Explaining Civil Litigation

News & SocietyPolitics

  • Author Brian Abergel
  • Published April 11, 2022
  • Word count 439

Lawyers can build their careers across various fields, from family lawyers to corporate attornies. One common field of practice is civil litigation. Civil litigation attorneys work with cases with no criminal charges or penalties. Instead, civil litigation attorneys work with various kinds of non-criminal legal disputes in which plaintiffs are looking for some sort of compensation or damages. Read on to learn more about what it means to work as a civil litigator!

What Kinds of Cases Do Litigators Handle?

As mentioned above, civil litigators handle non-criminal legal disputes. This encompasses many different kinds of cases, so most lawyers working in civil litigation have just a couple of areas of expertise. Civil litigation cases might include landlord and tenant disputes, personal injury claims, intellectual property disputes, medical malpractice claims, education law disputes, and more. Unlike in criminal cases, where the prosecution has to present evidence that proves their case beyond a reasonable doubt, civil litigation trials only require convincing evidence.

What Skills Do Litigators Need?

Civil litigation requires similar skills as other areas of law. Litigators need to have extensive knowledge of local and federal laws related to their area of practice, strong communication skills, negotiation skills, and more. Negotiation can be critical in litigation cases. Many litigation cases never go to trial, so negotiating terms to resolve the issue outside of the courtroom is a crucial skill.

What Are the Steps to a Litigation Case?

When a client hires a litigator for their case, the case goes through a particular process, just as in any legal procedure. When a potential client wants to pursue civil litigation against another party, their first step is to meet with a litigation attorney to discuss the case. The attorney will help explain the process and evaluate whether or not the client has a strong case.

From there, if the client decides to proceed with the case, the attorney will do extensive research to build evidence. This will be followed by both involved parties filing pleadings, essentially explaining their sides of the issue. Once the court has received both pleadings, the case will enter the discovery stage. This is essentially an extension of the research phase, including witness interviews and fact gathering for each side to build their case. The discovery stage usually takes the most time.

Once discovery is complete, the case enters pre-trial, which is the last step for many cases. In pre-trial, the attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant begin negotiations, trying to reach an acceptable settlement outside of court. If an agreement cannot be reached, the trial will go to court, and a judge will decide the matter.

Resource #1: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/introduction-to-civil-litigation-2164619

Resource #2: https://www.hml-law.net/2019/10/civil-litigation-lawyers/#

Brian Abergel has been practicing law for over a decade, most recently taking a position as a civil litigator and partner at Beachside Legal Services, PLLC.

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