Courting trouble!

So you want to sue the buggers? Great, where should you start? Firstly, consider the REAL reason you want to take someone to court. Here are a list of really, really bad reasons for suing someone:

  • you want to prove them wrong
  • you want to prove a point
  • you want to be right
  • you want justice
  • its the principal of the thing!
  • you're going to show them!
  • they deserve it!

None of these reasons are good reasons for suing someone. Nope, not one! More's the point, if you launch into court proceedings on the basis of one of those reasons, you are bound to be disappointed!

Set yourself a realistic goal. You want to sue the bugger because all other possible avenues for resolving your dispute have failed and you want to:

  • recover payment from someone
  • clarify the terms of a contract with someone
  • make someone comply with the terms of a contract
  • prove that a contract exists so that you can enforce it
  • stop someone from doing something that is damaging you or your business
  • get a court order that compels someone give you back something that belongs to you
  • stop someone from removing something from the jurisdiction

It is very hard for some people to separate the people from the problem, or to take the emotion out of the dispute. Focus on the solution you want to achieve, rather than the bugger you want to sue, and you will have a much more realistic prospective on your proposed court proceeding.

There are a couple of other key points to remember:

  • court proceedings will cost you time
  • court proceedings will cost you money, even if you win
  • be prepared to reach a compromise to end proceedings early
  • don't expect to get everything you want
  • don't ever think that anyone can predict the way a court will make a decision
  • no one can ever guarantee that you will win
  • there is no such thing as a 'sure thing'

Once you know what it is you want to achieve and you have worked out that it is worth the time and money to try and achieve that goal, then you're ready to sue the buggers.

And by then, you might have changed your mind!

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