What are some key points to know going in to civil court? This is a great question to ask if you have never been involved in civil litigation. By striving to educate yourself about the process, you stand a better chance of making a good case for yourself in court. Seeking knowledge will also help you be prepared for whatever might happen during your case.
As you might expect, civil litigation can be complex and the rules of court are many. If you already have legal counsel, your lawyer can answer many of your questions while guiding you through the process. At the same time, taking an opportunity to learn on your own can help you commit important factors to memory before your case goes to court.
One thing many citizens in the Calgary region of Alberta do not know is that you are required to try and resolve your civil matter outside of court. Often, this involves attempting to settle the issue through mediation or another form of alternate dispute resolution. You should not expect your case to go to court if you have not yet tried to resolve the matter without the court's assistance.
If you take the time to learn the court's rules, you can save yourself from mistakes. The court has many rules ranging from deadlines to filing the proper paperwork to courtroom behaviour. Failure to correctly follow the rules may result in delays.
Another important point is the presentation of your evidence. Again, you must adhere to the rules of the court regarding evidence. This includes what is permissible as evidence and what is not. Ask your lawyer about the court's rules for presenting evidence ahead of time.
Finally, you should understand that there will still be important work to do after your trial. This includes filing documents and enforcing or collecting your judgment if you succeed at trial. This is yet another key area in which a lawyer can prove invaluable.
Source: Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, "Ten Things to Know about Going to Civil Court in Alberta," accessed Oct. 26, 2016