Litigation Attorneys

Litigation attorneys, sometimes called trial attorneys or personal injury attorneys, specialize in bringing lawsuits on behalf of their clients, taking them to trial if necessary and winning them for their clients. This doesn’t mean that every case they are involved in goes to trial, but they do have the skills needed to be successful in front of a judge and jury.

Litigation attorneys might also function as defense attorneys, defending a lawsuit on their clients’ behalf.

The types of cases that involve litigation lawyers include personal injury cases, medical malpractice, assault of any kind, property disputes, business disputes over patents or copyrights, product liability, wrongful death, breach of contract, discrimination, wrongful termination and property liability.

The Job Description of Litigation Lawyers

These attorneys do many things. While they specialize in trial law, there’s more that goes into it.

Litigation attorneys will often start with a case evaluation. When a potential client contacts them, they go over the facts of the case and consider its merits. If they believe a case can be won, they’ll take it and file a lawsuit. If a potential client approaches them who has been sued and needs an attorney to defend the suit, they’ll also evaluate its merits and decide whether or not to take it.

Once the suit has been filed, there is typically other paperwork filed in support of it. Some of it involves what is called “discovery,” or the uncovering of evidence to support their case. Part of discovery is to take depositions from potential witnesses. Litigation attorneys from both sides are always present during depositions.

The next step is the pre-trial work leading to a trial. During this time, in a civil lawsuit, the party being sued might offer a settlement out of court. The litigation attorneys from both sides will negotiate the settlement. If it appears to be the best outcome for both parties, the lawsuit will be settled without a trial.

If no settlement is reached, the litigation attorneys will fight the lawsuit in court before a judge and possibly a jury, and the case will be decided. After the case is decided, appeals are a possibility. Preparing and arguing for the appeal or against the appeal in court are also part of what trial attorneys do.

Contacting a Trial Attorney

While many will advertise themselves as litigation attorneys or trial attorneys, they might also specialize as personal injury attorneys, medical malpractice attorneys, or one of many other specialties of the types listed above. Look for an attorney with a specialty closely aligned to the facts of your case, whether you are bringing the lawsuit or have been sued by another party. You might also want to consult with an appellate attorney because if you don’t win the first court case you may want to consider an appeal. Considering this option at the start may be a smart move as your case proceeds.

Litigation Lawyer Fees and Paying for Them

If you hire a litigation attorney to file a malpractice or personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, the trial attorney might take in on contingency, only getting paid if the lawsuit is settled or won.

In all other cases regarding civil disputes, the attorney will charge an hourly rate for services rendered. You’ll be billed on a regular basis and be expected to pay as you go in order for the litigation attorneys to keep pursuing your case.

In some situations, if you are bringing the lawsuit and there is a strong chance you will win a significant cash settlement, you might be able to obtain a pre-settlement loan from lenders specializing in the practice. It is also possible that your trial lawyers will forego payments until the case is settled or win.


If you plan to file a lawsuit or have had one filed against you and you want legal representation with good experience in trial law, then a litigation attorney or trail attorney should be consulted.