Litigation

This is the process where one person (the ‘plaintiff’’) sues the other (the ‘defendant’) in court for a claim sounding in money, to resolve a dispute, to enforce a contract, to get divorced, etc. In applications for more immediate relief and where there are no disputes of fact, the parties are called “Applicant” and “Respondent”.

In ‘status’ matters, such as divorce, insolvency or rehabilitation, only a High Court has jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Civil litigation encompasses a broad range of disputes. Bregman Moodley Attorneys specialise in:

  • Commercial litigation
  • Dispute resolution
  • Labour and employment law litigation
  • Property Litigation
  • General Litigation
  • Unlawful competition and restraints of trade
  • Urgent applications for interdictory relief

Sharusha Moodley heads up our commercial litigation department. Her team delivers relevant and specialist advice across all types of dispute resolution (comprising negotiation, mediation, conciliation and conflict resolution – to guide the parties toward settlement without the time and expense of going to court) to commercial litigation (consisting of advice on civil disputes and litigation and courtroom strategy).

The Life Cycle of a Typical Civil Litigation Case

Civil litigation can be divided into several stages, including investigation, pleadings, discovery, pretrial proceedings, potential settlement or trial, and even appeal. Discovery is typically the longest and most labour-intensive stage of a case. This entails the exchange of information pertinent to the case through requests for disclosure of documents that the parties intend to use at trial to prove or disprove their claims, and subpoenas. The latter are demands for information or documents from third parties.

Not every lawsuit passes through each stage — in fact, most lawsuits are settled by agreement of the parties and never reach the courtroom. When a case does go all the way to trial, the entire process, from filing documents with the court to initiate the case through resolution, can take anywhere from a few months to several years.

For more information, please contact Sharusha Moodley (sharusha@bmalaw.co.za) or complete the CONTACT US link at the bottom right of the screen.

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