Do you have a legal problem? Are you and your family having disputes relating to property or other matters? When legal disputes arise, a civil litigation lawyer’s role is to help resolve the dispute, whether it’s by private out-of-court settlement or by taking the matter to the Courts if necessary. Not every dispute requires the Court to resolve the issue, but a good litigation lawyer can assist you to navigate the legal process and the Courts on your behalf to achieve a favourable result that may not require a long, costly trial. As Sun Tzu once wrote: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” At Bernard Lau and Co., we utilize a diverse array of legal options and tactics, not just trial, to help resolve your legal issue. Below, we’ll explore what civil litigation lawyers do in more detail and the stages of a typical litigation matter.
What Is Civil Litigation?
Civil litigation refers to resolving non-criminal disputes through the court system. These disputes can encompass many issues, such as contract disputes, personal injury claims, property disputes, employment disagreements and more. Civil litigation lawyers represent clients on either side of a dispute, guiding them through the legal process and advocating for their best interests.
At Bernard Lau and Co. we have extensive experience assisting clients on resolving real estate disputes, defamation and general contracts matters.
Case Assessment and Investigation
First, your lawyer conducts a thorough assessment of your case. They meticulously examine your claim’s facts, evidence and legal merits. That may involve reviewing documents, conducting legal research, interviewing witnesses and consulting with relevant experts. This comprehensive assessment allows your civil litigation lawyer to formulate a strategic plan and assess your case’s strengths and weaknesses. It also helps them decide if your case is worth taking through trial, or through alternate means like mediation or arbitration.
Pleadings and Pre-trial Proceedings
Once the initial assessment is complete, and if it’s decided to proceed in court, civil litigation lawyers draft and file the necessary legal documents to initiate (or defend) the lawsuit. These documents, known as pleadings, typically consist of a plaintiff’s notice of civil claim and a defendant’s response to civil claim. Your lawyer ensures that the pleadings accurately reflect your position and lays the groundwork for further legal arguments. At this stage, lawyers play a crucial role in negotiating settlements and resolving disputes out of court since many cases often settle once the pleadings are filed.
Discovery and Fact-Finding
During the discovery phase, parties exchange information and evidence. This process helps each side understand the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing case. Civil litigation lawyers analyze the evidence, cross-examine the opposing side and prepare you for your own cross-examination. Discovery is one of the most important stages of litigation, as your lawyer can uncover crucial details, identify key witnesses and gather critical evidence and admissions during this phase that can ultimately persuade the other side to settle the case in your favour or bolster your case for trial.
Trial and Advocacy
Cases may often proceed to trial if the dispute remains unresolved through pre-trial proceedings or alternative dispute resolution. At trial, a civil litigation lawyer’s role is to advocate for your interests in the courtroom. They present evidence, cross-examine witnesses and make compelling legal arguments on your behalf with the ultimate aim to persuade the judge that your position is the correct one..
Lawyers are also responsible for post-trial proceedings such as calculating trial costs, recovery of judgment and other post-trial matters that need to be dealt with after the trial has concluded.If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, your civil litigation lawyer can file an appeal, requesting a higher court to review the case for any errors in law that the trial judge may have made. Your appeal lawyer can assess the merits of the appeal, prepare appellate briefs, make oral arguments and advocate for you before the appellate court.
Your Civil Litigation Lawyer in Richmond and Metro Vancouver
The role of a civil litigation attorney involves a diverse array of responsibilities. It requires a strong comprehension of the legal framework, the Supreme Court Rules and a tactical methodology to address disputes effectively. Not all disputes need to be resolved at trial. If your litigation lawyer has prepared effectively to make a strong case for settlement in your favour, you may be able to achieve a favourable settlement outcome without the costs, stress and uncertainty of trial.
At Bernard Lau and Co., our lawyers have extensive litigation and courtroom trial experience, including high-profile successful trial outcomes as reported in the media. However, we have also settled cases with favourable outcomes for our clients on the strength of the extensive preparation that we do on our clients’ behalf. We have the knowledge and experience to craft a comprehensive legal plan tailored to your unique situation.. Our team prioritizes your needs and interests, ensuring they are at the forefront of every strategy.
The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
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