Attorneys or lawyers are hired by parties involved in a lawsuit to represent them in court, though their work doesn't start and end inside the courtroom. They are also available for legal advice, and to research and draft court papers for the cases that they are handling. Parties entering into a contract may also hire attorneys when writing the details of the contract. But their most important role is still the representation of their client in court.
Both plaintiff and defendant have the right to let an attorney speak for them in court. Any lawyer can be a lawyer for the plaintiff, but only few can be a good defense lawyer. In a personal injury case, or just about any lawsuits, defense attorneys are the ones representing the defendant and they are usually hired or chosen by the defendant's insurance company. As opposed to plaintiff attorneys, who are often chosen to represent the person suing for damages, defense attorneys regularly represent defendants.
In a criminal proceeding, the defense attorney must defend his client. However, he doesn't have to prove the defendant's innocence since his client is still on trial. He uses the law to shed doubt on the prosecution's case. The prosecutor in turn will convince the jury "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the defendant is guilty. Any evidence that can acquit the defendant must be brought out early on.
The defense attorney is not allowed to place witnesses on the stand to lie nor can he intentionally lie in court. That's why most defense lawyers choose not to know if the defendant is guilty or not in order to make their defense strategy flexible. Those who do know the truth can make a strategy to lessen the punishment.
On the other hand, the defense lawyer has a tougher job when it comes to civil proceedings because of the likelihood of the defendant's guilt, or that he did commit a crime. If the defendant is found not guilty, the plaintiff may still pursue civil remedies.
A law firm specializing in personal injury cases only acquires excellent personal injury defense attorneys. When looking for a good personal injury lawyer in law firms, make sure that he is experienced enough to know the procedures and rules of the court, the important laws, and loopholes of the system. Loopholes can be an advantage to help the defendant win the case, or at least help the lawyer find a way to customize the client's sentence to suit his needs.