Contrary to popular assumption, most litigation attorneys’ lives do not center on tense courtroom battles. Instead, the legal procedure is a delicate ballet in which each party strives to expose flaws in the other’s position while preparing for talks and trial.
A litigation attorney’s desired goal is to resolve their client’s dispute through a settlement. Resolving a disagreement frequently causes a time of investigation into the facts and a test of each side’s legal argument. If the other side refuses to agree to conditions that the client will accept, the only option may be to go to trial.
Effective communication, bargaining, and organizing skills are required of a skilled litigation attorney. The capacity to offer a convincing legal argument in favor of the client’s position is, however, most vital. Barristers are sometimes briefed for these court appearances, especially in complex cases and trials.
This article is a full guide on litigation attorneys, their job descriptions, qualifications, and functions. Keep reading.
Table of contents
- Who is a Litigation Attorney?
- What Cases Do Litigation Attorneys Handle?
- Education Requirements for Litigation Attorneys
- What do Litigation Attorneys do?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a Litigation Attorney?
A litigation attorney, often known as a trial lawyer or a litigator, is a lawyer who defends persons in civil cases. Litigation attorneys differ from criminal defense attorneys in that they work on civil cases rather than criminal ones, and neither party is facing jail time.
When dealing with a defendant, litigation attorneys often seek financial compensation for their clients, and when working with a plaintiff, they try to settle a matter for the least amount possible.
Plaintiffs and defendants in civil disputes are represented by litigation attorneys, often known as litigators or trial lawyers.
They oversee the entire litigation process, from inquiry, pleadings, and discovery to pre-trial, trial, settlement, and appeal.
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What Cases Do Litigation Attorneys Handle?
In civil suits, litigation attorneys may take on a variety of cases, including:
Commercial and business lawsuits
These disputes can arise between business partners, shareholders, competitors, lenders, and other parties involved in business operations. Contractual breaches, copyright infringement, defamation, and other business-related issues are prominent topics for these types of disputes.
Litigation in civil court
Any lawsuit in which two parties seek monetary settlements over a disagreement is referred to as civil litigation. Landlord-tenant issues, personal injury claims, real estate disputes, and medical malpractice lawsuits are just a few examples. Civil litigation is a broad phrase that can encompass a variety of less usual scenarios.
Litigation in the public interest
A lawyer who represents the public interest sues to safeguard the well-being of their community. The plaintiff may be an individual, a corporation, or a state or federal government agency, while the defendant may be an individual, a corporation, or a state or federal government agency.
Litigation involving personal injuries
A common type of civil litigation is personal injury, in which one party seeks financial compensation for an injury caused by the other. Workplace or car accident injuries are the most typical causes of personal injury claims. Because the other party’s activity did not cause directly the plaintiff’s asserted injury, or because the injured party wants financial recompense rather than criminal charges, these instances may not be criminal proceedings.
Patent litigation can be classified as business litigation, however, it can also take place outside of a company. This type of litigation occurs when one party violates another’s a trademark. When a party is sued for infringing on their intellectual property, they often seek monetary damages and enact legal safeguards for their intellectual property. In dealing with these types of situations, litigation attorneys may be well-versed in patent and copyright laws.
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Education Requirements for Litigation Attorneys
A bachelor’s degree and a law degree are required to work as a litigation attorney. Political science, psychology, criminal justice, and English are among the most popular pre-law studies. If you want to work as an attorney for businesses or corporations, a business degree or minor may be beneficial. Following your undergraduate degree, you would enroll in a law school program to pursue your law degree, which takes three years to finish on average.
Passing the bar test in the state where you want to work is the final educational qualification for becoming a litigation attorney. If a litigation attorney wants to take the bar exam in over one state, they can do so, which is frequent for lawyers who live near the state line.
Most law firms and companies will seek litigators who are qualified lawyers or solicitors. Some positions will be offered to those who are still in school, while others will be paralegal positions that do not require a complete degree. However, keep in mind that paralegal and trainee positions are frequently limited to more of a Litigation Assistant job.
You may also be requested to show proof of a high-quality degree earned at a respected university in a related discipline.
What do Litigation Attorneys do?
While the obligations of a litigation attorney alter depending on whether he or she is representing the plaintiff or defendant in a case, the litigating procedure is the same for both.
Litigation and dispute resolution is a broad term that encompasses all fields of law but focuses on conflict resolution and judicial processes. The regulations and procedures of the court in regards to paperwork, submitting proceedings, and adhering to deadlines are complicated and stringent. The court regulations and standards are not acquainted with many lawyers. As a result, while property lawyers can manage property concerns, they may not be adept at handling litigation.
