Litigation is a way of resolving disputes that uses courts and solicitorsDisputes usually fall into the following classifications: civil or criminal.

Civil Litigation

In civil cases, your  lawyer will represent your interests and fight for an outcome that is most favourable for you. This is regardless of whether you are:

  •  the Plaintiff – you have brought the claim
  • the Defendant” – you are defending the claim

Methods of resolving a dispute between parties include adversarial methods, such as court proceedings, and non-adversarial methods such as negotiations and mediations.

Note: Civil litigation is often referred to as commercial litigation. Commercial litigation encompasses a wide area of law including breaches of contract, employment disputes, debt collection shareholder disputes and disagreements about neighbourhood fences among other issues.

Criminal Litigation

In criminal litigation, a charge is brought against you by the Police, the State or the Commonwealth. If the Prosecution (representing the Crown) is able to prove you are guilty of committing a crime, punishment may include a fine, imprisonment and/or various other penalties. In these matters, you are always the Defendant and it becomes the responsibility of your litigation lawyer to defend your innocence.

Who is a Litigation Lawyer?

Being involved in litigious proceedings can be stressful and uncertain. However, the right lawyer will make this process as smooth as possible, whilst also fighting for an outcome that is in your interests. A litigation lawyer (also called a solicitor) is the individual who will represent, protect and assert your interests in a dispute.

What is the Purpose of a Litigation Lawyer?

The primary role of your litigation lawyer in both civil and criminal matters is to assist you in all facets of your dispute. From filing documents in Court to explaining rules of law, your lawyer is your first point of contact with the legal world. They are also your biggest ally in the resolution of your dispute.

Another key role for your lawyer is to communicate with others involved in your case. This includes to communicate with the other party’s solicitors/the police, arrange for barristers to appear on your behalf in Court and attend mediations and negotiations with intent to pursue a favourable outcome for you.

Documents in Litigation

The preparation of documents is a necessary part of every legal dispute. An essential task for your lawyer is to help you understand both:

  • the purpose of these documents; and
  • the time in which they must be filed in court and served on the other side

Some of these documents include:

  • Statements of Claim
  • Affidavits
  • Defences
  • Further and Better Particulars
  • Discovery
  • Interrogatories

Finding your Litigation Lawyer

When finding the right lawyer for you, the ideal solicitor will have relevant experience and a personality that allows you to work together in fighting for your interests.

Experience

We recommend that you research the amount of relevant experience a lawyer has before you engage them, as this will improve your quality of representation.

Costs

Litigation costs can include filing fees, application fees, valuations and reports by experts and potentially barristers’ fees. These costs are known as ‘disbursements’, and are charged in addition to the ‘fees’ you pay your lawyer to prepare and argue your case.

Etheringtons Solicitors are experienced in all facets of litigation. We can help you manage the uncertainty and stress of your legal matter. Additionally, we understand that strategy and dynamism are vital parts of responding to the challenges faced by clients involved in litigation proceedings.

To discuss your matter with one of our lawyers, please contact us on (02) 9963 9800.