Those who run a business long enough will likely find themselves involved facing business litigation. It can be because of a disagreement with a partner, vendor or client, or another matter. Litigation is something that typically should be regarded as a last resort. It can be expensive, time-consuming and a distraction to the job of successfully running a company. Nevertheless, it may be the best option for avoiding other larger problems down the line. Before deciding, businesses and owners need to weigh their options before moving forward.
Evaluating the situation
Ignoring business problems seldom make them go away, so it is often best to evaluate the situation before creating a plan:
- Benefits versus cost: It is best to weigh the cost of litigating against winning’s financial benefits. Contracts often have protocols for resolving disputes that may include arbitration or mediation. These options can help resolve the matter or streamline the case before it goes to court (thus enabling the litigation to go more quickly).
- Check documentation: Detailed records are the hallmark of a well-run business, and the paperwork can provide supportive arguments to strengthen the case.
- Strictly business: It is often counterproductive to let emotions or stubbornness dictate business and legal decisions.
- Communication: It is also useful to keep and refer to all communications that led to the dispute. If it appears that legal action could be necessary, it is crucial to be careful about what is said or done.
Do not wait to hire representation
An attorney with experience handling business disputes and litigation can be a tremendous asset. While enabling the owner to focus on running the business, the lawyer can help the client avoid mistakes, negotiate with the other side, and help the client determine if litigation is the best course of action. Of course, they can also represent the client in court and work towards a positive outcome.