The Role of a Solicitor in Criminal and Civil Litigation

What is the role of a criminal and civil litigation solicitor? Have you ever considered what they do on a day to day basis? Here is a brief summary of why criminal and civil litigation solicitors provide such a vital service.

Litigation solicitors deal with an expansive spectrum of legal matters. These could be as diverse as a simple contractual dispute or a contentious probate matter.

Litigation solicitors fall within a broad spectrum of two categories, civil and criminal litigation. Matters such as business partnership disputes fall into civil litigation, whereas bail applications are considered to be criminal litigation.

Some solicitors choose to specialise in a particular aspect of civil litigation to further their career as this may prove to be more lucrative in the long-run and it’s easier to be an expert in one area as opposed to numerous areas. Such areas range from property disputes to employment and insurance.

Burden of Proof

Both civil and criminal litigation have definite burdens of proof. A burden of proof is a legal test that is applied to help to identify guilt or fault. Civil litigation burden of proof is defined as the balance of probabilities. Criminal litigation burden of proof has to be defined as beyond reasonable doubt.

In order to prove guilt in criminal matters the solicitor or barrister must seek to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable amount. Without this any prospective verdict cannot be declared as guilty. Civil litigation is different, the burden of proof is, generally speaking, easier to prove.

Irrespective of the area of litigation that the solicitor chooses, he or she is duty-bound to acting in the best interests of their client and to represent them in the best possible way. The fees for hiring a litigation solicitor don’t come cheap, so the onus of a result in favour of his client is the responsibility of the solicitor. A good solicitor should pay meticulous attention to every detail. A minor negligence can turn futile and this may result heavily on the outcome of a case.

The role of a solicitor in either criminal or civil cases is not as simple as it may first appear. There is a wealth of factors to consider, but above all else all solicitors must act in the best interests of their client.