Civil Litigation is a category that encompasses so many different aspects of law. Basically civil litigation breaks down to mean that two or more parties are having a legal dispute and are seeking monetary damages or precise actions to be carried out rather than seeking any criminal actions being sought. Attorney’s specializing in this type of law are known as trial lawyers or sometimes as litigators. When are a civil litigations attorney you represent your clients in all aspects of the proceedings including any and all trials, hearings, mediations and arbitrations. You could be seen in front of local, state, federal and even foreign agencies.
Civil litigation is a broad spectrum covering many varied issues that arise between two or more parties. When seeking retribution attorney’s can represent clients in all types of matters such as: Landlord and tenant issues, issues regarding the environment, product failure, injuries one sustains to one self, construction matters, medical malpractice suits, issues in labor and employment law, real estate and anti-trust/probate issues.
As an attorney in civil litigation you are often challenged. It is assumed that you will be an expert for your client and with that you become an expert in many different situations pertaining to the law. You are basically trying to win a debate. You will assume an opposite position and have to embrace the controversy and conflict that comes with it in representing your client (s). As a civil litigation attorney you will be working with other attorney’s and paralegals to best develop your position/side of the debate. The job of a litigation lawyer is one that includes a great deal of stress and abundant hours.
As with any type of case being handled in the court of law, litigation of a civil nature goes through a process of stages. Civil litigation has seven specific stages it follows and going through the process can range anywhere from a few months to several years to achieve result. The stages can be broken down as such: investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement and if desired appeal. Not every suit will go through every phase. If you are lucky the case could reach a verdict/settlement before going through the trial process.
Watching shows on television would lead you to believe that most of the attorney’s time is spent in trial however this is far from the truth. The most time in a civil case is spent in discovery. This is the time when information is pulled and accessible to both parties to review. It is a time that is labor intensive and attention to detail is of utmost importance.
As with any specialty in law there are certain character traits that help you a grown and become better at what you do. The best thing you can do for yourself if interested in becoming a civil litigator is to start embracing procedural law. To be an attorney of any degree you must have strong oral skills as well as being able to be an empathetic advocate. The ability to reason and think logically will help you in the discovery process as well as assisting communication with your client. Use and develop these skills to assist in your growth as a litigator.