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Commencing Court proceedings to resolve a dispute is a serious and often confusing process. There are many steps involved in litigation which will occur at different intervals over a relatively long period of time. These steps are often legally technical and difficult to understand. This guide aims to demystify the litigation process and break down the most common steps you will come across along the way. 

The New South Wales Local Court processes the largest number of claims in NSW and determines disputes with a claim value of up to $100,000. While this guide has been specifically tailored to the litigation process within the Local Court of New South Wales, many of the steps are also relevant to litigation outside of this jurisdiction.

How to Use This Guide

Below, is a list of headings that outline the common steps in the litigation process.

By selecting the relevant steps, you will find some detailed information, including:

  • the process and purpose of that particular stage generally;
  • the purpose of (and content to be included in) any relevant documents to be prepared;
  • an overview of what your lawyer will be doing during that particular stage; and
  • what documents, actions or information your lawyer will possibly need from you.

When using this guide, it is important to remember that these are the ‘common steps’ of the process only. Litigation is unpredictable, and there will inevitably be twists and turns along the way.

For example, settlement negotiations can pop up at any time throughout the proceedings, including right up to the morning of your trial.

NSW Local Court Process

  1. Statement of Claim
  2. Request for Further and Better Particulars 
  3. Defence
  4. Filing For a Default Judgment
  5. Call Over
  6. Directions Hearing
  7. Evidence
  8. Pre Trial Review
  9. Trial
  10. Judgment
  11. Costs Order
  12. Glossary of Terms

Whether your proceedings remain on track or sway into unpredictable territory, your lawyer will always remain your best source of information and can answer any additional questions or concerns that you might have. If you need a commercial lawyer to assist you with a business dispute, contact LegalVision’s litigation lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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