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What’s the Difference Between a Litigator and Trial Attorney?

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If you have a legal situation that you need help with, hiring a lawyer is a good step toward upholding your legal rights. But as you research lawyers in your area, you might have noticed that some call themselves trial attorneys, while others claim to be litigators.

So, what’s the difference, and what makes one option better than the other when it comes to your legal case? Here’s what you should know about the differences between litigators and trial attorneys.

What Does a Litigator Do?

A litigator is a lawyer who approaches most cases with the objective of settling out of court. While litigators have some experience arguing cases in the courtroom, they aim to avoid going to trial whenever possible.

As such, they’re ready to negotiate during any step in the case. Litigators usually spend a lot of time and effort researching the facts of the case, looking for legal precedent, and negotiating to get the right terms for their clients.

If the case goes to trial, litigators are usually good at preparing motions, attending hearings, and making other preparations for the courtroom. While they can also represent clients at trial, this is not their primary focus, so some litigators are not as comfortable in the courtroom as the average trial attorney.

What Does a Trial Attorney Do?

On the other hand, trial attorneys often excel when they represent their clients at trial. Their main focus is on arguing the case in court, not attempting to settle. Though they can handle a case from start to finish, trial attorneys truly shine in the courtroom, not while researching to prepare the case.

Trial attorneys are also adept at preparing before trial, such as picking a jury. In addition, they’re often experienced at cross-examining witnesses, delivering a compelling closing argument, and using trial tactics with a high success rate. In many cases, trial attorneys are eager to go to trial, not settle out of court.

Which One Is Right for Your Case?

The right legal professional for you to hire depends on your objective for your case. If you want to avoid trial at all costs, you may want to stick with a litigator who will do everything possible to negotiate and stay out of court.

If you know you don’t want to settle and would prefer to take your case to trial, choosing a trial attorney with years of experience and an impressive record is a good idea. Of course, some lawyers are known for being excellent at both litigation and trial, so that may be the right path if you’re unsure if you want to settle or go to trial. If you want to talk to attorneys who can help you decide, contact our law firm at (713) 489-4270 to schedule a free consultation.

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