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What Does a Trial Attorney Do?

Trial attorneys are experienced litigators who represent their clients in court. They work closely with clients during all stages of litigation and are responsible for selecting jury members, cross-examining witnesses, and making opening statements.

Whenever an opposing counsel objects to evidence on the basis that it lacks “foundation”, request a sidebar meeting with the judge so you can discuss it and attempt to persuade them that such objection is without merit.


Trial attorneys specialize in both civil and criminal litigation. They work closely with clients to gather the necessary information about their case and explain any intricacies of it to them, then represent their client before either a judge or jury to secure positive outcomes for their client’s cause.

A large law firm is looking for an experienced plaintiff personal injury attorney to join their team of legal professionals. This person will manage an array of cases while having the flexibility to travel as required. An ideal candidate would possess at least 10 years of personal injury experience along with significant deposition and/or trial experience.

Trial lawyers possess the specialized skills needed to take cases to trial successfully, including interviewing witnesses, researching historical court decisions and analyzing evidence to form a solid defense strategy. Becoming one takes dedication and hard work – yet that dedication pays dividends when winning cases at trial!

Persuasive Communication Skills

Trial lawyers like New York trial attorney Ross Cellino must be persuasive in courtroom to convince juries of their clients’ innocence or guilt. They employ both verbal and nonverbal communication techniques that create an impactful impression with jurors who determine fact.

Aristotle’s Rhetoric instructs that persuasive speech relies on three components – ethos, pathos and logos. Attorneys who understand this framework and use words that appeal to all three areas of audience perception are more likely to win their case.

Effective verbal communication involves using concise, strong language that connects with jurors. Attorneys should also speak in terms of local colloquialisms and slang; lawyers must avoid formalized terminology that sounds “fancy” to their audience; both attorneys and copywriters know shorter words pack more emotional punch than longer ones and use alliteration, repetition and subtle rhyming techniques to add rhythmic impact in their speeches.

Time Management Skills

While many imagine high-stakes courtroom arguments, most of a trial attorney’s work occurs before entering the courtroom. Preparing for cases includes investigating witnesses and conducting legal research; as well as attending court-ordered meetings like motion hearings and status conferences.

Trial attorneys must be adept at prioritizing tasks and understanding that not all tasks are equal. Multitasking should be avoided as switching back and forth can create unnecessary confusion and delays projects; to-do lists or calendars can help them stay organized while also eliminating procrastination.

After graduating law school and passing the bar exam, newly appointed litigators often spend long hours shadowing senior attorneys to learn all of the nitty-gritty details of litigation – case preparation and trial prep included. Furthermore, this experience gives new litigators an invaluable chance to practice their legal abilities before real judges.

Research Skills

Legal researchers must be detail-oriented in their approach, in order to fully comprehend what they read. Furthermore, legal researchers need to be adept at following up on their research tasks by following up with clients or members of their legal team as needed.

Trial attorneys need to stay abreast of changes in the law, particularly since it constantly evolves. To stay abreast of developments in their field, trial attorneys need to regularly read legal news articles and attend continuing legal education courses as well as communicate with other lawyers to stay current on what’s new in their profession.

Trial attorneys must be adept at negotiating with judges and juries in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for their client’s case, whether that means striking a plea bargain in criminal matters or agreeing on an amicable settlement in civil cases.

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