What is a trial lawyer?

This may seem like a simple question to many, but it is a common question.  When a lawyer is depicted on television, often times the actor is giving a dramatic closing statement, pacing around a court room in front of a pensive jury or grilling a distraught widow on the witness stand.  Sometimes people wonder, “Aren’t all lawyers trial lawyers?”

Being a Georgia trial lawyer, many clients ask what is involved in a trial.  It is important to first understand that there are two types of trial cases.  There are criminal cases that involve criminal offenses which are different than when someone file a lawsuit in a civil case.  Surprisingly, most lawyers are not trial lawyers and do not appear in court.  Civil trial lawyers represent clients involved in litigation where a plaintiff sues a defendant.

A Georgia civil trial lawyer’s job is to persuade a jury of the facts in a case, and to display them in a way that best supports their client’s position. For example, if you have been rear ended by another driver and the driver refuses to pay you for your damages, your trial lawyer will need to convince a jury that the other driver should pay.  Evidence must be presented to a jury according to a set of rules. Your lawyer will argue motions, meet with the judge on your case, prepare pre-trial orders, select jurors, and argue your case.  Preparation for your personal injury trial can take many months. Due to the significant time and cost of litigation most cases settle before they ever reach trial.