Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | August 5, 2022 | Personal Injury
Litigation lawyers play an integral role in handling civil lawsuits in New York. These individuals are familiar with court procedures and rules that govern lawsuits. Realistically speaking, civil lawsuits could not proceed without these attorneys. Read this blog post to learn more about what a litigation lawyer does and how an attorney might be able to assist you with your case.
Litigation Lawyer Definition
A litigation lawyer represents a client’s interests in and out of court in legal actions they are involved in. These lawyers focus on providing support for clients in civil cases. They may try to settle a case outside of court. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 4% growth rate in this industry by 2029, with another 32,300 new jobs being created in the coming years.
What Is a Litigation Attorney?
There are many different types of lawyers who focus on different aspects of the law and the legal process. For example, there are criminal defense lawyers, transactional lawyers, appellate lawyers, and general practice lawyers. What makes litigation attorneys different than other lawyers is that these lawyers focus specifically on litigation and court procedures. They know the rules surrounding discovery, motions, and evidence. They may support the trial team or be part of it.
What Does a Litigator Do?
A litigator helps with various aspects of the life cycle of a case, including:
Litigators may meet with the client and conduct a preliminary, pre-suit investigation into the claim. During this phase, the litigation lawyer may:
- Review the client’s medical records, statements, photos, and videos
- Interview the client about the accident and how it occurred
- Read accident reports, witness statements, and other documentary evidence
A litigator may launch a factual investigation into the underlying facts of the case. The litigator may contact witnesses and interview them. They may send letters to the defendant or their legal representative instructing them not to get rid of evidence that may be pertinent to the case, such as automotive parts damaged in a car accident. Litigation lawyers may also conduct legal research and analysis to give the legal team a better understanding of the client’s case and the potential to secure compensation.
Litigation lawyers prepare documents that officially begin the litigation process, such as the client’s complaint that sets out the cause of action and the client’s right to compensation. A litigation lawyer can also respond to pleadings, such as if the defendant files a counter-claim against the client.
The pleadings are essential to the eventual resolution of the case. They may assert certain arguments or demands for compensation, so it is important that they are carefully prepared. Pleadings may have to include certain legal claims, or the client can lose their right to raise them later. Likewise, responses to counterclaims may have to raise certain defenses, or the client can lose their right to assert them. The pleadings can limit the scope of the case, so it is important that an experienced litigator is involved in the process.
The discovery process is important because it can help the legal team secure important evidence, find out the other side’s position, and uncover weaknesses in the case. Discovery often lays the foundation for negotiations and trial.
Litigation lawyers assist with the discovery process by:
- Requesting the other party answer certain questions under the penalty of perjury
- Requesting the other party provide documents and other potential forms of evidence
- Requesting the other party name the evidence and witnesses they plan to present at trial
- Responding to requests for evidence and answers
- Objecting to questions that are too vague or deficient
- Making motions to compel the other party to respond to questions or provide the requested information
- Protecting attorney-client privilege
The goal of discovery is to have a better understanding of the potential case, evidence, and strengths of the opponent’s position to properly advise the client regarding settlement or proceeding to trial.
A litigation lawyer may also help make various motions throughout the case, such as a motion for summary judgment in which the court is asked to decide the case before trial when there are no material facts in dispute about the case.
A litigation lawyer may also help the trial lawyer prepare for court. They may advise the trial lawyer on certain legal arguments or objections to make.
Accident victims can find out more about the role of a litigation lawyer when they contact a personal injury firm for assistance.