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Since litigation lawyers are attorneys who work mainly with lawsuits, the main duty of a litigation lawyer is to take a lawsuit to court and try to win the case. Sometimes, litigation attorneys settle cases out of court, but most lawsuits they receive will be handled by them in court. Civil and criminal are the two types of litigation lawyers. A criminal litigation lawyer works on state or federal prosecution cases, while a civil litigation attorney may specialize in one area or work in many areas that could include landlord-tenant, contract breaches or personal injury lawsuits. Personal injury is a common type of lawsuit handled by litigation lawyers, as they tend to have the necessary courtroom expertise and experience that many other types of lawyers such as tax or traffic attorneys don't have.
Business litigation lawyers handle lawsuits for businesses such as a dispute between a shareholder and a partnership or wrongful dismissal cases or contract disputes. A business litigation lawyer in contract disputes thoroughly analyzes the contract and all aspects of the case before considering settlement or litigation. A commercial litigation lawyer may specialize in one area such as real estate and tenant-landlord lawsuits. Real estate litigation lawyers clearly explain legal rights and obligations to clients and point out faults in the construction of leases. Some states such as New York are known for having complicated landlord-tenant laws.
A criminal litigation lawyer may need to speak with clients at police stations. A public defense attorney is paid by the state as he or she works to defend people accused of crimes but who can't afford a lawyer. Many public defenders start in these jobs soon after graduating law school.
A litigation lawyer must be able to calmly and professionally work with clients in lawsuits. Some clients may be panicked about having to be in court over a lawsuit, as they may face fees or jail time, and litigation lawyers help them discuss their trial options and organize needed documents for evidence. A litigation attorney helps his or her clients by devising a legal strategy that hopefully wins the case. Clients involved in lawsuits look for experienced litigation lawyers.
The three main experience levels of litigation lawyers are: zero to three years of experience, junior; three to four years of experience, mid-level; and four or more years of litigation experience, senior. A junior litigation lawyer may report to a senior litigation attorney in a law firm as an assistant responsible for filing court documents as well as learning the details of writing legal documents. Litigation law is very detailed and the cases are usually large. Many employees work on each case and most cases take a lot of time to bring to trial.