You’ve probably seen trial lawyers on TV make emotional pleas to jurors or engage in a tough cross-examination packed with courtroom drama. While it’s true that many trial attorneys spend their days in the courtroom, it’s only a fraction of their regular workload. A trial lawyer can represent clients in either civil or criminal cases.
While the trial is the main event, everything leading up to it — like building up and preparing the case, contacting witnesses and interviewing them, scheduling hearings, and arguing motions are all a part of the behind-the-scenes action that needs attention before heading to the courtroom.
Trial attorneys must have solid communication skills in order to deliver clear, concise statements about their client’s case. A strong presence and a dedicated work ethic can also account for great success in the field. Since many cases never really make it to trial and settle out of court, experienced attorneys are used to juggling an assortment of tasks and case files.
Trial lawyers usually deal with civil or criminal cases. Civil cases comprise everything from real estate, to torts like negligence or assault and battery, to domestic relations cases. All of these require different skill sets and expertise. No matter the type of trial, though, attorneys will regularly need to perform exhaustive research and deal with witness and client interviews. Here’s a brief breakdown between the two.
Criminal trial attorneys often represent defendants accused of serious crimes. Those crimes can include drug charges, sex offenses, DUIs, larceny, and murder. In the criminal court, it’s up to the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant is found guilty, they could go to prison.
Attorneys in the criminal court often work in high-stress situations. This can be exacerbated if the case is high profile, like some murder trials. Criminal trial attorneys are required to act neutral and impartial, making sure their client’s rights are upheld and that they receive a fair trial.
In civil court, a trial attorney can represent either the defendant or the plaintiff. One person or business will file suit against another due to some problem or dispute. When someone loses in civil court, they may be required to pay money to the other party, or provide specific performance as requested by the other party, but it will only include a risk of jail time in the case of civil contempt.
The range of cases can include:
While domestic relations cases technically fall under the broad umbrella of “civil litigation”, the reality is that these types of cases involve so many unique and intricate rules, laws, and rights that most attorneys who practice this type of law specialize and rarely take other types of cases.
Domestic relations cases can include:
Obviously, the biggest risk to not having an attorney is losing a case. While no attorney can guarantee a win at trial, an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer by your side will very likely increase your case strategy and your compliance with procedures and rules to ensure your evidence is presented and considered. It is hard to defend yourself or prosecute a case through trial without all the technical knowledge an experienced litigator can provide.
If you’re looking for someone to represent you in an upcoming domestic relations case, civil case, or criminal case, reach out to BAM Family Law. Our attorneys are all well versed in high conflict litigation and have significant trial experience to guide you through this trying time. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation.