The majority of Austrians are only familiar with high-profile criminal trials that enjoy extensive media coverage. Though civil proceedings attract less media attention, they are much more relevant to everyday life than criminal trials.
You concluded a purchase agreement, but your contract partner does not meet his obligations? You purchased a computer but you detected a defect right after delivery? You suffered damage as a result of a traffic accident and you want to claim compensation for it? All the above claims involve the assertion of civil law claims. In civil proceedings, plaintiffs and defendants can be private individuals or legal entities.
Legal representation in civil proceedings
As a rule, parties in civil proceedings - with the exception of certain exclusive jurisdictions of district courts - must be represented by an attorney if the amount of the dispute exceeds 5,000 euros. If this is not the case, the parties can basically also represent themselves in court. Should they wish to be represented, however, this must necessarily be done by an attorney. Based on our comprehensive and year-long experience with court proceedings, we are best-suited to represent clients both in those proceedings necessitating an attorney and in other court proceedings, and to deal with legal issues that may emerge on short notice during these.
As a rule, civil proceedings are initiated with a suit for performance, a declaratory action, or an action aiming at creating, amending, or cancelling a legal relationship between the parties (Rechtsgestaltungsklage). Especially for suits for performance for amounts up to 75,000 euros, the legislators created the so-called "simplified" order for payment procedure. In these cases, based on the unverified statements of the plaintiff, the court issues a conditional order for payment that is served to the defendant. The defendant may appeal against such an order within a period of four weeks, otherwise the conditional order for payment becomes final and can be used as the basis for the introduction of execution proceedings. This facilitates the collection of a large number of claims, especially for legal entities.
The appeal by the recipient of the order for payment triggers the introduction of ordinary court proceedings, which is also applied outside the scope of the order for payment procedure. During these, the parties must put forward their arguments in the form of a legal brief, in which they also present the evidence available. Our many years of experience, continuous training and upskilling, and ongoing study of the current case law allows us to provide the best possible advice on the arguments required from a legal point of view so as to avoid losing a trial. After all, such a loss also involves the obligation to reimburse the costs of the proceedings, which can be significant. In civil proceedings, the defeated party has to pay not only its own court costs and attorneys' fees, but also those of the prevailing opponent.
Regardless of whether you want to file a suit or defend yourself against claims made by your opponent in court, we can provide you with the best possible advice and representation in every stage of the civil proceedings.