Disclaimer: This article should not be treated as legal advice. It’s recommended that readers still consult legal counsel and contact a lawyer should they have any concerns regarding this topic
Business litigation can be an extremely stressful endeavor, and very likely so given how expensive cases can become and how they can potentially disrupt the flow of your business. This is also why sometimes companies have entire groups of lawyers working for them in order to get things like business litigation sorted out properly. Of course, this isn’t to say that you’re without help if you’re a small company, or if you don’t have a lot of lawyers with you. Business litigation is something you can deal with, given the right amount of understanding, patience, and planning. Here are some thoughts on what to consider if you’re going through business litigation.
Do remember, however, that the tips below won’t work for all sorts of business at all times. It’s still best you consult your legal counsel on what to do if you are going through business litigation in order to get the best results you are looking for. You’re most likely going to benefit from the counsel of a lawyer who’s familiar with your company and your current situation.
However, if you’re curious as to what sorts of things you should keep in mind when you’re going through business litigation, here are some tips on what to consider.
Always review with an attorney
This first things are often said to be “automatic,” but we may not be able to stress this enough: remember to review the said lawsuit with your attorney or a legal professional.
- It may be efficient if you review the allegations immediately with your business litigation lawyer. However, perhaps one of the first things to review is the service information and caption associated with the lawsuit and check if the person or entity associated with the situations has been properly stated. If this information is incorrect, then you may consider dismissing the allegations entirely.
- If the information is valid and correct, then the allegations may be reviewed and you may put something called a preservation order or litigation hold in effectivity. This will require the company to make sure all the information related to the legal action is preserved.
- Relevant information related to the legal action include videos, photos, voice pages, and web pages. Consult with a lawyer first if you have a document destruction policy.
Always check who you communicate with
Communication is a necessary part of settling any dispute, and the same could be said for business litigation. Getting through one is much more possible if we check who we communicate with properly.
- For instance, business owners are advised not to directly communicate with the plaintiff unless their lawyers advise them to do so. In fact, it might be better if your attorney does much of the communication on your behalf.
- Meanwhile, if the plaintiff is someone you should be communicating with, like an employee, then it should be made clear that you’re not going to discuss the lawsuit with them.
- Try checking with insurance providers, as sometimes client allegations that work has caused them some degree of financial loss may be covered by what is called a professional liability policy. Another example is an employment practices liability insurance or employer’s liability insurance, which is sometimes covered in some workers’ compensation policies.
- Likewise, it’s important to not assume your insurance will be able to cover the suit. If this is an option you consider, it may still be safer to check the circumstances of the suit in question and consult your insurance providers if such an option is indeed available.
Always decide according to your lawyer’s advice
If you have received a lawsuit, you may have a deadline to follow when it comes to giving a written response. Some states have different deadlines, but these fall more or less along a month’s time.
- In this situation, try to consult your lawyer as to the kind of response you should be sending. Responses may vary, but they generally should include some items.
- For instance, there should be a denial or admittance to the allegations from the plaintiff.
- There can also be a counterclaim, a crossclaim, or a defense against the
- You may also request for an alternative resolution, such as jury trial or a settlement out of the court.
- It’s advised you take the period allotted to review how the lawsuit can potentially affect your business as a whole. Don’t simply ignore the suit as it can potentially harm your business in the long run.
If there’s anything the above has told us, it’s that business litigation can be a long and in depth process. This isn’t to say however that it’s unsolvable. Business litigation cases can be solved through proper planning and understanding. You may even be able to set up appropriate business structures in order to avoid circumstances that could lead to business litigation, as prevention can sometimes be a good option as well.
Remember, if you’re going through business litigation, it’s not the end of the world for you. Take your time to review your notes with your legal counsel or your lawyer and take appropriate action. When things are settled, take the time to appreciate the lessons the litigation has brought and try to make appropriate adjustments to your company policies as your lawyer would advise you.
Cindy Dowling, part time writer who offers a fresh take on various law topics with the pieces she writes for local firms. Cindy enjoys a good cup of coffee and a good book whenever she has the time.