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Trial Lawyers

Lawyers and Attorneys

Trial lawyers represent clients involved in civil or criminal litigation. They may represent the plaintiff or the defendant, or in the case of criminal litigation, the state or the defendant. A trial lawyer who represents the plaintiff or the state is generally known as a plaintiff’s attorney or a prosecutor. A trial lawyer who represents the defendant is generally known as a defendant’s attorney or, in the case of criminal law, a criminal lawyer.

Trial lawyers who work in public offices (prosecutors) are generally paid less than private attorneys, but they are exposed to many different criminal cases. A private trial lawyer who first worked as a prosecutor has the benefit of knowing what both sides in the lawsuit will bring to trial.

A trial lawyer may choose one or more areas of law to practice in. For example, a trial lawyer may work on only personal injury cases or only family law cases. Many trial lawyers combine areas of law. A family law attorney may also practice criminal law. A personal injury attorney may also practice medical malpractice in addition to slip-and-fall type cases.

When choosing trial lawyers, it’s a good idea to consult with several attorneys before making your choice. Ask friends and relatives for referrals and make sure the attorney you choose has the experience your case requires. Because of the high cost of litigation, your case may settle quickly and easily with the right attorney on your side. The one you choose should be adept at negotiating settlements in addition to being very experienced in the courtroom.

If a case doesn’t settle and ends up going to trial, trial lawyers must have the experience to convince the jury of the facts in a case. This means he must display the facts in the best way that supports your position. Evidence is presented to the court based on certain rules. Trial lawyers also must be completely familiar with these rules in order to know every advantage they can use and to object to evidence that should not be presented.

Experience in the courtroom is the only way an attorney can become seasoned and successful and many trial lawyers start out by assisting other more experienced lawyers. This “apprenticeship” can take several years before a lawyer is experienced enough to be able to be the “first chair” lawyer with primary responsibility for a case.

A career in law is often a stepping stone to other careers and many experienced trial lawyers go on to become judges or law professors while others move into politics and public office.

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