File A Lawsuit – Philippines
When you feel aggrieved by the actions of another party, or when someone does not live up to his or her part of an agreement, it is easy to think that filing a lawsuit is your best recourse.
Keep in mind, however, that a lawsuit will require a lot of your time, money and effort. Before making the decision to go to court, it would be wise to consider the following:
Do you have a case?
No matter how upset you are about a situation, it may not be enough to warrant a lawsuit. Try to look at the circumstances objectively and do your research to determine if your case is supported by any legal theory. Better yet, consult a lawyer about your chances in a lawsuit.
What can you gain from the lawsuit?
If you’re after a monetary resolution, consider the potential for getting the compensation you’re looking for. If you win the lawsuit but the other party does not have the means to pay the amount you seek, the exercise could be largely unproductive.
On the other hand, if your aim is to uphold a principle or to protect your name and reputation, then filing a lawsuit just might be the right thing to do.
Do you have the right evidence and witnesses?
You will need sufficient evidence to prove your case. Gather as much as you can and make sure they can adequately support your position.
Witnesses who can validate your evidence and your account of the events will also be very helpful.
Is there a chance you could be sued back?
The situation can escalate if the other party decides to file a counter-suit. If this happens, you will have to deal not only with your own lawsuit but the other party’s as well. Ask yourself if you’re prepared and willing to go through such an eventuality.
Are there other options you can consider?
A lawsuit can take a toll on you – financially, emotionally and mentally. Before committing to one, you might want to explore less arduous options, such as intervention at the barangay level or at a small claims court; or perhaps, an amicable discussion with the other party.
Are you still on time?
Certain cases are subject to statutes of limitation, or the maximum amount of time given to file a case from the time the offense took place. Make sure you have not gone past any statute of limitation.
Have you identified a lawyer you can work well with?
A lawyer can provide the objective voice you will need to make the best-possible decision. He or she can advise you on the next step to take, with careful consideration for possible consequences and outcomes. Work only with a lawyer who emphasizes transparency, and will present all the relevant details which could be the basis of your decisions.
If you do decide to file a lawsuit, your attorney will handle the details of the case from identifying and gathering evidence to filing the complaint to representing you on hearings and filing the necessary pleas and motions. Your lawyer will be your advocate, and will make sure your rights are protected throughout every stage of the process.