Pursuing a case through civil litigation can be an effective way to get your issue resolved, however before choosing this route, it is important to be aware of the costs and benefits. Here is what you need to know about the process:
Benefits of civil litigation
- Parties have to comply with judgements – when a case is decided by civil litigation, parties must comply with the decision or they can face penalties such as wage garnishment, seizure and sale of property, and possibly even jail time.
- Right to appeal – if any party disagreements with the judgement of the court, they have the right to appeal and there is a possibility for the previous decision to be overturned.
- Precedent-setting – judges in these decisions are required to follow previous decisions and rulings within their province and from the Supreme Court of Canada so it is possible going into civil litigation to have an idea of how a judge is likely to rule.
- Discovery – before going to trial each side has to share their information with the other, so you are able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each side. You may not be able to get access to such information in other types of dispute resolution.
Costs of civil litigation
- It can take longer – depending on the complexity of your civil litigation case, it could take quite a long time – perhaps even years – to be resolved in court. Other dispute-resolution methods are often much quicker.
- Judgement subject to appeal – even though you may win your case, the other side may still appeal and there is the possibility of the judgement being overturned.
- Costly – because it takes longer to resolve a case through civil litigation, the cost is often much higher as well.
- Damaging to the relationship – another drawback of going to trial is that it almost always going to damage any relationship that exists between the two parties. Other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation that seek compromise rather than a winner and a loser are more likely to help keep the relationship intact.
Public forum – another risk of taking your issue to trial is the fact that it can draw public attention and that most documents from the court are publicly available. If you are looking to keep the issue private (and possibly out of the media), then going to court may not be your best option.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today
Whether you are looking to resolve your issue through civil litigation or through another dispute mechanism, it is important to have a skilled civil litigation lawyer who can help you build your case and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact Minhas lawyers today to speak to one of our attorneys about your options.
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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