Once judgement is handed down, the parties have to abide the judgment or face criminal sanctions for contempt of court. A litigant who is dissatisfied with the judgement does have remedies of appeal or review. In certain instances, however, litigation may not always offer the best solution to a dispute.
The length of time it takes before a matter can be properly ventilated at court is a major problem within our legal system. In the High Court for example, once pleadings have closed, we have to wait anything up to 18 months, sometimes more, before the Registrar of the Court is able to allocate trial dates for a particular matter.
High legal costs are another reason why litigation, where appropriate, should be avoided. The outcome in litigation can never be guaranteed, even if you have a good case. Sometimes the litigants themselves are unable to withstand the rigours of cross-examination and end up making poor witnesses, resulting in disastrous consequences to their case.
In litigation, the dispute is played out in a public forum and confidentiality is lost. A full- blown trial is unlikely to conclude in one day. Depending on the number of witnesses to be used and the extent of evidence to be presented, attorneys are required to inform the Registrar of the Court, in advance, how many days are to be allocated to a particular matter.
The greater number of days requested means a longer waiting period before trial dates are allocated to your matter. By adopting this adversarial method of conflict resolution, litigation almost always has a winner and a loser. This is not necessarily good if it's important to rebuild relationships for e.g. in a divorce where children are involved.
Rather than seek a workable and sustainable solution for all parties, by using a forum like mediation, parties in litigation may sometimes be spurned on to want to win their matter at all costs, regardless of the consequences.