In the legal profession, litigation work is the most common area of practice. More than 50% of all legal professionals participate in it. Litigation refers to a legal dispute between two or more parties that is brought to a judge or arbitrator.
Specialty litigation is when a litigation case is so complicated that it necessitates specialized advice based on education, training, or experience. A litigation case may require an attorney who focuses on professional liabilities, bankruptcy, will contests, or other specific issues.
Litigators are attorneys who do litigation work. They are also known as trial lawyers. They represent defendants and plaintiffs in civil suits and manage the entire litigation process from investigation to appeals.
Why should you do specialty and litigation work?
Specialty and litigation work offer many advantages for legal professionals. When you are involved in litigation, every case is different, and you are doing something new every day. The start of a litigation case involves hunting down facts, finding witnesses, gathering evidence, and doing investigative work.
Participating in litigation and specialty work also means that you will likely be handling more than one case at a time. If you’re the type who thrives in a fast-paced work environment, the investigation, pre-trial, and trial work required will keep you on your toes. Also, specialty and litigation work is quite lucrative and impervious to the changes in the economic climate.
Skills needed to do specialty and litigation work
People involved in litigation carry out various tasks depending on the case. Whether you’re an attorney, a paralegal, a litigation secretary, or a litigation support director, these are the skills that you will need to play a role in the litigation process.
Investigation, research, fact gathering
The first steps in a litigation case are the initial case assessment and investigation. For this part, you will need to know how to do legal research, obtain employment histories, and conduct checks into bank records, mortgages, deeds, and assets. If the case involves the medical profession, you will have to know how to collect medical records, process medical releases, and summarize medical losses.
The investigative phase also requires that you locate witnesses, take their statements, collect important documents, interview clients, check court rules, and determine whether or not there is enough evidence to file a lawsuit.
The skills needed in this stage include drafting complaints and summons, reviewing answers from the plaintiff or the defendant and summarizing them, drafting counterclaims, and working with clients to formulate these responses. Occasionally, you may also need to draft pretrial motions.
Discovery and pre-trial tasks
The skills needed during the discovery and pre-trial stages include preparing interrogatories and answers to interrogatories, requesting admissions, summarizing deposition transcripts, preparing exhibits and trial notebooks, and issuing subpoenas. You may also need to examine physical evidence, collect and analyze digital evidence, draft discovery-related motions, consult with clients, contact and prepare expert witnesses, develop strategies, and participate in pre-trial conferences.
During the trial itself, litigators and other professionals involved in a litigation case will focus on presenting the case before a judge.