Civil litigation is about disputes (other than family or criminal) being determined through a formal Court process.
Disputes may relate to contract law and specific breach of contract but almost any sort of dispute that you can imagine can be made the subject of civil litigation. More common ones we regularly assist with include:
Building and construction contracts disputes
Land and property disputes
Disputes with purchasers or vendors
Disputes over business arrangements or the break ups of businesses
Disputes over wills and deceased estates
Disputes in relation to insolvencies
Disputes over debt
Starting a Court case or defending one is a major job and one that needs to be talked through in detail with clients at the beginning. Options have to be carefully considered, including whether the civil litigation can be avoided in the first place. Many disputes are better resolved by alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. Downie Stewart is fortunate to have excellent expertise in these non-litigation resolution methods.
The litigation process is often quite stressful for clients and we recognise this as a foremost consideration. We endeavour to reduce the unpleasant side of civil litigation as much as we can through ensuring that from the beginning clients have a clear view as to what might be expected and then keeping them informed throughout. We constantly explore negotiating options and ways in which clients can be removed from the litigation process as soon as possible.
Downie Stewart's civil litigation lawyer Dunedin team is led by Jim Guest and includes David Sim.