Some people may be inclined to represent themselves in a court of law. They may also be inclined to complete their own legal paperwork without legal counsel and advice or oversight.
This inclination may represent an attempt to save money and may reflect a person or company’s feeling of being on the right and on the side of justice.
In this article, the team at Hetherington will put forward some arguments for why it is not advisable to self-represent when it comes to mining and environmental law issues.
Data and research support the fact that self-represented litigants are considerably less likely to succeed in a court of law.
The fact is your chances of success are considerably lower. There is a reason why lawyers are required to undertake the extensive study. While you may save on legal fees, you risk compromising your financial situation and brand reputation in the long term.
There may be expenses associated with your failure in a court of law. It is also the case that, if you fail, you are unlikely to be able to proceed with your intended plan or program of work.
This may represent a significant loss of money as you can no longer complete your mining operations, mining plans, or mineral exploration.
The risk with self-representation is that not being experienced in the ways of mining and environmental law, you will prioritise the wrong things, fail to understand what is required of you, struggle to articulate yourself with the correct emphasis, and simply meet a brick wall when faced with complex legal procedures.
If a mining or exploration related dispute does ever reach court, then you may be faced by situations that are completely alien to you. Having no experience advocating for yourself in such circumstances, you may fail to have your side of the story effectively heard and represented.
The courts try a large number of cases and special allowance cannot be made for inexperienced litigators. Both lawyers and self-represented litigators will be held to the same standard, with any support given to litigators being merely procedural, not case-related.
Mining and environmental lawyers such as Hetherington have a versatile, continuously updated knowledge of the mining and exploration industries and the laws and regulations that apply in different states and territories. They are able to decode the complex legalese and protect your interests by drawing upon their familiarity with the processes of mining and environmental law in Australia.
Not being familiar with the intricacies of mining and environmental law and regulation in Australia, there is a chance you will unwittingly incriminate yourself when self-representing in a court of law. One of the reasons to hire a mining and environmental lawyer is because they will be able to advise you about legal risks and considerations, helping to establish your operations as compliant.
It is easy to become passive as a self-representer when you are facing an experienced lawyer. They will often take the lead and put you on the back foot. You may quickly find the case going in a direction you did not intend and be put on the spot to answer questions you were not prepared for.
A quality mining and environmental lawyer will care about every case equally, but the thought of losing to an inexperienced person may be especially unsavoury for some and provide additional motivation.
One of the reasons that someone may be inclined to self-represent is because they feel they are in the right and that they have been wronged by the other side.
This may well be the case, but when in this state of mind, one may often experience anger, despair, and frustration. Such emotions are not conducive to the calm, level-headed, and clinical approach required in a court of law.
Your mining and environmental lawyer will be able to take a more detached view and cope with the pressure placed on them, for example, during questioning. Similar pressure may be the undoing of someone who self represents, who may find themselves becoming defensive in the wrong ways.
Utilising the services of experienced mining and environmental lawyers, tenement consultants, environmental consultants, tenement management companies, and mine work health and safety experts
There is a strong argument for electing to recruit the services of your mining and environmental lawyer sooner rather than later before the situation ever needs to enter a court of law.
A mining and environmental lawyer may be able to reduce the chances of needing to object in court and can help to enhance the likelihood that your applications for tenements are successful, that your program of work is accepted, and that you achieve tenement compliance to support a long-lasting lease.