Civil litigation covers a wide range of disputes between two or more parties seeking money or action rather than criminal sanctions. A civil litigator, also known as a trial lawyer, is a lawyer who specializes in civil litigation. Civil litigators represent their clients in a number of forums including arbitrations, foreign tribunals, and mediations as well as in local, state, and federal courts.
Types of Civil Litigation
Civil litigators typically specialize in one or two specific fields. However, there are many kinds of civil litigation such as:
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury
- Products Liability
- Real Estate
- Worker’s Compensation
In any of these cases there can be a significant amount of controversy, conflict, and long hours. Lawyers who practice civil litigation need to have a strong knowledge of procedural law, strong oral, written, interpersonal, analytical, and negotiation skills.
The Process of Civil Litigation
There are several stages in the civil litigation process. These include investigation into the claim then getting the written statements from the parties (also known as pleadings). Next is discovery where both parties exchange information. From there we have pre-trial, then the actual trial, settlement, and appeal. Not every case passes through all of these phases. A large number of lawsuits are settled prior to trial. It is also not uncommon for verdicts to not be appealed. Discovery is the most demanding phase as it requires a significant amount of research, depositions, interrogations, and much more.
Your Litigation Attorney
Your trial lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine if there is enough evidence to support your claim. This may include reaching out to witnesses, gathering data, and investigating the facts surrounding the dispute. Your attorney will then draft the needed documents to support your case as well as a variety of motions.
During the discovery phase, depending on your case, your attorney will want to gather as much information as possible to support your claim. This may be a lengthy process as they want to be sure that they won’t miss anything. After discovery they will prepare for trial and develop their strategy. If your case does not settle then they will go to trial. If the outcome of the trial is not favorable then your lawyer may appeal the case.