If you are involved in a dispute that is brought before a court, you will require a litigation lawyer to protect your legal rights and present your side of the argument to maximise your chances of achieving a favourable outcome. Some clients find being involved in litigation both financially and emotionally stressful, so it’s important to find the right person to guide you through the process.
According to litigation lawyer Howard Scher, experience and specialisation don’t always make for a successful litigation lawyer.
With four decades of front line courtroom experience, Scher believes that the most effective trial lawyers share these five key traits:
Credibility is the foundation of trust and the cornerstone of effective representation. It is a trait that is earned over time. When a credible lawyer speaks, people listen. The appointments and promises they make are kept. Effective litigation lawyers know that every move they make can potentially build or destroy their credibility, so they protect it at all costs.
Effective litigators understand that civility is a powerful tool in the art of persuasion. Litigation doesn’t have to be confrontational. Using hostile tactics that include volume, anger and intimidation undermine a lawyer’s long-term ability to persuade. It can draw attention away from key witnesses and facts, and in the case of settlements, it can harm a lawyer’s ability to negotiate in a reasonable manner with the opposition.
Litigation lawyers need to be able to think quickly on their feet without the benefit of an absolute certainty of the facts. This requires enormous levels of personal and professional confidence. The most effective litigators learn to translate mountains of structured and unstructured information into clear and decisive action, often in the heat of a trial. Confident lawyers radiate a sense of command that puts clients at ease and a positive energy that can help speed the course of trials and settlements.
Possessing an insatiable curiosity beyond law for a variety of topics leads to innovative approaches and solutions, while also keeping the job of litigating fresh and exciting. Life experiences in science, art, physics, psychology and even pop culture can provide unlikely solutions to courtroom problems. It can also provide the ability to communicate with juries and judges in a more grounded manner.
5. Competitive Spirit
Effective litigators take on every matter, large or small, with a warrior’s spirit. They thrive on the thrill of the challenge, not just the outcome. They consider beating their opponents as secondary to the pursuit of finding an elegant trial solution. Litigators with this trait are at their best when a case seems unwinnable. But like a warrior, they are respectfully persuasive, without being overbearing.