Tap to Read ➤

Litigation Attorney Job Description

Medha Godbole
A litigation or trial attorney presents a case on behalf of either the plaintiff or the defendant in a court of law. For some 'legal' insights into the role of a litigator, keep reading ahead.
Litigation attorneys, also referred as trial lawyers or litigators handle civil cases and represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil, as well as criminal cases.

Job Description

For an attorney, there are a number of things involved in handling a typical case.
A basic task of a trial lawyer is that he or she carries out a preliminary investigation to make sure that there is adequate evidence for filing a lawsuit. Conversely, in case of the defendant, he checks whether the evidence is enough to defend that individual.
This initial investigation can involve finding witnesses, taking their statements, interviewing the client, gathering requisite documents, and investigating the facts leading to the potential case. Apart from this, litigators also engage in pre-litigation and trial settlement discussions for resolution of matters, prior to a lawsuit being filed.
Litigators draft a number of pleadings and motions, for representing the plaintiff or defendant. Typically, the summons and complaints are drafted by the plaintiff's attorney for commencing the lawsuit. The defendant's attorney responds on his behalf, to the summons.
This task of a litigation attorney is referred to as discovery. Here, typically, the parties involved in the case, exchange information related to the case. Interrogatives, depositions, and a few other devices are used by civil litigators for getting vital information related to the lawsuit.
This is important for the attorneys, for the purpose of obtaining related information, identifying issues, and formulating a case strategy.
Another important thing an attorney is responsible for is the pre-trial stage, for which the attorneys get done with the discovery, weeks prior to the trial. That is when the pre-trial meetings happen. If the case is settled at the pre-trial stage, then the attorney will not have to see the courtroom for the trial.
Even for the pre-trial, they consult and advise their clients. A litigation lawyer also comes up with a trial strategy based on facts and evidence. Drafting and arguing pre-trial motions is also done by them. Steps towards a possible lawsuit settlement are taken at this stage.
This is where a litigator's law skills are tested. If the case is not settled in the pre-trial stage, the attorney has to work all the way, to present his arguments, as strongly as he can, in front of the judge. Cross-examination, examination, opening, and closing statements are a very important part of a trial.
Apart from this, on occasions, a litigator may settle a case at any juncture during the period of litigation. Finally, if the outcome of the trial is not satisfactory, according to him/her, he or she has the right to appeal in a higher court.

Salary of a Litigation Attorney

An individual's experience and his position matter a lot when it comes to the salary. On an average, the nationwide pay for an attorney is around USD 120,000, starting from USD 61,000. This amount can fluctuate, depending on the region in which, he or she is practicing. For instance, average salary in northeast is USD 145,000, in southeast it is USD 120,000, and in the northwest, it is USD 110,000.
The resume of a litigation attorney can contain salary expectations attached with it. But another intangible thing which cannot be put there are the wishes of those who have been helped by him. All in all, much like many others, this job is challenging to the core.