What Does a Civil Litigation Lawyer Do
The terminology used to refer to a legal dispute, which has taken place between at least two parties and seek a specific performance or money damages is known as civil litigation. A civil litigation lawyer represents his/her clients in civil litigation.
Who is a Civil Litigation Lawyer?
Lawyers who specialize in civil litigation are called trial lawyers or litigators. They represent clients over a wide spectrum of proceedings such depositions, and pretrial hearings, mediation, or arbitration before the court personnel or administrative agencies. Mediation and arbitration are procedures, which tries to guide all the involved parties toward an amicable settlement without the expense and time of approaching a court.
Thus, civil litigation lawyers has skills in civil litigation and represent their clients before local, state, and federal courts, various administrative agencies, and foreign tribunals.
Different Types of Civil Litigation
There are different types of conflicts that constitute civil litigation. A litigator will typically have expertise in at least two of the following specific areas:
- Employment and labor
- Education law
- Products liability
- Personal injury
- Medical malpractice
- Intellectual Property
- Environmental law
- Worker’s compensation
- Real estate
Skills Required for Civil Litigation
In order to carry out litigation practice effectively, a civil litigation lawyer has to acquire a specific set of legal skills. These skills are as follows:
- Superior social and interpersonal skills
- Strong oral and written advocacy skills
- Negotiation skills
- Knowledge and expertise of procedural and substantive law
- Strong client development skills
- Ability to synthesize complex factual and legal materials
- Awareness of legal research software and techniques
- Analytical, as well as, logical, and reasoning abilities
Roles and Responsibilities of a Civil Litigation Lawyer
It can be quite challenging to pursue a career of a civil litigation lawyer. After all, they should be always prepared for assuming oppositional positions, as well as, embody controversy and conflict. As such, a litigator’s roles and responsibilities can be both diverse and challenging. Litigation is an adversarial process and 2 or more parties are typically pitted against one another.
An attorney is the advocate of his/her client and hence has the obligation to represent them and accomplish the best possible result on the latter’s behalf. A lawyer who is specialized in this particular space should be prepared to take up oppositional positions and act effectively in the process. Litigation paralegals and civil litigation lawyers have to frequent work for long hours at a stretch, particularly during a trial.
Life Cycle of Civil Litigation
The life cycle of civil litigation can be segregated into various phases such as:
- Pretrial proceedings
- Trial or potential settlement and appeal
Out of all these above-listed states. Discovery is usually the most labor-intensive and longest phase of a case. Contrary to the manner in which their portrayal is done on the TV, a civil litigation lawyer spends relatively little time during a trial.
They devote the lion’s share of their time in the discovery phase. There is a thorough exchange of details done through subpoenas, interrogatories, and depositions to the case. Subpoenas are demands to get documents or information from 3rd parties. Interrogatories and depositions involve queries and fall within the punishment of perjury to a lawsuit’s parties. While interrogatories are written queries, questions on deposition are orally asked under oath.
However, it is not compulsory for all lawsuits to pass through all the phases and a majority of cases do not. In fact, most of the lawsuits are settled as a result of mutual agreement and do not reach the courtroom.