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Alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
Legal representation in court battles.
If your business is in a dispute, you may find yourself in need of professional assistance. If you are involved in a court battle, or believe you need to take someone to court, you will need to hire a lawyer. If you are looking for a non-litigious option, you can consider if any form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is right for you - the main forms of ADR are mediation, conciliation and arbitration. You can find out more about the different forms of ADR here.
What sort of situations require litigation and dispute resolution?
Do I need litigation or alternative dispute resolution?
There a pros and cons of each approach, so you will need to consider carefully which one is right for you.
Litigation is thorough, legally precise and offers a comprehensive system to make your argument and to appeal the decision. Litigation is also expensive and time-consuming. Large or complicated cases can take many years, especially if there are lengthy appeals, and smaller cases are often uneconomical to pursue.
Alternative dispute resolution is significantly cheaper and faster, but it offers a less comprehensive system and it may not offer the same protections and appeals that disputing your case in court might. There is also the possibility that your mediator, conciliator or arbitrator will not be as highly qualified as a judge in the court system.
What should I do if someone brings a dispute against me?
Engage a law firm immediately. Many law firms offer alternative dispute resolution options and can advise you if it is appropriate to make an ADR offer to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff does not want to pursue alternative dispute resolution, a lawyer can help you combat their motions and build a case in your defence. If the case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you and argue on your behalf.
What can I do if the courts rule against me?
The courts offer an appeal process which you can utilise if you disagree with the legal decision made by the judge in your case. Appeals do not deal with the facts of the case (unless there is new evidence), but instead they deal with the application of the law. You may dispute that a vital piece of evidence was made inadmissible incorrectly, or else that the judge errored in their application of the law to the facts. Appealing a case can be very expensive however, as the decisions at the higher courts are far more significant than those in the lower courts because they can impact future cases.