Guide to Finding Trial Lawyers
A trial lawyer specializes in trying cases in formal court proceedings in front of a judge and jury. Trial is the last step in the long litigation process most cases will not reach a formal trial. Instead, they are typically settled during the long discovery and per-trial period. If the case cannot be settled, it still may go through the process of mediation and arbitration, which are informal meetings and hearings that try to bring a resolution to a case without going to trial.
Once a case passes all of these steps, it is tried at a formal trial. Trials are the most common event that people think of when they think of lawyers, courts, and litigation. A trial will consist of the two parties presenting evidence to a trier of fact, who will make a final determination of the issue at hand. The trial lawyer will give an opening and closing statement, examine witnesses, and present evidence for the court.
The two different types of trial lawyers
Court systems in the United States separate criminal and civil matters into two separate systems which although similar, have different rules and procedures. Trial lawyers will usually either only practice in one of these areas, although some civil trial lawyers may provide criminal representation.
A criminal trial lawyer will represent a client in a criminal case, in which the government seeks criminal convictions against the accused. A criminal trial lawyer will either work for the prosecution, which represents the government and all citizens for the prosecution of criminal activity, or for the Defendant, who is the accused. Criminal defense attorneys may be privately hired lawyers who charge hourly fees to represent their clients. Criminal defense attorneys can also be provided by the government for those who cannot afford private representation
A personal injury trial lawyer represents those seeking compensation for injuries caused by negligent or reckless parties. Typically, a personal injury trial lawyer will represent plaintiffs who were injured in automobile accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. Personal injury trial lawyers also represent defendants, which most often will be insurance companies or large corporations.
The American Trial Lawyers Association
The American Trial Lawyers Association is a group in the United States that seeks to promote representation for personal injury cases through education, information, and pro-bono help. This association is located in Washington DC but has many affiliated lawyers all around the United States. The association has a strong voice in politics that tries to put plaintiffs rights and interests at the forefront of legislation. They have strong opponents of tort reform and have fought for more favorable conditions for plaintiffs lawyers in various states and jurisdictions.