How do I use litigation to achieve my objectives?
If you have a dispute with another party which you can’t resolve privately, then your only option is to bring the matter before the Court for an independent Judge to decide the matter. However, litigation can be expensive, and even a simple case could take a couple of years to resolve. So is litigation still a practical method of resolving a dispute?
What many people don’t realise is that most cases are settled out of Court, and that it is actually quite rare for cases to reach the very end. Therefore, your aim should be using litigation as a strategy to force the other party to reach a settlement with you. Your aim should not be trying to get a Judge to finally decide your case.
All litigation is risky because no one can guarantee how a Judge will decide a case. I tell my clients this analogy, imagine I give you scientific reports which prove that Covid vaccines are very effective, and then I tell you to use these reports to convince 10 people to take the vaccine. You will find that there will still be some people you can never persuade to take the vaccine. In the same way, even if you believe you have very strong legal grounds, there is always a chance a Judge may decide against you.
Therefore, you can leverage the uncertainty in litigation as a way to negotiate a deal with the other party. No one can be 100% certain of the outcome of litigation, so it is in the parties’ best interest to negotiate a settlement deal which is acceptable for both parties.
If fact, Courts love it when the parties settle, because this means less work for the Judges to do! In summary, don’t think you have to litigate until the bitter end, because forcing a settlement deal could achieve your objective without the significant costs of trial.
If you have any questions about dispute resolution in New Zealand, speak to us at Capstone Law, and we will be happy to assist you.
Partner & CEO
Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law. Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.
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