Litigation is a legal activity that usually begins when attempts to resolve a legal dispute voluntarily have proven unsuccessful. Legal representation can also be carried out in situations where a legal dispute has not yet arisen - for example, you can authorise a lawyer to represent you in proceedings for the issuance of an administrative act by the municipality.

In any event, however, a system of strict rules governing the form, content, manner of performance and, very importantly, the deadlines for their implementation applies to the so-called procedural acts. Compliance with all these requirements proves to be practically impossible for a layman - which is why in such cases it is highly advisable to seek an attorney with expertise in legal representation such as myself. Moreover, there are situations where the law in Bulgaria requires the mandatory participation of an attorney - for example, when filing a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court of Cassation.

Among the litigation activities are the initiation and conduct of the so-called order for payment proceedings or claim proceedings, through which the aim is to collect receivables or protect other infringed rights. Already at the initiation stage, it is necessary to take into account a number of requirements, whereas in case of non-compliance with them the court will not consider the claims at all. However, even when the claim meets the formal prerequisites, if the factual and legal situation is not clearly set out, the proceedings are likely to end negatively for the initiating party. The same applies to the defendant - it is necessary that the reply to the claim contains all the relevant objections and arguments so that it is rejected.

Compliance with procedural deadlines is extremely important in judicial (and administrative) proceedings. Failure to do so can have very serious consequences - including the result that an otherwise valid claim is dismissed or an unfounded claim is upheld.

Thus, from the above said it is evident that the involvement of an attorney proves necessary to ensure that you do not lose the case on purely formal grounds. But all too often his or her role becomes even more important when the positions of the parties are "balanced" and it is difficult for the court to judge whose allegations are indeed valid. In such a situation, you should have an attorney with great attention to detail and a deep knowledge of trends in case law. These are qualities I can provide you with, if you contact me. Sometimes, adequately citing one or more decisions of the Supreme Court of Cassation can turn the opinion of the first or second instance court in your favor. But you need an attorney to find that case law and submit it to the case at the right time and in the right manner.

A good attorney, next, would be able to assess which of the evidence, which you have, shall be submitted in the case and, just as importantly, which of it not to submit - if it might undermine your position. He or she would advise you whether to question witnesses. If the other party brings such, your attorney may be able to expose their possible bias, respectively their lack of direct impressions of the particular case.

Even if the proceedings do not go in your favour, hiring an attorney may benefit you. He or she can take action to reduce your losses or try to negotiate a settlement. A good attorney would also object if his or her counterpart on the other side is claiming a highly inflated fee and will ask the court to reduce it so that you are not burdened with that expense as well.

After the court proceedings are finished, it comes time for the enforcement of the judgment, at which point you again need a qualified attorney. He or she can try to negotiate with the other party to make the payment without further delay. Most often, however, this does not happen and you would then need to initiate an enforcement case with a private enforcer. Enforcement proceedings also have a lot of procedural specificities and are too complex matter for a lay person. It is therefore very important for both the creditor and the debtor to seek an attorney to defend their rights before the private enforcer.

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