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Going to court

Family LawGoing to court

Broken Engagement in Germany: Engagement Ring must be returned

May a bride keep the engagement ring under German family law rules? German law is very simple in regards to what happens to engagement gifts (especially engagement rings) if the the wedding is called off: They must be returned. Section 1301 German Civil Code (BGB) states: Section 1301: Return of the presents If the marriage does not take place, each engaged person may require the other to return what the former gave as a present or…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 12, 2016
Civil actionGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

No Win No Fee Agreements are Void in Germany

Contingency fee agreements with litigation lawyers are illegal in Germany No win no fee agreements (contingency fees) between a client and lawyer are prohibited under German law. This has always been the tradition of German law (more here). The reasoning behind this rule is that German lawyers shall not undercut each other, because this would lead to poorly financed law offices providing very poor services to their clients. Also, German lawyers shall not be under the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 26, 2016
Civil actionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Compensation for a wrecked Car under the German Law of Torts

Car Accidents: How are Damages calculated under German Law? Each year, German police registers 2.2 million traffic accidents (for official 2016 stats see here). German insurers, lawyers and Courts are thus constantly faced with the question how to calculate damage claims after a car accident has occured. If the car can still be repaired, the matter is fairly simple. The Defendant must pay for the costs for a state of the art repair plus the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 31, 2016
Civil actionGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

German Law of Torts: Are Accident Victims entitled to a New House?

Can a disabled injured person claim for the predicted cost of accommodation or only the actual costs after they have been incurred? Under German law, a person who is impaired by an accident is entitled to adequate housing. The extent and amount necessary for adequate housing depends on what an impaired person would reasonably require. This can be determined by an expert, who will be appointed by a German court. However, a difficult and strongly…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 31, 2016
Civil actionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

A German Claimant can’t be his own Witness

Civil Procedure Laws and actual Litigation Practice in German Court Rooms is very different from English or US Civil Trials Under the English Civil Procedure Rules, it is common practice that a Claimant provides a witness statement to the court. To the eyes of German lawyers and Judges, this is a strange concept, because German law does not allow parties to provide witness statements as evidence before the Court. Under section 447 German Civil Procedure…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 31, 2016
German LawGerman Tort LawGoing to court

Standard of Proof in German Civil Litigation

Is the Standard of Proof any different under German Law than English Law? The standard of proof in German civil litigation is defined in section 286 German Civil Procedure Rules (Zivilprozessordnung): Section 286: Evaluation of evidence at the court’s discretion and conviction (1) The court is to decide, at its discretion and conviction, and taking account of the entire content of the hearings and the results obtained by evidence being taken, if any, whether an allegation…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 19, 2016
Civil actionGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to court

Does German Law of Torts know the Egg Shell Skull Rule?

Under English law of torts, a claimant is entitled to pursue a claim for injuries that have been sustained as a result of the negligence, even if their response to the damage they suffered was unusual or not predictable (e.g. due to brittle bone disease, haemophilia or a nervous disease of the injured person). This principle is known as the “egg shell skull” rule and means that the wrongdoer takes the claimant in the position they…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 19, 2016
Business in GermanyGerman LawGoing to courtStarting Business

Using a German Distributor? Beware of Choice of Law Clause!

What UK Suppliers should know about German Commercial Law You are a UK based supplier using a German-based distribution agent (Handelsvertreter) within Germany? So far, so good. However, in case you have accepted German law to be applicable or if you have chosen to remain silent on the issue of applicable law: Are you aware of what will happen upon termination of the distribution agreement? German law differs significantly from UK law when it comes…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 4, 2016
Civil actionGoing to court

German Litigation Experts explain Civil Procedure Rules

How to win civil lawsuits in Germany Court procedures in Germany follow very different rules compared to Britain and the USA. There is, for instance, no pre-action protocol, no pre-trial discovery, no need for written witness statements, no direct examination of witnesses by the lawyers and - of course - no jury. Instead, there is a very extensive exchange of written statements to the court, followed by an -- in most cases comparatively brief --…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2015
Civil actionGoing to court

High Court orders Kentaro Managers Grothe and Huber to pay EUR 1m

Update 2016: High Court Munich has ordered Grothe and Huber to pay an additional 1 million Euro Original post from October 2015: In a 2009 press release, Kentaro described themselves: "As one of the world’s leading sports rights agencies, Kentaro markets the media rights of more than 20 international football federations, including England, Sweden and the USA, as well as over 30 top European soccer clubs, such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool." (Kentaro_Press_Release_2009) Well, the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 26, 2015