Court is an assembly (including one or more judges) to conduct judicial business. How does this process work? Any person may commence a formal legal proceeding against another person (take them to court).

The litigation process

Statement of claim
The lawsuit starts with a plaintiff (person who feels they have been wronged) filing a statement of claim. This statement of claim states the facts of the situation which allude to the negligence of the defendant (the person who has done the wrong). The plaintiff does not have to provide proof at this point, the declaration of the wrong or injury is all that is required.

Statement of defence
Once the defendant has been served with the statement of claim then the defendant has to respond with a statement of defence. This response has to be done within a certain time period. If the defendant did not reply in time then there can be a default judgement. The default judgement is enforcable by law.

Examination for discovery
Documents are assembled by both sides and exchanged. These documents can include e-mails and Facebook pages. It is important to note that the documents must be relevant to the issue at hand. The only information held back is documents for which privilege is claimed. Privilege is usually communication between client and lawyer. Next there is a physical appearance that needs to be made. Defendant and plaintiff will be required to answer questions. These questions are asked while the person is under oath and are recorded by a court reporter. All of this information gathered is now available for the trial.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Most cases go to a mediator and/or arbitrator to resolve the issue before it goes to trial. Mediation helps to clearly define the issues and often will lead to a settlement. The mediation or arbitration is not binding and you do not have to agree to what is suggested.

If your case actually goes all the way to trial then both the plaintiff and defendant are at court and may have to testify again under oath. The decision of the judge or jury will then decide the issue. it is much more common today to have disputes settled before going all the way to trial.

The insurance answer
You purchased insurance for the possibility that you might be found responsible for the injury to persons or property. This insurance will provide you with defense costs if it responds to the particular case in point.

A deliberate act is not covered under a commercial general liability policy. It might be covered under a management liability or a directors and officers policy. You need to sit down with your broker or agent and be sure that you have purchased the correct insurance for your business.

Talk to your broker or agent about a potential claim. A personal property policy will respond to certain claims for injury. Know what you have and find out what you need!