Deciding whether or not to proceed with Commercial litigation?
Approaches to Resolving Legal Disputes
Legal disputes are often costly, time consuming affairs for all involved. Even if you win your case, you are likely to expend a lot of time and energy doing so. Our legal professionals pride themselves on exemplary customer service and efficient legal solutions for all our clients.
With this in mind, it is part of our job to assist you in understanding the legal process and its associated costs, benefits, and alternative approaches to commercial litigation.
Litigation, or court proceedings, is not the only way to settle a legal dispute. We have a variety of dispute resolution methods in which we can work with you to overcome a dispute outside of court, which is likely to save you time and money.
However, in some cases, commercial litigation is the only way to proceed. So it is important to have at least some understanding of the litigation process before you decide to commence proceedings or respond to a claim by another party.
First, let’s go through some of the alternatives to litigation.
Mediation is a tried and tested means of resolving a large variety of legal disputes outside of court. The mediation process consists of structured negotiation between the disputing parties with the assistance of an independent third-party.
Your lawyer can assist you in deciding whether or not to pursue mediation as an alternative to litigation. We can also advise you throughout the process to ensure that your interests are adequately represented during negotiation.
The mediation process usually begins with a preliminary meeting, where the disputing parties come together and brief the mediator about the dispute. During this preliminary meeting, your legal counsel and mediator will work with you and the other party/s to create a dispute resolution plan, which sets out key objectives, timeframes, methods of correspondence, and dates for future mediation sessions.
Once the process is underway, you will engage in a series of mediation sessions which consist of guided negotiation between you and the other party. The mediator will work with you by giving open statements based on the facts provided in order to draw the negotiating parties towards a mutually acceptable resolution.
In legal terms, negotiation is basically an informal method of dispute resolution which involves informal discussion between the disputing parties in an attempt to reach a resolution.
As your legal advisers, we are able to represent and/or advise you during the process of negotiating with the other party.
Similar to mediation, conciliation is a formal dispute resolution process that utilises the services of an independent third party in order to facilitate dialogue between parties. Some cases require the disputing parties to attempt conciliation before litigation can be commenced (employment law disputes are a common example).
Arbitration is perhaps the most comprehensive and resolute alternative to civil litigation. It involves both parties submitting their respective cases to an independent third party, the arbitrator, for consideration. Once the arbitrator has made a decision, they hand that decision down to the parties. The decision handed down by an arbitrator must be respected by both parties.
Things to Consider
How strong is your case?
Our legal professionals will assist you in building a case should you experience a civil dispute with another party. We may make suggestions for further information that we need you to obtain, or we may contact the other party on your behalf should you ask us to do so.
Once we have worked with you to build a case, we will begin to advise you on the best course of action to resolve it. It may be that alternative dispute resolution is the best method, and if it is, we will let you know. We believe in saving time and money for our clients. We know from first-hand experience how time consuming and draining the litigation process can be.
Relationship between the parties:
In cases where an ongoing business or personal relationship exists between the parties to a dispute, it is best to pursue an alternative method of dispute resolution instead of litigation.
Litigation is a stressful and costly process that will place an enormous strain on even the strongest relationship. We take care to advise our clients of this where appropriate.
Court proceedings are expensive, and risky, as you have less influence over the outcome. We can give you a detailed approximation of the costs involved in pursuing your case in court, as well as an estimate of how much an alternative such as mediation would cost.
In cases where you urgently require a dispute to be resolved, litigation may be the best option, especially if the opposing party is reluctant to negotiate.
Over recent years, the time involved in the average civil court case has decreased significantly. However, litigation is still a lengthy process. We can give you an estimate of how long it is likely to take for a court to resolve your dispute.
Informal methods of dispute resolution can be difficult to enforce, unless a formal contract is entered into by both parties following the end of negotiations. Court settlements on the other hand are absolute and easily enforceable. Outcomes obtained through formal dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration, and conciliation are generally easy to enforce as well.
Most court proceedings are open to the public. This may be an issue for you based on the nature of your case.
In our legal system, a decision handed down by a higher court is binding in lower courts. If your case is of the nature that you would like to set a precedent, then litigation is the only way to do so.
LGM Advisors is a leading Melbourne commercial law firm, professionals in commercial law and dispute resoltution. LGM Advisors have the skills, experience and expertise to ensure that you and your dispute is consulted upon with the utmost professionalism. Contact LGM Advisors today on (03) 9832 0608 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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