This is always a fascinating argument. Here is the debate out of Memphis, TN from my friend James Ferrell.
This is simple from my perspective. First, if you want to call yourself a trial attorney, you need to try cases. That is what people think of when they think of trial attorneys. They think of an attorney who is in court.
Second, if you are looking to hire an attorney, you want a trial attorney. Why? Because that person will get more respect from the insurance companies. They know that an attorney who tries these cases will cost them more money. And they know they can, and often do, lose. Additionally, the insurance company knows that they do not have to make a fair offer to an attorney who does not try cases because there is no downside to them. They know he will settle the case at some point.
A trial attorney: someone who actually tries cases. And that is who you want on your side if you have been involved in a car accident.