We encourage people to try and resolve things away from court. That might sound counter-intuitive – we are lawyers! But we know that court is often not the solution people will hope it will be.
This year we have had more cases cancelled by the court at the last minute, than ever before. Cases about financial settlements are dealt with on Mondays. It’s common to receive a call from the court on Friday, to say there’s no judge available, and the case is cancelled at the last minute. From a human point of view this is incredibly stressful and upsetting – you’re emotionally, financially and practically ready to reach a conclusion. From a legal fees point of view it is bad news – the preparation has already been done. Barristers fees may have been incurred.
Last week the court cancelled 5 cases on Friday!
The other reason to avoid court, is that no judge has a magic wand to find a solution that is “fair” for everyone. Different people have different views about what’s fair. Going to court means you are handing over control to a judge who doesn’t know you.
The way to avoid court proceedings is to each an agreement, and to explore options like mediation or arbitration.
Sometimes court proceedings are the only option – to force someone else to respond, or if they are being completely unreasonable. If the court hearing is cancelled at the last minute sometimes we have gone ahead without a judge! If everyone is prepared we can still go to court and negotiate, to avoid wasting everyone’s time. We will always try and be constructive. Also in some cases we have been able to recover money from the court to recover the wasted fees.