Litigation, done badly, is costly and time consuming. Sometimes clients will give up their rights because they believe litigation cannot get the outcome they are entitled to.
BTLawyers’ litigation team understands that litigation is a tool get an outcome. Like any tool, you need to know how it works and use it efficiently and effectively if you are going to get the right outcome.
Lawyers too often let claims drag out after initial documents are filed, without effectively using the Court’s powers to manage litigation to drive the claim forward. Worse yet, lawyers representing some clients will misuse the Court’s processes to actively drag litigation out to make it difficult for their opponents.
However, there are strict timelines parties must follow in Court proceedings to keep claims moving toward a conclusion. The Court Rules expressly require parties to conduct litigation “in an expeditious way”. Using those timeframes and rules to your advantage is one of the best ways a litigant can get a strategic advantage over their opponent.
Efficient Litigation in Action
BTLawyers recently represented a client in the District Court for a Disclosure Application. Our client claims substantial monies and there are allegations of fraud. The Defendant has attempted to delay the claim at every opportunity, however has failed to disclose the relevant documents he claimed to be in his possession, or to provide particulars to properly explain why he is defending the claim.
We promptly brought an Application in the District Court to force him to provide the documents and details of his defence.
The Defendant tried to adjourn the Application to give him more time – we opposed that. The Court was highly critical of the Defendant for not complying with his obligations, and his solicitor for failing to take reasonable steps to progress the claim. We successfully argued there was no excuse for the delay. The Court ordered the Defendant to provide the disclosure and “particulars” in 7 days. It also ordered the Defendant to pay our client’s costs of the Application.
The outcome is important strategically in managing the case. Our client firmly believes the Defendant has taken advantage of him in business dealings, and the Defendant’s delay in the litigation simply continues that behaviour. The outcome puts the Defendant on the back foot and at risk of having his defence struck out if he doesn’t comply with the Court’s Order.
The order to pay our costs means our client is not out of pocket for enforcing his rights and adds an additional sting to the Defendant. He will be sure to comply with time frames in the future and knows that we will be pressing the claim to a satisfactory outcome for our client ïn an expeditious way.
Remember that if you have a valid claim, the Court can order your opponent to pay your costs and the Court’s rules are designed to prevent delays. Don’t give up your rights because you think litigation is expensive and slow. Instead, have BTLawyers take decisive action to pursue your rights effectively and efficiently. Because we don’t start fights – we finish them.
Call Bruce Thomas from our commercial litigation team on (07) 3211 2233 or send us an enquiry using the form below.