Civil disputes are between opposing parties such as individuals, corporations, government or other entities.
The types of civil disputes are many and varied. Examples include:
- Building and construction disputes
- Commercial and retail leasing disputes
- Consumer claims such as unfair contracts, misrepresentation, unconscionable conduct, undue influence and fraud
- Contractual disputes including breach of contract, failure to perform or complete a contract or breach of essential conditions and warranties
- Debt recovery
- Defamation proceedings
- Disputed estates and contested wills
- Insolvency and bankruptcy
- Intellectual property disputes such as copyright and trade mark infringement
- Partnership disputes and dissolution of partnership
- Professional negligence claims
- Property co-ownership disputes, boundary and easement disputes and equitable claims such as resulting and constructive trusts
- Property damage claims
Wherever possible, we will attempt to resolve a dispute through alternative means such as negotiation, mediation or conciliation. If this does not resolve your matter we will carefully assess your circumstances, and, if appropriate, we will recommend litigation and vigorously pursue your case.
The litigation process requires significant preparation and involves compliance with various court formalities and evidentiary technicalities. Court disputes can be very expensive and emotionally draining. Consequently, the decision to commence proceedings should be carefully considered and weighed against the likelihood of success and, if successful, the feasibility of enforcing the orders that are made.
A civil court dispute (litigation) involves a dispute about the rights or liabilities of the parties involved, with one party seeking a court ordered remedy against the other party or parties. The remedy may be in the form of monetary compensation for damages or loss suffered, an injunction (an order preventing a party from doing something), or a range of other discretionary orders such as for the sale of property and its proceeds distributed in a specific manner.
Court proceedings are commenced by the aggrieved party (the plaintiff) filing a claim or application in the relevant jurisdiction, identifying the party against whom a remedy is sought (the defendant). The claim usually includes a statement of facts summarising the circumstances of the case, identifies the wrongdoing or area of law breached and states the remedy sought.
The defendant is ‘served’ with the claim or application and is required to respond within a specified time. The type of response filed is determined by the relevant circumstances and how the defendant wishes to answer the claim or application.
If the matter is not settled by negotiation or through an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation or conciliation, it is set down for hearing and determined by the Court.