In such cases, we pay careful attention to prove extenuation effectively, having a clear point.
In cases of contesting indicted facts, we aim at obtaining a decision of not guilty by making the most of any and all rights and means under the Code of Criminal Procedures.
-  Juvenile law
- We carry out activities of an attendant in juvenile adjudication.
In juvenile cases, as the indictment principle does not apply, the juvenile adjudicator (judge) appears before the court after forming impressions of the case after reading all investigation records and social investigation reports (investigation reports of Family Court Investigator and Juvenile Classification Office on a minor) before the adjudication date.
The attendant shall document the information obtained from repeated interviews with the minor and his or her parents (the facts, etc., not entered in other records, which are not known by the adjudicator) and submit them with the opinions of the attendant before the date of adjudication so that the proper adjudication shall be conducted.
-  Corporate legal affairs
- While we are mostly involved as legal counsel, we prepare statements of legal opinion and provide oral advice on any external and internal legal issues, which might arise in companies regardless of whether we executed a legal counsel agreement.
-  Other
- In addition to the above, we handle building disputes, property border disputes and consumer damage disputes under the Consumer Contract Act and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions, etc.