As an attorney in the Philadelphia area, Karl Heideck is very familiar with life as a litigation attorney. He says your life revolves around getting cases prepared for trial in civil manners, even though 90% of cases are settled before they are heard in court. Just like how in criminal trials most people take the plea deal, in the arena of civil cases most people will take the settlement offer.
The majority of civil litigation attorney work for a law firm that also employs several other attorneys, Karl Heideck says. If it’s a large law firm it will have different departments such as litigation that is further broken up into specific areas such as real estate, patents, business, and other specific areas. There are also lawyers like Karl Heideck who work for the government, often as either a prosecutor or a district attorney.
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In addition to law firms, Karl Heideck also points out that many large corporations also employ their own litigation specialists. This is particularly true for large banks as well as other financial institutions such as investment firms and insurance companies. This is usually in an arrangement where several different lawyers might be working on a case while they are supervised by one of the corporations senior lawyers.
According to medium.com, Karl Heideck says that when a new case starts the first piece of business is doing some investigation into its details. He says that the attorney will collect things like witness statements, medical records, and any other documentation that is relevant to the case. Once the basic information is known they will get in contact with the other party’s lawyer and try to reach a settlement. A settlement is generally the preferred option as it saves everyone a lot of money including legal fees.
In those instances where the other party doesn’t want to settle the litigator at that point will draft both motions and pleadings which the lawyer when then file with the appropriate court. Karl Heideck says that a summons will then be issued to which the other party’s attorney has to respond. There are a number of other phases such as discovery and the entire process can take a very lengthy amount of time.
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