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Litigation is traditionally the last resort in a dispute. Recourse to the courts should generally come only after you have exhausted every other possibility for resolution of your disputes, for a number of reasons:

Litigation is expensive. Unfortunately the cost isn't always proportionate to the amount of money in issue, because lawyers charge the same hourly rate regardless of whether your claim is for $50,000 or $50,000,000. One of the difficulties which people encounter at the outset of a lawsuit is predicting and managing the costs of the proceeding. As experienced litigation counsel, we can give you an accurate estimate of what we think will be necessary to develop and argue your case. What we can't do is predict how the other side will react, or how co-operative they will be. If we need to bring interlocutory motions the costs will climb very quickly - and the client rarely sees all of that cost come back on a successful motion. We will meet with you periodically to review the costs, develop cost-saving strategies and help you plan for all of the contingencies which might come up in your particular matter.

Loss of Control
The advantage of a negotiated resolution is that the parties are the authors of the settlement; they have control over what the terms are, and they gain the certainty of an agreed result. We will give you our honest opinion on the strength of your case. We will cover the weaknesses and strengths of your position, and discuss how to use those to your best advantage. Ultimately, though, the decision will be made by a disinterested third party - whether a judge or a jury - and that decision will be based on what the trier of fact feels is most reasonable, most believable and most fair. At the outset, there are always two parties certain of winning, but ultimately one party is wrong. There are no guarantees in litigation.

Time and other hidden costs
Litigation takes time to progress properly. New amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure to take effect in January 2010 attempt to streamline and speed up the litigation process, but a typical case will still take between 2-4 years to get to trial. This is partly due to the schedules of parties and lawyers, and partly due to the considerable backlog of cases presently before the courts. Will litigation impair your ability to do business? Will it cost you opportunities, tying up key employees and assets? Do you need certainty before you can market a product, use a design or canvass a particular market? Consider these hidden factors when you decide whether you need to litigate.

DUNLOP & ASSOCIATES are experienced litigation counsel. We plan properly, we advise you properly and we know what's coming.

We will help you understand that big picture, right from the outset. We identify the best approach, we anticipate and disarm weaknesses and we get results.

DUNLOP & ASSOCIATES offer the wisdom of extensive trial and appellate experience, regular courtroom appearances at all levels of Ontario Court, the Federal Courts and the Supreme court of Canada.

If you don't see a specific area of litigation discussed on this website, please contact us and see if we can help you. Get the right plan, right from the start.

If your best option is litigation, your best choice is DUNLOP & ASSOCIATES.

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