The term civil litigation refers to the solving of non-criminal matters in court. When two or more parties become engaged in legal disputes regarding monetary compensation, they must file a complaint in civil court, rather than criminal court, to seek resolution. The lawyers that specialize in representing clients during these kinds of disputes are known as either trial lawyers or litigators; read on to find out more about what they do.
Acting as an Advocate
Trial lawyers act as advocates on their clients’ behalf, helping them to achieve the best possible outcomes during arbitration and mediation or in a civil courtroom. These legal professionals manage all phases of the litigation process, including everything from initial investigations to representing their clients in court and filing appeals. This requires them to perform a diverse array of tasks on behalf of their clients, some of which are described below.
Trial lawyers often perform initial case investigations to help determine whether their clients have enough evidence to pursue a lawsuit in the case of plaintiffs or to defend against possible suits in the case of defendants. This may include taking witness statements, performing interviews, gathering essential documents, and investigating facts.
Pleadings and Motions
These lawyers are also responsible for drafting pleadings and motions on behalf of their clients. These often include legal summons and the complaints required to begin lawsuits. They also draft motions throughout the process, including motions to strike, dismiss, or amend charges.
Trial and Pre-Trial
Trial lawyers conduct depositions prior to court dates, prepare demonstrative evidence, and draft arguments. These steps help them to be as prepared as possible for their clients’ trial dates. During the trial itself, they handle everything from preparing and delivering arguments to preparing witnesses and arguing trial motions, helping their clients to ensure the best possible outcomes in court.
Many civil cases do not even wind up going to court, and instead, are solved through arbitration and settlements. When this is the case, lawyers engage in negotiations and create agreements that are amenable to all parties. Cases can be settled at any point in the trial process.
In addition to arguing cases in court, trial lawyers may also file appeals on behalf of their clients in the event that they do not obtain favorable outcomes. This involves identifying issues for appeal, developing appeal strategies, and gathering evidence.