How Litigation Lawyers Handle Cases
Civil suits present themselves every day, and are born out of disputes between two people or groups. The cause of these disputes varies, including damages to be paid in a crash, or debts owed from one person to another. In almost all cases, each side in the dispute hires a litigation lawyer to investigate and defend their case. The burden of fact finding and argument presentation is then on the lawyers, who must make their clients’ case in a civil court. You might ask yourself, how do these litigation lawyers go about handling these cases?
A civil suit can result from a plethora of issues. In some cases, a person involved in a two-vehicle crash may believe they were not at fault, and that the other driver owes them compensation for damages or medical bills. Or, a landlord might press a suit against a tenant that hasn’t paid his rent in several months. The civil suit starts when the plaintiff, the one filing the suit, files a complaint or petition at a court.
Both the defendant and plaintiff have the option of hiring a litigation lawyer to present their case. The lawyers’ first tasks involve going over the cases to ensure there are valid reasons to move forward. The lawyers may speak with witnesses, pour over relevant documents, frequently meet and speak with their clients, and delve further into the incidents leading to the civil suits. It is important that the lawyers ascertain all the facts prior to the trial to make a compelling argument on their clients’ behalves.
Before the trial begins, the litigation lawyers will gather key witnesses, hire outside professionals with specialty knowledge about the cases, and come up with motions they can use in the courtroom. The lawyers will also spend time coming up with strategies they can use during the trial.
On occasion, the lawyers from both sides will meet and discuss their options as well. In many cases, both parties come to an agreement and settle their cases before ever going to court. When this happens, the defendant and plaintiff find a solution that meets both of their needs, such as agreeing to pay for damages or back rent in a partial or near similar amount. Settlements usually spare both sides the hefty expenses of going through a lengthy trial.
If the cases do go to court, there are several steps involved. The lawyers of both sides will select jurors from a group of people summoned for jury duty. Lawyers spend time picking jurors who will have no bias to either side. Once a jury is agreed upon, the trial will begin. The lawyers will present their arguments before the judge and jury, cross-examine witnesses for both sides, and put forth evidence from the incident. The judge or jury then decides the outcome of the case. If the side that loses the trial feels they have good reason not to have lost, they have the option to later appeal the verdict.
For more information on litigation, lawyers and judges, take a look at our page on Federal Judges.