Sometimes a person or a company suffers damages as a result of a breach of a contract. If negotiations to remedy the situation fail, the only option available to the innocent party to be compensated for those damages may be to bring a claim to the Court.
Whether the parties are individuals or companies, the same rules of the contract law apply to all parties. The Court will determine which party breached the contract, and then determine the amount of damages. It is not always that a monetary award is sought. There are some infrequent cases of a specific performance.
Sometimes a party will admit liability, in which case the contentious issue remains the amount of damages. In other cases, on the contrary, the amount of damages is clear, but the liability is at issue.
The civil proceedings are regulated by the Rules of Civil Procedure and many other acts and regulations. There are specific steps and deadlines that a person involved in a civil litigation must know to successfully pursue his or her claim. If an important deadline is missed, the person may be barred from bringing or pursuing his or her claim. Therefore, it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as the loss occurs.
If a party is represented by a lawyer, there is a strong chance that that party will be partially or even fully reimbursed his or her legal costs if that party is successful at trial. While this is a presumptive rule, the Court retains considerable discretion with respect to awarding costs in a proceeding. In some exceptional cases, successful litigants were not only deprived of costs award in their favour, but were also required to pay the losing party’s legal costs.
Approximately 96% of civil cases get settled before going to trial. Trials are expensive, and, as a result, are usually avoided by the parties by making some concessions, and settling. There are cases, though, in which either one or both of the parties are unwilling to concede, in which case the matter will proceed to trial.
The following are references to some of the reported civil matters I was involved in.