Anyone who has sued someone or been sued will tell you in great detail about how much it cost them but this is only a small part of the story.
Litigation is one of the highest levels of dispute where two parties, let’s call them gladiators, being unable to settle a dispute through discussion, engage one another in a dramatic combat to the death. Think the Battle of Carthage re-enactment in the arena scene of the gladiator movie where Russell Crowe’s character played the part of a Provocatores.
So now we have a small group of gladiators (you and your legal team) facing down a large group of war-chariot fighters (your evil opponent and their expensive legal team). How do you feel? What is going through your mind at that moment? In a Court room you are probably feeling stressed, tired, anxious and emotional and wondering why you have put yourself through more than a year of emotional torture and spent a small fortune to make yourself feel this way. Entering into litigation is like entering into battle and, as with any war, no side leaves the battlefield unscathed. This is the hidden cost of going to Court.
This view may seem to minimise the complex nature of a litigious dispute or the ethical justice in pursuing a wrongdoer, however, in our experience, at the crux of every lawsuit we find that the driving force is ‘I am right. You are wrong’.
Take for example estate disputes, where family members psychologically grapple with who was loved more by a parent and try to put a dollar value on that love; or someone who not been paid for work and finds out in Court that the other gladiator thinks the work they poured their heart and soul into is incompetent. The list of examples is endless.
These scenarios are not uncommon, and, in many cases, people find themselves pursuing restoration and justice whilst degenerating their health (both physical and emotional) and disrupting their everyday lives at a level they did not anticipate.
When thinking of going to Court, don’t just think of the financial cost, think of the cost on your health. Keep in mind the possibility of sleepless nights, frustration at process delay, an unforeseen increase in costs, potential humiliation in exposing your personal life and the anxiety of an uncertain outcome.
At & Legal we believe our job as lawyers is to champion our client’s cause like the Provocatores general; protecting you, striking when necessary and defending your financial, physical and mental health. It is not uncommon for us to advise against litigation and opt for alternative dispute resolution after weighing the prospects and benefits of success against the toll this success may take on our client’s health, wealth and happiness.
Settlement outside of the court is no doubt the best way to resolve a dispute. However, there are situations wherein lawsuits are necessary and, in such instances, a good lawyer will be there every step of the way to support and advocate for you, ensuring that updates are given regularly, costs are transparent and uncertainty is minimised.
If you are thinking of going to Court or are in Court and unhappy with the representation and advice you are being given why not give us a call.