What is Civil Litigation?
Civil Litigation is the legal process that is followed when one person chooses to initiate court action as a result of a wrong that has been done to them. This means the entire process from starting your lawsuit by filing certain papers at the Court Registry, the exchange of documents between parties or the examination of the other party under oath, right up to the trial or settlement of the dispute.
Who can you Sue?
Generally speaking, you can sue anybody who you reasonably believe to be responsible for any injury or damage that has been suffered as a result of a wrong committed against you.
If you have a contract with a company and the company fails to live up to its obligations under that contract and damages are suffered as a result, then the company may be liable to pay those damages.
If you purchase a motor vehicle which later turns out to be a ‘lemon’, it may be that the person or company which sold the motor vehicle is held responsible to pay for the resulting damages.
What to do When You are Sued
As soon as possible after you are notified or served with documents, you should immediately contact a lawyer to obtain legal advice. There are very strict time deadlines controlling your response to a lawsuit commenced against you. If you fail to respond within the prescribed time frame, the claiming party may be entitled to take Judgment against you without further notice. In this event, you may be prevented from having your side of the story told before a Judge and the resulting decision may include damages being awarded against you simply for failing to respond.
Should you Sue?
Each case is different and every case depends on its individual facts. The decision to sue should not be made without careful evaluation of the fundamental elements of the case. Once you have satisfied yourself that you may have a good case, you should explore various options available to resolve the matter before resorting to court action. You may try to negotiate an agreed settlement or involve the services of a mediator. If your lawsuit is successful, you must know whether or not you will be successful in collecting the amount owed. There are time limitations on your ability to sue and we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as you feel you have reason to sue someone.
The lawyer’s role is to advise you about the law and how it will apply to you in your specific case. Based on the facts provided, we will give you a realistic assessment of the possible results. There may be many different outcomes to your case depending on which direction you decide to take, the different arguments presented and the Judge who hears your case. You may wish us to negotiate on your behalf, draft the appropriate documents and attend at trial. In all events, we will consult with you and ask for your instructions to determine the terms that are acceptable to you.