A litigator is a lawyer who specializes in litigation. Litigation is the process of taking legal action against another party in court. For this reason, a litigator is responsible for representing clients during court hearings and other proceedings, including negotiation and other forms of dispute resolution. Representing clients during court hearings also requires the preparation of pleadings and other documents that the court may need so that the case may proceed.
Areas of Litigation
Most people associate litigators with personal injury lawyers. Because a lot of personal injury cases are litigated and not settled, most personal injury lawyers can also be considered litigators. Litigation, however, can encompass different areas of law, one of which is only personal injury. Litigation can also happen in probate proceedings during will contests and turnover of assets, in commercial contracts for breach cases, criminal defense, products liability and consumer rights, mass torts, civil rights matters, and securities class actions, to name a few. Just because a lawyer has experience in litigation does not mean he has experience in all areas of law that have litigation. For this reason, when looking for a lawyer, look for a lawyer with expertise not only in litigation but in the particular area of law that will be litigated upon.
One of the most important areas of expertise of a litigator is the rules of civil procedure. The rules of civil procedure govern the admission of evidence, the filing of motions with courts, the preparation and format of pleadings, the manner of deposition of witnesses, and questioning witnesses during direct and cross-examinations. A litigator must be knowledgeable about courtroom tactics and procedures in order to ensure that the evidence for the case is admitted.
For example, if a particular document is not authenticated properly, it cannot be admitted into evidence. If a question propounded to the witness is made improperly, the question and the response can be stricken from the record. If this document or the response from the witness is essential to the success of the your case, the denial of the admission of this evidence is crucial and can lead to your loss. For this reason, choosing your litigator is important.
Although some litigators are paid hourly, this can be expensive. Most litigators take the case on contingency, especially if a large sum is involved. Under a contingency arrangement, the litigator gets paid (usually a percentage of the amount recovered) only if he wins or is able to negotiate a settlement.
If you are in need of a litigator, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.