The Beginning of the Litigation Process

May 25

If you're like most people, you might only engage with a lawyer to create or update your will or transact a property. That said, with the business world changing and adapting at a faster rate than ever before, another area of law is thriving - litigation. 

As consumers, we all interact routinely with corporations large and small. These interactions don't always go as planned. For instance, you might have bought a defective vehicle that the dealer refuses to replace. Or you're locked in disagreement with a building contractor about the scope of works for your home. Small business owners might see litigation arising from intellectual property infringement or shareholder disputes. These are just some examples in the broad area of litigation.

How does the Litigation Process Begin?

If the parties’ attempts to resolve their disagreement fail, the formal litigation process starts with the plaintiff filing a claim or application with an appropriate court. The filing is accompanied by a statement of claim or affidavit supporting the plaintiff’s cause of action, and then served on the defendant.

The defendant then has a short period to file and serve their defence notice. Compliance with this short time frame is critical. Depending on the circumstances, the defendant may file a counterclaim against the plaintiff. All these documents forming the basis for proceedings are referred to as pleadings. Once pleadings have closed, the parties exchange additional information between each other that may be relevant to issues in dispute. A sort of showing of the cards.

But we're not at the trial date-setting stage yet! Most courts want to see that parties have attempted to resolve their matter prior to going to trial. In most cases this involves mediation, and it's the point at which most matters end.

If you've been affected by a disagreement or dispute, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team at Argon Law.