Going to court

You may be cross or upset and want to see the smile wiped off your opponent’s face. Maybe your opponent cannot be persuaded to negotiate or refuses to try ADR. Either way, going to court (‘litigation’) can sometimes be:

  • uncertain,
  • unpredictable,
  • expensive,
  • surprisingly formal,
  • risky,
  • stressful,
  • not a quick fix; it can take a long time.

It does rather depend on the kind of case you have and the type of court you use. For example, if you have a claim that can be dealt with in the small claims court then it may be less risky or stressful. You may be offered free mediation if your claim is contested and you are likely to get a quicker outcome than if, for example, you use an ombudsman.

You need to find out what the law says about your problem. Does it support your case?

Getting advice

Get advice about what the law says when you are unsure. Does it still support your case? If not, should you decide on a different option for solving your problem rather than going to court?

You must have a legal basis for taking action. Without this, you don’t have a case; you may just have a problem you need to resolve in another way. Get advice if you are unsure. Even if you are reasonably confident that you understand what your legal position is, it can save you time and money in the long run to check.

So, don’t sue unless you have to and remember it is never too late to compromise - for both parties to give up a little of what they want - if that way you can reach an agreement.

Top tip!

Check whether going to court or using an alternative method of dispute resolution offers the best way of resolving your particular problem. Don’t delay. Get legal advice.

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