When an attorney needs consultation and support in regard to their current and/or pending cases, litigation support is hired. There is a variety of types of support services and they depend on the needs of the attorney in question.
The Knowledge Required
The best way to explain what a litigation support expert does is by reviewing what it means to be a Legal Technology Expert. These professionals are the very foundation of litigation support and their knowledge is expansive and complex, covering a great deal of legal fields. The knowledge that is required in a Legal Technology Expert is vast:
Litigation support requires knowing the basics, at the very least, of a number of software applications, such as Excel, Database Applications, Text Editors, Hosted Solutions, Conversion Tools and Processing Tools. Having an awareness of tools and knowing when to use them is the very core of a litigation support expert.
There really is no limit for technical requirements of these specialists, nor are there minimum expertise. A litigation support professional is used to dealing with technology in general to such an extent, that it becomes second nature to them – they use logic and previously gathered knowledge in order to figure out what makes sense and what doesn’t. These experts learn more with years of experience and cannot allow themselves to fall behind with trends.
This is by far the most important aspect of a litigation support professional – the very essence of their services is focused on providing support for a legal representative. Knowing everything about law doesn’t cover it – these experts need to know how to share the information with the legal team they have been assigned to. Communication with attorneys is key – in essence, a Legal Technology Expert naturally owns a law degree, so they are an attorney as well. What this means is that a litigation support professional should be able not only to assist their legal team, but to connect with and understand each member – communication can go a long way towards making tedious tasks all the more bearable.
What’s the Point?
You might be wondering what’s the difference between opting for litigation support and simply consulting a senior member of your own legal team. Well, litigation support experts aren’t merely lawyers – they are legal professionals with access to many resources that enable companies to obtain and organize information. If a legal professional needs information about a particular case, they will contact and/or hire a litigation support expert, who will help them with their research, which is fundamental in building cases.
There is another branch of litigation support services that specialize in investigating fraud and embezzlement, called forensic accounting. These experts provide services such as financial investigations, fraud and misappropriations, profit forecasts, account reconstructions, business valuations, etc.
In essence, litigation support companies are middle men for information – instead of a lawyer or a legal team having to sit and go through piles of documents, these experts are hired, not only giving the team in question an amount of otherwise unobtainable information, but also helping them focus on preparing their case without distractions. These companies use a number of resources in order to achieve their goal of helping their clients in practices of litigation, such as technology services, training services, trial assistance and document/data management services.
Litigation support is a valid tool for every legal professional. Not only do they provide resources, tackle tedious tasks, but they also provide support and understanding for attorneys, seeing as they too have a law degree. Finding a quality litigations support service is vital for winning a case.