If you think you’ve suffered damage by another business’s conduct, or someone has indicated they may take action against your business, it’s important to be prepared for the next steps. Our experienced team will make sure you’re fighting fit.
Take it to court
Commercial disputes in court
What You Need to Know
Understand what happens when you go to court, before you get there.
Avoiding the Courts is often the desired outcome for all parties involved. However, if a case goes to Court, it’s important to know what to expect and to be prepared before you get there.
Court cases have no fixed length of time – it depends entirely on the complexities of the case, hearing both parties equally and the amount of evidence that is presented by either side. Court cases can go on for days or years. The final decision in a civil lawsuit will almost always be decided by a judge or magistrate.
The Court will often encourage further mediation or a settlement conference to resolve the dispute between the parties before proceeding to trial. Your lawyer will support the most commercially viable solution for their client throughout the process. This usually means avoiding drawn out, expensive and stressful formal legal proceedings, which don’t always guarantee a positive outcome. For this reason, most cases settle before reaching trial.
How do I defend myself when a lawsuit has been filed against me?
If you find yourself at the receiving end of a lawsuit, you will need a lawyer to help you understand whether you have a strong case (or defence), whether it would be in your best interests to fight, or whether it would be best to mediate and settle.
Due to the complexities of litigation, self-representation is never advised.
The most advantageous way to defend yourself is to hire an experienced lawyer who understand the complexities of litigation. Often cases can be settled with a resolution acceptable to both parties before having to reach the courtroom.
Is it too late to avoid court proceedings?
If you have not yet engaged in alternative methods of dispute resolution, it is certainly not too late as this is often the first and preferred method of resolution by all parties. Even if your case reaches Court, the first step might be a court-ordered mediation.
In a mediation, the case can be settled in full or in part, and the agreement will usually be recorded and signed by all parties on the day. If the matter is settled in full, then the mediator will notify the Court that the matter has settled and the case has been resolved.
If the matter doesn’t settle, your lawyer can help you prepare for trial, or discuss other avenues available to you.