This is an extract of our Remedies For Personal Grievances Continued document, which we sell as part of our Labour Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Otago students.
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Labour Law Lecture 24th May 2011: Remedies for Personal Grievances Continued: Costs:
- The loser is liable to make a reasonable contribution to the actual and reasonable costs of the winner
- "Calderbank offers": pre-trial settlement offers is rejected by the plaintiff, and then when the plaintiff wins, where the original offer turn out to be higher than the amount eventually won. If this happens they are punished in relation to costs - they won't get any costs because they turned down a settlement offer that was higher than what they eventually won - case was a waste of time.
- Indemnity costs (also known as: party and party costs, solicitor/client costs). Not just simply making a reasonable contribution, but you are paying all the legal costs for the other side. Usually awarded against a party that has been completely obnoxious and time-wasting. Very rarely do you get full costs back. Normally you might get 2/3 of your actual reasonable costs. The awards haven't been keeping pace with the costs of legal respresentation. Main reason why you may go to court could just be to vindicate your rights and make yourself feel better. Most cases aren't litigated because it's too expensive. Costs are entirely discretionary. Discretions always have to be exercised in a principled way. Normal contribution is roughly 2.5 hours for every hour spent in court, plus disbursements. Disbursements are things that aren't lawyers charge-outs, like photocopying, telephone calls, travel costs, filing fees. Courts aren't very sympathetic to high charge-out rates, don't need a $500 p/h QC for an ordinary employment matter, for example. Anything from $180-$300 per hour is within the ballpark. Anything over that is overkill as far as lawyers fees go. If you think the party will lose and that they won't have money to pay costs, you can ask them to deposit money with the court - "security for costs" Everything said or done in mediation is usually confidential. With the Authority there is a rough tariff of about 3-$3500 per day. Other Types of Claims: The main action in employment law in NZ are personal grievances, mainly unjustified dismissal followed by unjustified disadvantage. Keep in mind: a) Who has jurisdiction over these claims? Which court do you go to?
b) Limitation period. Don't want to be outside the limitation period, and many of these claims have different limitation periods. Disputing how the contract should be interpreted, what it means etc, no actual grievance yet. Go to the Authority and they will deal with the dispute by providing what they hold is a proper interpretation yet. Unfair bargaining: deals with situations where the bargaining is unfair because one of the parties suffers from some sort of disability in language or mental capacity or something. Collective
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