When business disputes extend beyond negotiations and cannot be resolved, litigation is often the next step to settle an issue. When consulting commercial litigation lawyers Melbourne businesses are often looking for remedies such as monetary damages, the honouring of contracts or the termination of a contract.
A litigation lawyer at Melbourne Law Studio can help you find the appropriate pathway to settling your dispute. Below we look at the stages of commercial litigation and what the process involves.
The process typically begins with parties attempting to resolve the dispute before commencing court proceedings. This may involve informal discussions or with the assistance of a dispute resolution lawyer. With help from their dispute resolution lawyer, the parties will often select a mediator to guide them through the process. Resolving issues at the mediation stage can avoid the stress, cost and time of going to court and is often most beneficial for all parties.
Starting Legal Proceedings
Court hearings are often run by a lawyer collaborating with a barrister, known as counsel, who will help across each stage of court proceedings. If dispute resolution processes fail, the first step to commencing litigation is briefing counsel. Briefing counsel involves your litigation lawyer providing counsel with a detailed summary of your case and claims with relevant documentation.
Each party then sets out their legal positions in formal legal documents, which include:
- Statement of claim from the party filing a claim (the plaintiff or applicant)
- Defence from the other party (the defendant or respondent)
- Potential counterclaim from the defence against the plaintiff
- Defence to crossclaim from the plaintiff
Some courts also allow a response from the plaintiff to issues raised in the defence.
There may be a few administrative hearings and court attendances to determine the remainder of the proceedings. This can involve a pre-trial review, amendments to pleadings, further orders made by the court and additional mediation processes. Parties can then request documents from each other and third parties for evidence to support their claims.
This is then followed by the actual hearing and delivery of judgement from the judge or magistrate after reviewing each party’s claims and evidence. Hearings can last anywhere from days to months depending on the complexity of the matter. A party can also appeal decisions in most courts within a time limit.
Contact a Litigation Lawyer in Melbourne for Advice
Litigation processes are rarely simple. To get assistance from experienced commercial litigation lawyers Melbourne businesses should book a free 15-minute consultation today with Melbourne Law Studio. Call us on 03 9021 1421 or contact us online.