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A speedy and cost efficient road to justice

By Andrew Steele - 10 Jun 2019

A complaint of the court system is that justice comes too slowly and at too great a cost. Is there a way to obtain a relatively speedy judgment at a reduced cost? For some claims - the answer is 'yes' and the way to achieve it is to issue summary judgment proceedings.

Typically court proceedings involve the parties exchanging all documents relevant to the dispute (a sometimes laborious exercise which lawyers call 'discovery') before going to a trial with all the 'bells and whistles', that is, witnesses giving oral testimony, cross examination and submissions to the Judge. By contrast, summary judgment involves only affidavits and submissions - no discovery and no witnesses appearing in open court. Using summary judgment proceedings, the time it takes to get to hearing and the hearing time itself both shrink dramatically.

Summary judgment proceedings are perfect for where the defendant has no real defence to a claim. They may also be used by a defendant to fight off a hopeless claim by a plaintiff. It is important that the facts in the dispute are either not disputed or can be conclusively established by affidavit. It does not matter if the decisive point of law is difficult and requiring of substantial argument.

If you believe you have the right kind of claim, contact one of our team and we can tell you whether summary judgment proceedings are a good option for you.

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Andrew Steele

 

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