How to Win a Civil Lawsuit in Germany!
Going to court in Germany is entirely different from what a US or UK lawyer is used to. In a nutshell: It’s all about the writs. The oral arguments are – in most cases – entirely unimportant. Since there is no jury in Germany, there is no need for flamboyant speeches by German trial lawyers.
In other words: The judge is the only person you need to convince of the merits of your case and this judge usually knows who will win the case before he or she even enters the courtroom.
Why? Because the judge’s mind has in most civil lawsuits already been made up after he or she has read and evaluated the written statements (Schriftsätze) submitted by the respective parties’ lawyers.
Therefore, in Germany, most oral hearings (mündliche Verhandlungen) in civil cases are over in less than 30 minutes.
The Power of the Pen
Litigation in Germany, therefore, is all about the written statements the parties submit to the competent German court prior to the first oral hearing which usually takes place 6-9 months from the date the plaintiff has filed the complaint.
Therefore, US or UK claimants should not rely on presenting their case in court. It will be too late! The single most important factor in a German civil litigation case is how well your German litigation lawyer has stated your case in the writs submitted to German court.
German Litigation Expert Bernhard Schmeilzl
Bernhard Schmeilzl, Master of Laws (Leicester, UK), Esquire, is a German lawyer with 20+ years of experience in British-German and US-German legal issues. He specialises in German and international litigation, corporate law and international contentious probate cases.
After getting his German law degree (1998), passing the German bar exam and obtaining the Master of Laws degree from Leicester University in England (all with distinction), he spent his associate years in the corporate law & private equity department of Beiten Burkhardt, a then leading German law firm with 250 plus lawyers.
In 2003, Bernhard co-founded Graf & Partners LLP in Munich. Ever since, Bernhard and his team of German and English litigation lawyers have been counseling American and British clients on matters of German corporate and business law, international probate and, of course, litigation matters throughout Germany. As an internationally educated German lawyer, he advises on cross-border business projects, handles contract negotiations as well as legal disputes. Obviously in both English and German language.
With more than 20 years of courtroom experience under his belt, Bernhard is a renowned German litigator, international dispute resolution specialist and highly recommended arbitrator. Bernhard regularly lectures US and UK lawyers on German civil procedure rules and runs a leading expert law blog on German civil litigation in English language:
In addtion to Anglo-German litigation and arbitration, Bernhard also has a strong background in estate planning and family office management. Among his clients are many international families, high-net individuals, professional athletes, onternational photo models and entertainers.
He is a regular contributor to German media outlets and has written hundreds of posts on the leading blog on British-German legal matters: www.crosschannellawyers.com Contact Bernhard through the law firm website www.graflegal.com or on LinkedIn.
Call ++49 941 463 7070 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org