Getting out of the Civil Court Process
My dispute is currently before the civil court. Is there an alternative?
Rightly or wrongly, many people end up in court over a civil or business matter. Prior to getting to court, a great deal of time and money has been spent on lawyers in obtaining opinions and preparing for the trial. You will be in the minority if you have spent less than you thought you would on the legal process so far. It is common for lawyers to start off saying they believe you have a 75% chance of winning, however, that percentage normally gets revised down as the trial proceeds and new information from the other side comes to light. If your lawyer says you have a 75% chance of winning, does that equate to the other side's lawyer telling them they only have a 25% chance? Probably not. The other side's lawyer is more than likely telling them that they to have a 75% chance of winning as well. If they were not saying this, then why would they be spending their money fighting instead of just settling and moving on? The only event that is guaranteed is that, at least one side, is going to be majorly disappointed with the outcome, however it is usually both.
A common sentiment that we hear is, "But we can't get out of the court process now even if we wanted to." This, of course, is not true. Should the parties reach an agreement that satisfies all the issues the court trial is addressing, then the lawyers for both sides can send a joint memorandum to the court advising them accordingly. There are many reasons why people may like to get out of the court process part way through. They include:
My case is not going as well as I expected.
This can happen for a number of reasons. The judge may disallow some of your key evidence, the other side may discover a flaw in your argument, you may discover a flaw in your argument and are hoping the other side does not get wind of it, new evidence is produced that goes against you, and the list goes on.
My case is going well but it is costing me a fortune.
Court is not cheap and everyone knows it. The bills just keep coming and, very quickly, you may get the feeling that, should you win (and there is no guarantee of this) then, by the time you have add up your costs, it may not have been a financially worthy exercise.
I don't like the uncertainty of this process, I don't know which way it will ultimately go.
There is no such thing as a risk free action in court. Who knows what the outcome will be? Would certainty now, plus a halt to the ongoing legal bills, be worth conceding part of your current position?
Mediation may be a better alternative than continuing on your current path. Mediation is a voluntary, quick and cost effective way to settle disputes in a consensual manor. The mediator does not decide who is right or who is wrong, nor does he or she tell anyone what to do. The mediator facilitates the parties to come to an agreement of their own making. About 85% of matters taken to mediation result in a successful outcome that resolves the dispute(s). It is the sensible alternative to our courts system.
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Why mediate my dispute?
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