Mediation (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
Settling matters through mediation, arbitration or negotiation can be much faster and cost-effective than going through the court system. Your Company documents or terms of trade should highlight how you will resolve civil litigation cases before you enter any business relationship. If you aren’t sure, or want to have your terms of trade reviewed, just let us know.
Through the mediation process, we will listen to the other side’s case and work with their lawyer to reach a settlement both parties can agree to. Arbitration brings in a neutral third-party to listen to both sides, and work with everyone to find a successful resolution.
Lawyers are not allowed to represent clients in the Disputes Tribunal. The Tribunal has a limited jurisdiction and can only hear disputes up to $15,000, or $20,000 if both sides agree.
We can advise you if you have a case, outline a strategy, your chances of winning, and if you want to go ahead, file your papers with the disputes tribunal for you.
If the dispute involves more than $20,000, and you cannot reach an acceptable settlement through mediation (or some other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution), we can argue your case through the courts.
The District Court’s proceedings can be quite drawn out, with both sides given time to file paperwork and prepare their cases. The judge can decide to hear cases and supervise mediation to see if the issue can be resolved without going to trial, otherwise the normal Court process goes ahead.
Once a judgement has been reached, you can take action to enforce it by referring to the High Court in Christchurch for bankruptcy, filing distress warrants or attachment orders (against individuals) or liquidation (against companies).