How to Vigorously Defend a Court Proceeding
If you are served with court documents, you must act quickly. This is not something to sweep under the rug and hope it goes away. You should seek legal advice ASAP and implement a strategy which you can maintain throughout the whole court proceeding. If you want to take a hard approach and vigorously defend the court proceedings, we recommend implementing the following:
In addition to filing a defence, file a counterclaim! This is a claim you make against the other side which will be heard simultaneously with their legal proceedings. Not only will this save you the legal costs of issuing a separate proceeding, but it will also immediately put pressure on the other side. They will now be forced to spread their attention and resources across both claims.
Make Them Pay
You can bring an application seeking security for costs – this is where the Court will order your opponent to pay a certain amount of money into court or your solicitor’s trust account. This is to ensure that if you are successful and receive an order for your legal costs to be paid, there is a greater chance you will receive payment.
The other side will definitely feel the pain of having to outlay significant costs, especially at such an early stage of the court proceeding. Although these applications can be determined by the Court, in our experience, they are often resolved prior to hearing.
Settle, Settle, Settle
Offering to settle the proceeding is not a weak move. Putting forward an offer of settlement can either resolve the dispute altogether or it may provide you with added cost protection moving forward. For example, if you make a Calderbank Offer which is rejected and the Court makes an order for you which is more favourable than the Calderbank Offer, you may also receive an order for your legal costs to be paid on an indemnity basis. This could potentially mean you receive an additional 40% of your legal costs back.
The cost consequences are substantial and will place pressure on the other side to settle.
If you are unsure how to defend a legal proceeding or need advice regarding an upcoming court hearing, contact one of our experienced litigation lawyers at Taurus Legal Management on (03) 9481 2000 or email@example.com.