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A business litigation lawyer represents corporations or other business entities who become involved in litigation. Litigation refers to any type of lawsuit, from a product liability lawsuit to a lawsuit by a disgruntled employee to a lawsuit by the Internal Revenue Service or tax-enforcing body. A business litigation lawyer may work for a law firm hired by a corporation, or may work as in-house counsel for the given corporation. Most often, though, such lawyers are outside counsel since the majority of businesses do not engage in litigation often enough to require an in-house litigation attorney. Certain exceptions exist, however, in the insurance industry and other industries where litigation is a common occurrence.
Litigators represent clients in lawsuits or bring lawsuits on behalf of their clients. This means they are responsible for initially filing or responding to the filing of a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit involves writing a brief for the court that explains the facts of the incident, the law supporting a right to recovery, and case law and precedent showing why the court should determine that recovery is appropriate.
For example, if a company wishes to sue for breach of contract, the lawyer would explain the facts that were involved in the writing of the contract and the breach. The lawyer would cite the specific area of contract law that proves the other party breached. Then the lawyer would cite previous case law that shows how similar behavior has been considered to be a breach.
Once the motion is filed, the business litigation lawyer involved in the case will go through the other stages of the trial process. This involves discovery, during which information is requested and shared with the other side. Pretrial motions are also made; these are motions or formal requests of the court to take various actions such as compelling the other side to turn over information or requesting that the court dismiss the case due to lack of evidence.
Often, the case will settle at some point during this pretrial stage. If this happens, the business litigation lawyer will be responsible for negotiating a fair settlement in which one side agrees to pay the other side money. If the case does not settle, the business litigation lawyer will represent his client in court, making arguments to the judge or jury on behalf of his client.