There are many factors that affect the right method to resolve a dispute. General factors such as the strength of your case, the relationship between you and the other party, the outcomes required, and time limitations may mean that your dispute is best resolved through alternate dispute resolution, rather than traditional court proceedings. Alternatively, if it is unlikely that a party will comply with a resolution, it might be more effective to initiate court proceedings for an enforceable decision.

However, if, in consultation with your lawyer, you decide that litigation is the most appropriate path, there are several factors you should be aware of:

Can I discontinue or withdraw proceedings?

Often the party that starts a proceeding can discontinue them, sometimes without the permission of the other party or the court. However, the court may require you to pay the costs of the other party. Sometimes you can retain the right to raise the same claims in fresh proceedings. 

Who pays for litigation?

Unless someone else is paying your fees you will have to pay your own costs. Generally, the Court will order that the unsuccessful party pay some of the costs of the successful party. However, it is rare that the Court will order the unsuccessful party to pay all the costs of the successful party. Some Courts and Tribunals do not make orders for costs at all. 

Are there time limits to litigation?

There are always strict deadlines by which you must begin your matter in a Court or Tribunal. These deadlines are known as “limitation periods”. Different disputes may have different limitation periods. 

The rules of court are complex. Whether you should pursue litigation or alternate dispute resolution is a decision best made with the advice of a lawyer. Contact Craddock Murray Neuman here to discuss your options.