We all know the threat ‘I’ll see you in Court’. Nowadays, all courts and tribunals generally require parties to mediate or participate in mediation or some similar form of alternative dispute resolution before the matter can proceed to trial. So while it lacks the same force, in most cases it would be more realistic to say ‘I’ll see you at mediation.’
Benefits of going to Court
Commencing litigation may be necessary to bring the other side to the table. Issuing court proceedings can strengthen your bargaining position, as there is significantly more impetus to come to an agreement when the next step is a trial. Getting a court to decide your case is definitely one way of resolving a dispute.
Things to consider before commencing litigation proceedings
Considering issuing proceedings? Refer to our article: Wait, Can’t I Just Sue the Blighter?
The vast majority of litigation commenced in Court will never reach a final hearing. Most cases will settle beforehand, with the parties coming up with their own solution to their dispute. Commonly, that will be a commercial solution, regardless of legal strengths and weaknesses. This often results in the parties being able to maintain ongoing business relationships, which is rarely the case at the end of hard-fought court proceedings.
Often, it’s just too uncertain and costly (refer to our article on Court Costs) to leave the final decision to a judge, magistrate or tribunal member.
Tips for making the right decision
A court or tribunal hearing might be necessary or preferred, but mediation is another option for trying to resolve disputes. Obtain quality legal advice.
Considering mediation? For further information, refer to our article on benefits of mediation?
Try to settle on an outcome ‘you can live with’ rather than your optimum outcome.
Are you in a legal dispute with someone?