litigator

[ lit-i-gey-ter ]
/ ˈlɪt ɪˌgeɪ tər /

noun

a courtroom lawyer.

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Origin of litigator

First recorded in 1900–05; litigate + -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does litigator mean?

A litigator is a lawyer, especially one who specializes in civil cases.

To litigate is to engage in a legal proceeding, such as a lawsuit. It can mean to bring a lawsuit or to contest one. The word especially refers to what litigators do in such a proceeding.

Less commonly, litigator can refer to a person engaged in a lawsuit. However, a more common word for this is litigant.

The process of engaging in a legal proceeding is called litigation. To be in litigation typically means to be engaged in a civil legal proceeding (as opposed to a criminal one, in which one is said to be on trial).

Example: He was a prominent litigator in the ’80s before he became a prosecutor.

Where does litigator come from?

The first records of the word litigator come from the early 1900s. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb lītigāre, meaning “to go to law,” from līt- (a stem of līs, meaning “lawsuit”) and agere, “to carry on.”

Litigators litigate, and litigating often takes the form of carrying on a lawsuit. Litigation is often expensive and time-consuming (which might be good for the litigators but not so much for their clients). For this reason, people often try to avoid litigation when they’re on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Some choose to go through arbitration, which is a process in which a third party helps to settle the dispute.

Those who do engage in litigation and present their cases in court can still agree to settle before a decision is reached by the court—meaning they agree to stop litigating and come to a deal on their own (though often still with the help of the litigators).

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How is litigator used in real life?

Litigator is a common way of referring to lawyers who work on civil cases, especially lawsuits.

 

 

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What’s the difference between a litigator and an alligator? 

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