There are a number of important considerations when deciding which dispute resolution method will be most suitable to your needs and your case. This article is a guide to these considerations:
The strength of your case
Your lawyer will be able to assess the strength of your case once they have conducted an interview with you and gained a better understanding of your matter. Your lawyer should be able to provide some initial feedback on the strength of your case. It might be that further information is required to properly assess how strong a case you have. Once your lawyer has looked over all the relevant information, he or she will look at whether this information is sufficient to prove the various elements of the claim in Court. Your lawyer should tell you honestly if you have no prospects of success or if your prospects are very weak. Based on this assessment, your lawyer may advise a different dispute resolution method.
The relationship between parties
If you have some sort of relationship with the other party, whether it is commercial or personal, a less formal dispute resolution method may serve to preserve the continuity of the relationship. Both parties may wish to resolve the matter outside of court to avoid tarnishing the relationship in the future.
The legal costs
Entering into prolonged litigation with another determined party can result in both parties being financially and emotionally drained. Your lawyer, if he or she works on an hourly basis, should try to give an accurate estimate of costs so that you have an idea of what you could end up paying. The obvious expense involved in litigation will certainly be a factor that impacts your decision when choosing the most appropriate dispute resolution method.
The urgency of the matter
Sometimes there will be a state of urgency in having the matte resolved as soon as possible. To achieve court intervention, litigation may be the most appropriate option.
Time to resolve the matter
Over the years, the time taken to have a matter heard by a Court has shortened substantially, however, there is still some way to go. Your lawyer should be comfortable estimating how long each stage of the process should take for your particular case.
Enforcing Alternative Dispute Resolution
In practice, it is more difficult to enforce the outcomes of alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and negotiation. Sometimes a Court will enforce the negotiations endorsing them with a formalised court order, although this is not common.
Keeping the matter private
Court proceedings are normally public affairs. Sometimes parties will prefer a more private setting to settle disputes. The dispute may revolve around confidential materials or intellectual property, for example. In these cases, a different dispute resolution method may be preferable.
Is there precedent?
Precedent is a principle, which refers to the binding nature of past decisions made by higher courts over matters dealing with similar facts. To actually establish a new precedent, the matter must go to court. In other cases, the parties might wish to avoid establishing a new precedent and so will resort to an alternative dispute resolution method.
Often, parties will commence litigation, but then resort to negotiating the matter before the hearing begins.
Whether you’re looking into litigation or alternative dispute resolution methods, LegalVision can certainly assist. To discuss your matter with our litigation specialists, contact our offices today on 1300 544 755.
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