Here at Axia Litigation Lawyers, we get asked: “do I have to go to court to settle my dispute” a lot. Whether it’s the prevalence of US courtroom dramas where every dispute ends up in a trial or something else, I’m not sure, but it’s worth discussing.
The short answer is no! In fact, by far the majority of disputes are settled long before court dates are booked and barristers are engaged.
Here at Axia Litigation Lawyers, we explore every reasonable avenue to settle a dispute in the best way possible for you before resorting to a court appearance.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT TO SETTLE MY DISPUTE
Just a few ways that disputes may be settled prior to a court appearance include:
1. An existing resolution process for specific situations. Disputes about neighbourhood fences and residential leases, for example, are areas where the Queensland Government has established procedures and processes for individuals to access dispute resolution services.
2. A letter of demand. For businesses with bad debtors, a letter of demand from their lawyer is often enough to prompt a debtor to pay up.
3. If a letter of demand is insufficient, lodging caveats over a debtor’s property to secure your debt may be possible if you have Terms and Conditions of Trade which are well drafted and signed by the debtor. If you don’t, this is simple to implement.
4. An exchange of letters and agreed resolution. If the relationship between the parties has broken down and both parties are legally represented a resolution can often be achieved by an exchange of letters between each party’s lawyers. Generally, each side will outline their expectations and may briefly outline how they intend to pursue the matter. With this aired between the parties, a resolution that avoids further steps can be achieved.
5. Mediation. This involves both parties meeting with an impartial mediator who facilitates a discussion with the goal of resolving the dispute between the parties without having to go to court. Mediators don’t pass judgment or give advice, they simply create a framework for parties to explore a resolution. Many personal, family, commercial and property disputes are settled via mediation.
6. In some instances, a dispute will end up in the court system. While this is not desirable the reality is that sometimes there is just no alternative way to resolve the dispute.
Whatever your situation may be, we can assist you to explore the options to avoid court. If a court appearance is required, you will have experienced, competent lawyers in your corner.