We work hard to make sure you have agreements and are protected from liability as much as we can. No matter what protections we have put in place for you, the trust is: anyone can sue you for any reason. Lawsuits don’t require a lot of effort to begin. Sometimes they can quickly go away. Sometimes, there is just enough evidence to make them frustrating. What do you do when you find yourself in that situation?
First of all, make sure to call a lawyer! You, as a non-lawyer, can’t represent your business in court. Even if you are the only owner, an entity is considered a legal person, and only lawyers can represent other people in court. Further, that is why I am here. Let’s talk about it!
Lawyers are good at this part. Litigation attorneys work hard to protect your rights and make sure you get the best possible outcome. Sometimes, however, when you are defending a case that should not have ever happened, you simply want it to go away. That is where talking to me can help you weigh what makes the most sense in your business. Litigation attorneys make money litigating. I will work with you to help you make your business grow.
You need to know what litigation means in your business. Sometimes, getting rid of a case by agreeing on a dollar amount with the other side (settling) is the best option for you. When evaluating the case, you need to consider the other effects a lawsuit has on your business.
It takes away focus
Lawsuits are not simply something you can turn over to a lawyer and expect them to handle. You will need to gather documents from years ago and remember what you were doing at specific times long forgotten. You will have to think in terms of the financial outlay for the lawsuit (the lawsuit will certainly cost more than you are accustomed to spending).
It takes away time
Even if you can delegate the record gathering and you can handle the other aspects in your spare time, you will be required to attend depositions. Depositions are a time before a trial when lawyers ask questions and learn more from the witnesses. If you own the business, you will not only be deposed, but also expected to attend other key depositions in the case. This can take away your time and focus. Depositions can take hours, sometimes even days.
It is emotionally draining
It is a rare lawsuit that is simply about dollars and cents. Most lawsuits involve broken relationships. There is frustration on both sides and the issues in the case will be brought up again and again. It can be emotionally draining. The emotional toll can effect your business as much as the time away from it can.
So, what are your options?
You can consider alternative dispute resolution. There are many options available today: negotiation, mediation, arbitration.
These are always good roads to consider at the outset of your case. Talking to the other side may make thing better.
If a litigation lawyer becomes involved, he may begin flinging motions and zealously advocating your position. This is not always the best option for your business. At the beginning of any dispute, we will discuss what the best options you may have and how each option might impact your business. At first, we will try to work with the other side to come to a reasonable settlement. If we can’t make it anywhere with the other side, we may want to consider mediation. Mediation is guided negotiation. There is a neutral mediator who tries to help each side see their options.
Arbitration is effectively the same as court, so it may not be beneficial in this instance. In some instances, your agreement may require these two steps.
Sometimes, however, the other side is not reasonable. In that case, we will try to determine what the real issues are in the case and see if we can come to some resolution. Most importantly, we will be working together to get your business back on track.
Litigation is not always best for your business. It is one thing to bring a lawsuit to collect on fees you are owed. Whenever you are brought into a lawsuit as a defendant, however, you need to consider the big picture of how it affects your business in the long run. Getting rid of a lawsuit quickly and efficiently can go a long way for your bottom line.
I don’t believe in settling for the sake of settling, but we will make sure the evaluation of your case takes into account more than simply the claims in the suit and the numbers represented on paper. Lawsuits have a much broader impact on your business. It is easy to get caught up in the “principle of the thing”. This may or may not help your business grow. Remember, you are not in the business of litigation. It is difficult to grow your business when your focus is on something not a part of the core values of your business.