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The Difference Between a Lawyer, Litigator, and a Trial Attorney

Posted by Alexander Novak | Jan 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

What types of Lawyers are out there?There is a big difference between getting yourself any lawyer and a real litigator. A lawyer could take care of any number of things for you, from reviewing a contract to researching complicated laws. But when you have a real issue in the business world, or get in trouble with the government, you want to have a litigator on your side of the table.

A litigator will represent plaintiffs and defendants in hearings, arbitration, and mediation, as well as jury and non-jury trials. This is an acquired skill that takes years of practice and experience. Furthermore, you can have a litigator that is not a trial lawyer. It is important to understand the difference between the two before you find yourself an attorney.

Litigators vs. Trial Lawyers

The prime tasks of a litigator include conducting a review to determine if enough evidence exists to file a lawsuit or, in the defendant's case, what evidence exists to defend a the client, researching previous cases and laws that apply, and mediate out of court for a settlement in order not to go to trial.

Trials require actual courtroom experience, and if you've ever seen "My Cousin Vinny", you know what inexperienced means. A trial lawyer is not necessarily a better lawyer. He/she may just be a tall, good looking, smooth talker that can make quite a presence in court, but with a lack of knowledge of the actual law, won't be much help in the long run. Years of actual cases that went to trial are the only way to gain that confidence and capability of winning in court. After many years of trial law an attorney can get to know many of the judges in that state and how they act in court. It's crucial to find out who your attorney really is and if they are experienced the area of law you need them to represent you.

We would love to hear from you. What are your courtroom experiences, and what have you learned about proper selection of council that can help others in court?


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About the Author

Alexander Novak

Partner | Alexander Novak  has represented professionals in high profile white collar crime matters including obtaining complete immunity for a co-conspirator in the largest inside  trading case in US history, US v. Martoma, and recently obtained acquittals of two doctors in a medical insurance fraud case....


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