Civil and Commercial litigation

Civil litigation expertise. In the event of a dispute, the Firm assists and represents Clients both in ADR proceedings (Alternative Dispute Resolution) such as conciliation, mediation and assisted negotiation proceedings, aimed at avoiding litigation, before both judicial authorities and arbitration panels throughout Italy.

Donatella Paciello, whenever possible, prefer to resort to out-of-court solutions in order to grant Clients significant savings in time and money.


When trying to settle a dispute, a conflictual approach is not always the most useful and profitable way of safeguarding one’s interests. Before embarking on judicial proceedings, you should always – irrespective of any legal issue involved – evaluate some important aspects. Let’s see, in practice, which question to ask:

Does a time factor stand out?

The time it takes to see one’s rights upheld is often a decisive concern, irrespective of all the costs borne for a judicial process. Civil jurisdiction, even when – as rarely occurs – is virtuous and respects the trial’s timetabling, has time constraints that cannot be shortened and procedures that have to be complied with. Furthermore, the Italian trial provides for multiple sets of proceedings and therefore, even in the case of victory, the trial might proceed on the initiative of the party unsatisfied with the Judge’s ruling.

Thus, the time factor, when possible – and if appropriate with regard to the nature of the dispute -, might lead to the evaluation of alternative solutions, more flexible, faster and less expensive; mediation – which, incidentally, is compulsory for certain types of disputes and must precede the trial – and assisted negotiation. These are proceedings that, unlike trials, do not seek to establish rights and wrongs, but to help the parties come to a solution that is acceptable for all concerned.

Is the dispute really worth a burdensome financial commitment?

There are multiple financial issues affecting dispute which are not always quantifiable, even with the most scrupulous pre-emptive analysis of the factors involved. There are direct costs, such as legal fees for lawyers representing the client in court or certain fixed-rate costs charged by the State for the judges’ work. The Judge, in order to rule the case, may request the assistance of an expert witness, such as a medical examiner, an architect, an accountant. The costs of such experts – appointed by the Judge – are borne by the parties, at least while the case is pending. In trials, there is also the risk, on losing the case, of being charged with the counterparty’s legal fees. Therefore, you always must ask yourself, irrespective of any matter of principle, whether the dispute’s financial importance and nature is worthy of bearing such burdensome expenses. Again, to that end, mediation or assisted negotiation might be more appropriate instruments.

Can I prove what I claim?

Judicial truth does not always coincide with factual truth. Judicial truth – that demonstrated in court – is established by the Judge, on the basis of the facts each party is able to prove by means of, mainly, documents, witnesses or expert evidences. Yet not every document or witness is admitted as evidence under the law. This means that, before starting a trial, you always must evaluate what you can bring to court as evidence to prove your reasoning and, on the contrary, imagine what your counterparty will do. In brief, you should know and evaluate in advance all the cards you’re holding and, as far as possible, foresee and evaluate your counterparties’. This is a factor that must be taken into consideration before initiating a trial.

Do I want or need to maintain relations with the counterparty after the trial?

It might appear obvious for some people, or extravagant to others, but before appealing to a civil court, you must ask yourself one final question: what relations I am going to have or seek with the counterparty after the case. If the counterparty is a person whom, like it or not, you are going to have to deal with – for neighbourhood, family, blood or other, even business, reasons – a civil trial, which expresses the highest level of unrest, will usually have serious ramifications on personal and business relationships, difficult to recover afterwards.

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