There is an African proverb which says that knowledge without wisdom is like pouring water over the sand. When litigating, one might have all of the facts, evidence and legal research you could hope for, neatly bundled together. However, without the wisdom to foresee certain challenges along the way, and if certain information is withheld from the attorney, the entire matter will most likely be left high and dry.
If you are contemplating litigation, here are 5 important tips to help your matter succeed:
- Provide your attorney with all of the information you have from the very first consultation. All documents, messages, tape recordings, photographs, discussions or any other relevant information must be given to your attorney at the outset. You should also make sure that the information is neatly collated and is as clear and concise as possible. It does not bode well for the attorney and client relationship to provide your attorney with a mass of information that has no chronological logic.
- Make sure that you clearly communicate your instructions to your attorney, and preferably do it in writing. This will ensure that both you and your attorney are clear on the exact outcome you require.
- Understand that litigation costs money and budget for it. Attorneys and Advocates charge for their time. Although you are entitled to recover a portion of your fees from the opposing party in the event that your case is successful, you will never recover all of your costs. Furthermore, often your opponent will not have the financial resources to settle the fees. This does not absolve you from paying your attorney.
- You should always make sure that the party you intend suing has the financial resources to settle your claim if you are successful. An empty judgment is of no use, and as stated above, you will still be left with your own attorney’s fees to settle.
- Finally, you should choose your attorney wisely. Great professional legal advice may seem costly, but it is far less costly than bumbling through the matter with an attorney who has no idea what he/she is doing. Seek out a specialist in the area of law that you require assistance in, and trust that attorney to provide you with sound advice.
Goldberg & de Villiers’ team of legal experts comprises specialists in the areas of Labour Law, Commercial Law, Litigation, Conveyancing, Estates and Recoveries.