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3 Reasons Why Aggressive Litigators Can Be Affective in Court – And When it Backfires

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There’s no end of reasons that you might need a litigation attorney. Perhaps you’re the little guy fighting against wrong-doing, or you’ve found yourself on the bitter end of a settlement… the list goes on; one thing they all have in common is that you will need excellent legal counsel. There are an estimated 1.3 million attorneys operational in the US, so finding one that is a suitable trial attorney can be overwhelming. Fighting in court is extremely competitive, and attorneys thrive off this and love to win. Having a passionate and zealous attorney capable of using aggression at the right time is imperative.

What is An Aggressive Litigator?

Does an aggressive litigator mean you’re hiring someone rude and uncivilized? No. Hiring an aggressive litigator means that you will have someone intelligent on your team who will constantly strive for the best outcome and will be frank with their clients throughout.

Does this mean that traditional aggression has no place in the courtroom? No. Litigation trials are a high-stake competition, so the ability to hold one’s own and show aggression only when needed could be essential. For argument’s sake, let’s take a look at the three benefits of aggression in the courtroom and a look at potential backfires.

Pros

  1. Having an aggressive personality makes litigators difficult to deal with and could be beneficial because they can get their way. Knowing that opposing counsel is aggressive could lead to sliding on simple things like where to host depositions.
  2. The vast majority of litigation cases settle. Appearance is a winning factor during litigation. If your attorney shows an aggressive nature in the face of adversity, by putting on the appearance that they aren’t afraid to fight in court, it can net them larger settlements.
  3. Aggressive attorneys can display protective instincts, similar to an animal fighting for their loved ones, just in this case it’s protecting the client from a financial threat.

There is certainly something to say for aggression in the courtroom, but there are ways that it can go awry.

Cons

  1. Having an aggressive personality can cloud judgments because they are driven by anger and pride, which can cost clients.
  2. Although aggression can work for being on the defense – when making key arguments, a touch of finesse is required that the aggressive attorney might not have. Meaning a potential loss for clients.

Although there is a place for aggression in the courtroom, we must circle back to the original definition – that aggressive litigators are intelligent and will constantly strive for the best outcome. This is true; attorneys that push lawsuits forward and strive for resolution often do better by being themselves and using aggression when needed. Taking risks is essential for winning, but it must be done based on reason as opposed to pure aggression. Overall, being an aggressive litigator is useful but not so much in the traditional definition of aggression – being rude and difficult for the sake of it gets you nowhere.

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