A Brief Guide to the Litigation Process

If all other methods of dispute resolution have fallen through, litigation allows you to plead your case in court in order to obtain a judgement. If you’re looking to pursue litigation, it’s important to first gain a basic understanding of the process. Here’s a brief guide to get you started.


Filing a Claim

The first step when pursuing litigation is to file a Claim, as well as a Statement of Claim. The Claim details what is being sought from the defendant (i.e. damages, compensation) while the Statement of Claim is used to explain why you believe it is deserved. There can be a lot of complicated legal jargon involved within this step, which is why it’s strongly recommended to hire someone well versed and experienced in litigation, such as solicitor Glenn Duker.


Serving the Claim

Once the Claim is filed, the next step is serving it to the defendant. If the defendant is a company, the Claim can be simply mailed to their office. However, if the defendant is an individual, they will need to be served in person with a process server.


Once a defendant has received notice of a Claim, they’re given 28 days to file a Notice of Intention to Defend, as well as a Defence. If they don’t do this before the specified time, an Application for Default Judgment can be made, favouring the claimant. If a defence is filed, however, there are a number of procedures that must be undertaken, including a settlement conference where the two parties can negotiate to attempt to arrive at a mutual agreement.


Enforcement

If the claim goes to court and the court’s decision favours your claim, you’d be forgiven for thinking the battle was over – but not quite yet! After you’ve obtained judgement, you’ll have to find a way to ensure you receive the payment you’re owed. Unfortunately, having judgment against the defendant doesn’t mean they’ll automatically pay up. In extreme cases, payment will need to be enforced, either through putting out an arrest warrant, or by filing a creditor’s petition for bankruptcy.


Consideration of Costs

When considering litigation, it’s essential to take into consideration all of the costs involved. Sometimes a court case and lawyer fees may cost more than what you’re seeking, making the process futile. While scale costs can be claimed from a defendant after judgement, it’s important to be aware of the other costs involved – as well as the possibility of not obtaining judgement.


Fortunately, Melbourne lawyer Glenn Duker is an expert in all areas of commercial litigation, ensuring your case will be handled by an experienced professional. He’ll determine whether litigation is the right option for you, and provide useful advice that pertains to your case. Contact our firm today for a confidential discussion of your circumstances.

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