Litigation attorneys are experts at resolving issues in court as well as preparing and managing cases. They have a thorough awareness of the various courts’ needs and procedures. They’re also skilled in drafting legal papers like complaints and defenses and negotiating with opposing counsel. They must safeguard their client’s position throughout the process while carefully responding to the opposite side and the courts.
The importance of case management cannot be overstated. To secure the greatest results for their clients, litigation attorneys collaborate with teams and other experts, such as valuers, barristers, and expert witnesses. They are essential to any case’s negotiation, coordination, and preparation.
A litigation attorney’s role can be divided into seven stages:
Investigation– preliminary consideration of the issues
Almost typically, the investigative stage includes a thorough examination of the client’s documents, such as any applicable contracts, agreements, or deeds. It may be required to consult an expert in the relevant field at this point. If the case involves a construction dispute, for example, a litigation attorney may want to consult with a civil engineer, who could subsequently testify as an expert witness in the case.
Preparing the opening ‘pleadings’ in the legal proceedings is one of a litigation attorney’s first tasks in a new case. The written statement of claim that starts a lawsuit or the defendant’s written response to a statement of claim filed against them are referred to as pleadings. As previously said, a qualified litigation attorney would perform their thorough inquiry into the facts, as well as necessary legal study, to build an overall strategy for the litigation.
A litigation attorney owes it to the court to keep track of all relevant materials. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, each party exchanges pertinent documents and responds to specific questions made by the opposing side. The main goal of this mandatory information sharing is for each side to have a better knowledge of the underlying facts.
Writing discovery requests takes a lot of skill, especially because a litigation attorney understands that the opposing party would be hesitant to reveal anything that will hurt their case. As a result, the lawyer must make detailed discovery demands that leave no room for interpretation.
The legal process includes mediation. Mediation is a process in which all parties and their representatives meet in the presence of an independent court-appointed mediator to try to agree before going to trial. Such mediation is required before any matter may go to trial, and it frequently occurs throughout the case. Dispute resolution decreases the workload of courts and saves money for taxpayers.
A barrister will take over the case from the litigation attorney during trial. The litigation attorney will help the barrister prepare for and conduct the trial. It is unavoidably important for the litigation attorney to have the greatest in-depth understanding of the matter at trial. A judge rather than a jury decided the majority of commercial disputes. All trial documentation has already been prepared. The court book, which contains all papers, reports, and affidavits that will be utilized in the trial, is available to all parties.
Because the losing party can still appeal, the trial’s conclusion does not mean the case is over. The losing party may argue, for example, that the judge erred in dismissing the proceeding or that the judge had no legal basis for prohibiting the party from bringing a specific claim or defense. A legal brief will be required for an appeal. Another point when the litigation attorney’s ability to develop a compelling legal argument might help turn the case around is at this stage.
A litigation attorney begins their job when a client enters through the door by carefully listening to the client to acquire a better knowledge of their position. A litigation attorney can often tell whether a client’s legal position is soundly based on his or her training and expertise. An injunction, for example, may cause fast action by a litigation attorney.
In more complicated cases, the litigation attorney will need to do more factual investigations and legal research before advising the client on the best course of action. The client’s urgency and the speed with which a disagreement is resolved influenced the length of the litigation procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lawyers in the field of litigation can work anywhere from 40 to 70 hours each week. The number of hours a litigation attorney works may be determined by the amount of work that has to be done. In most circumstances, they will have quiet intervals in between cases and hectic moments when a lot is going on.
A litigation attorney’s annual compensation averages 103,531 dollars. Their pay may be determined by the state in which they work and their level of expertise. It may also fluctuate based on how many cases they win, as they may be paid a contingency fee off the final settlement sum.
By 2029, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in total lawyer employment. They believe this to be an average job growth rate, implying that 32,300 new positions will be created in the future years. Because there is always a need for lawyers to settle disputes between parties, the BLS anticipates this area to remain stable.
Attorneys who specialize in litigation can start their firms. Before starting a private business, most litigation attorneys have substantial experience working in litigation, although there is no threshold for how experienced an attorney must be. A litigation attorney frequently conducts research and develops a business plan before starting his or her own company.
A litigation attorney mostly works on his own. Even though they have tables filled with files to work on, they also have the time of their own.
Litigation attorneys and solicitors, sometimes known as Litigators, specialize in resolving disputes between individuals and/or corporations and are to represent claimants and defendants before, during, and after court sessions.
While the term “litigation” usually refers to cases that go to trial, it’s also used to refer to alternative conflict resolution procedures like arbitration and mediation.
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