A litigation lawyer is one who represents clients in a civil lawsuit. They are required to manage all the phases of any suit that has been filed by them on behalf of a client.
The tasks of a litigation lawyer can vary depending on the nature of the dispute and whether he is representing the plaintiff who has brought about the suit, or the defendant who has been sued. These attorneys will have gone through law school and then must pass the bar exam to be admitted to the bar in the state where they practice. They can be members of bars in neighboring states as well.
The first job of any litigation attorney entrusted with a case is to make an investigation into the case to decide if there is enough evidence that warrants the filing of the lawsuit. This will require locating witnesses and taking their testimony and the gathering of any relevant documents that can help the pursuit or defense of the case. They can also go in for settlement discussions with the opposite party so that lawsuits are avoided. Cases can be settled at any time during the life of a lawsuit.
The litigation attorney has then to draft pleadings that can be filed with a court. They will be required to file a summons and complaint that initiate the lawsuit. If they are defending a client they will draft answers to the initial complaint. They can also draft motions to strike or dismiss evidence or ask for changes in the venue of the trial.
The lawsuit then moves to the discovery process, in which all relevant information has to be shared between the two parties in the dispute. They can frame written questions which have to be answered by the other party, and these answers have to be truthful, as otherwise charges of perjury can be brought. They can also ask for all the documents that the opposite party has. They can also ask to examine physical evidence and process and analyze any information gathered.
The time before a trial requires the litigation attorney to prepare for court. They need to consult with clients and advice them, develop trial strategies, prepare demonstrative evidence of exhibits, depose key witnesses and experts, and draft pre-trial motions. Once the case goes to trial they will have to participate in the selection of juries, give opening arguments, examine their witnesses and cross-examine witnesses of the opposition, and then give closing statements.
If the trial goes badly, then litigation attorneys will also have to appeal the case and undertake any tasks that can help to overturn the previous verdict.