What is a Civil Attorney? – Job Description & Duties

What type of lawyer handles civil cases? A civil attorney plays a vital role in handling civil suits relating to personal injury, family, real estate, employment, and other various legal disputes. Having gone through years of formal education, civil suit attorneys defend the interests of their clients with their knowledge and application of the law.

What is a Civil Attorney?

A civil attorney or litigator deals with non-criminal areas of legal dispute. These disputes usually involve a party or entity seeking compensation for damages incurred from another party or entity. The nature of civil disputes tends to focus on people, relationships, and property. Because of the nature of the job, a civil attorney must have exceptional interpersonal and conflict-resolution abilities. Using their substantive knowledge of procedural law, civil attorneys are called upon to synthesize complex facts and materials to best represent the interests of their clients. Civil attorneys differ from criminal attorneys as criminal attorneys deal with an individual’s offense against the public, state, or society as a whole. In contrast, civil attorneys involve themselves with disputes related to wrongs committed between individuals within society. Civil law encompasses a whole range of legal practice areas, including:

  • Personal injury law
  • Family law
  • Corporate law
  • Employment law
  • Property law
  • Environmental law

Civil attorneys typically specialize in one of these particular practice areas. However, some attorneys may offer legal services in more than one practice area. Civil attorneys with no particular area of specialization are known as general practice attorneys.

What Does a Civil Attorney Do?

As mentioned, a civil attorney represents clients in non-criminal lawsuits. Clients can be private individuals, government entities, or businesses.  Civil attorneys provide legal strategies and advice on your civil case. They’ll represent you in a variety of proceedings, such as pretrial hearings, depositions, arbitration, mediation, and the trial itself. Some basic job duties civil attorneys will partake in include:

  • Investigative activities relating to the case
  • Research of pertinent laws
  • Conduct or take part in deposition hearings
  • File motions
  • Make court appearances on behalf of their client
  • Draft up legal documentation
  • Negotiate settlements

In many cases, civil attorneys may handle cases where there is no apparent dispute. Instead, clients may simply want legal advice in complex areas, such as tax law, real estate transactions, immigration cases, or estate planning.

Do I Need a Civil Case Lawyer?

If you are pursuing a civil lawsuit, you may want to consider a lawyer. Civil suit lawyers will assess the strength of your case and advise on your best legal options.  Not every lawsuit filed will proceed to trial. In fact, the majority of lawsuits filed never reach the courtroom. Instead, cases are typically settled through negotiations before the trial begins. Civil lawsuit lawyers play a key role in deciding whether heading to trial or settling makes the most sense. Likewise, if another party is taking legal action against you, it may be wise to consult a civil case lawyer. Not only are lawyers experts in the various legal procedures, but they’ll also provide crucial advice so you’ll avoid making any costly mistakes. A lot can be on the line when a suit is brought against you, and a civil lawyer acts as a safety net during the entire process.

How Much Does a Civil Attorney Cost?

How much does a civil litigation attorney near you cost? There are many factors at play:

  • Geographical location
  • Area of practice
  • Difficulty of case
  • Length of case
  • Experience of attorney

Moreover, civil attorneys work on varying fee structures:

  • Hourly rate: Hourly rates of civil attorneys will range based on the location of practice, experience, and operating expenses. Average rates can start at around $100/hour and go up to $300/hour. Specialized attorneys in large metropolis areas can charge much higher fees.  
  • Flat fee: Common in more straightforward or well-defined legal cases, such as wills, bankruptcy filings, or uncontested divorces.
  • Retainer: Clients pay the lawyer in advance into a special trust account. Based on the hourly rate, the attorney will deduct payments as they provide their services.
  • Contingency fee: In a contingency fee structure, the client makes no upfront payment. Instead, the attorney will get paid a certain percentage of the settlement amount, should they win the case.

What to Expect from a Civil Suit Attorney

Working with a civil suit attorney will give you a better chance of success as you proceed through various legal procedures. Whether it’s settling privately or proceeding to trial, they’ll walk with you every step of the way, ensuring you understand all your legal rights.  Civil suit attorneys fight for your best interests. Not only will they offer the best legal services, an experienced attorney will also be empathetic and strive to put their clients at ease. They’ll give you the peace of mind in times of distress.

Valiente Mott

Valiente Mott is a law firm specializing in civil cases for injuries. Our Nevada personal injury attorney team works hard to fight for accident victims or those who have lost loved ones. If you suffered hardship due to a car crash, defective products, slip and falls, or a different type of incident, contact us today for a free consultation! 

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