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Understanding Litigation in South Africa


Litigation is the process of taking legal action. As such, the term describes the proceedings initiated by two opposing parties who cannot reach an agreement between them, and wish to enforce or defend a legal right. Litigation is often settled between the parties with the assistance of a litigation lawyer. However, when an agreement cannot be settled, the dispute may be heard in court and the litigation lawyer will represent his client.

Litigation usually deals with civil law, which is not criminal law or other such specialised areas of practice. Civil law may include property disputes such as arrears rent or evictions, contract disputes such as breach of contract, and damage disputes such as motor vehicle accidents and injury. Furthermore, a litigation lawyer will assist in the three stages of a civil dispute, which is pre-litigation. This is typically the initial stage of enquiry. Litigation, which is when the formal litigation process begins. This stage has many steps, and just about makes up the entirety of the process. Lastly, post-litigation, which the process of enforcement and costs. A litigation lawyer deals with every stage, from enquiry to representation in court. A dispute may be resolved before reaching court.

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