Ridout Barron

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Civil litigation: Is your case worth it?

Bringing a civil litigation matter forward in court can be expensive in the short term, but very profitable in the long term. That is, if the lawsuit is worth it. No matter how wrongly you have been treated — or no matter how much you want to defend yourself in court — it is important to be realistic in terms of the chances of success in a particular lawsuit before deciding what strategy you will take in your defense and/or pursuit of that lawsuit.

Some things that litigants and their lawyers will need to consider in every civil litigation matter are the potential for costs associated with: filing fees, expert witness fees, attorney fees and more. These costs and fees will then need to be weighed against the potential benefit of pursuing the action (or defending against it), and the likelihood of success. There is also a time commitment for both plaintiffs and defendants, not to mention the amount of time that will be invested by their legal counselors.

Finally, there is the consideration of whether or not the defendant will actually be able to pay the amount of money being sought. Does the defendant have sufficient capital to pay the award? If the defendant does not have insurance, and/or does not have significant assets, it may not even be worth it to pursue the lawsuit because there just is not any money that the defendant can use to pay the bill if and when the lawsuit is successful.

Considering the above, every case is different, and every potential lawsuit needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Therefore, before you move forward in the defense and/or pursuit of a civil case, be sure to have a very realistic conversation with a qualified Alberta civil litigation lawyer.

Source: Alberta Courts, "Is it worth suing?," accessed Feb. 19, 2016

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Ridout Barron
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Calgary, AB T2T 3T1

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