Litigation Attorney FAQs

  • What does a litigation attorney do?

    Litigation attorneys offer comprehensive legal representation before, during, and after litigation—aka the lawsuit. They provide initial consultations, investigate legal issues, draft pleadings, and oversee the discovery process. While litigators often are responsible for negotiating settlements and keeping cases out of court, their main job is presenting facts to a judge or jury at trial. Litigation attorneys also handle appeals and post-trial motions.

  • Can an individual or business go to court without a litigation attorney?

    Generally, it’s possible to go to court without hiring a litigation attorney. In fact, lawyers are prohibited from practicing in some small claims courts. However, other cases are nearly impossible to prove without professional assistance. These include medical malpractice claims, wrongful death lawsuits, complex real estate disputes, and employment law cases. When assessing the feasibility of pro se representation, or representing oneself, individuals and businesses should evaluate their ability to develop a strategy, prepare legal documents, and present their case effectively. To prevail, plaintiffs must have a complete understanding of the law, local rules of civil procedure, and the facts of the case.

  • What’s the difference between a lawyer and a litigator?

    Litigators, also called trial lawyers, are attorneys who present cases in the courtroom before a judge or jury. They may represent plaintiffs or defendants, including individuals and companies, in civil matters. Litigators investigate lawsuits, facilitate the discovery process, and prepare legal documents. While they may negotiate settlements, they’re equipped to take each case to court to achieve the best outcome for their clients.

  • What’s the difference between a lawsuit and litigation?

    A lawsuit is a formal legal action that begins when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court. Litigation is a broad term that describes the entire process of resolving a dispute from sending notice of intent to sue, through pretrial preparations and beyond. It also includes settlement negotiations, courtroom proceedings, and appeals.

  • What’s the difference between arbitration, mediation, and litigation?

    Arbitration, mediation, and litigation are three of the most common methods of resolving legal disputes. With arbitration, a case is heard by a panel of individuals called arbitrators who function as judges. In most cases, the parties are bound to the outcome. Mediation is typically a nonbinding process where discussions are facilitated by a single intermediary called a mediator. With litigation, a case is heard in a courtroom before a judge and jury, which is the most costly and time-consuming option, so it’s best suited for disputes that can’t be worked out using alternative methods.

  • What is a civil lawsuit?

    A civil lawsuit is a court-based legal dispute between two parties that seeks court intervention and does not include punishment for a crime. While most civil lawsuits seek monetary compensation, they may also involve the pursuit of court action, such as a cease-and-desist order or an injunction. Since the majority of civil lawsuits are settled out of court, the process of pursuing a lawsuit usually begins with negotiations between the two parties. Any lawsuits that are not resolved through a settlement may go to trial and are decided by a judge or jury.

  • What is a civil litigation lawyer?

    A civil litigation lawyer is a trial lawyer or litigator who specializes in handling all of the procedures involved in filing a civil lawsuit. Litigation is the process of resolving legal disputes between two parties, including before, during, and after a civil trial. A civil litigation lawyer may represent the person filing the lawsuit or the person being sued.

  • What is a pre-litigation attorney?

    Because most civil lawsuits are resolved between the two parties, a pre-litigation attorney is any civil litigation attorney that can facilitate negotiations or a settlement prior to any legal action being taken. Some disputes may be settled through mediation, arbitration, or agreements and don't require any further legal action after a settlement has been reached.

  • What does a commercial litigator do?

    A commercial litigator is a civil litigation attorney who specializes in disputes that involve companies rather than individuals. Commercial litigation is usually much more complicated than legal disputes between individuals and typically filed in the federal rather than the state court system. Commercial litigators also handle employment disputes between companies and individuals who are workers.

  • How can I file a lawsuit against a company?

    Although you could file a lawsuit on your own, it's better to consult with a civil litigation attorney that's experienced in resolving disputes and negotiating settlements. The first step in filing a lawsuit should involve communication with the company in an attempt to reach an agreement. An experienced attorney is in a better position to reach a settlement that's in your best interest. Because lawsuits involve numerous steps, including filing motions, discovery, and other legal proceedings, you are better off working with an experienced professional rather than attempting to navigate the legal system on your own.

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