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Business litigations are extremely stressful which is why people are generally tempted to resolve them as fast as possible just to put an end to the stress. On the other hand though, there may be too much at risk for you to just settle the dispute.
To make sure that you are doing the right thing, here are some important things to consider if you’re going through business litigation.
- Set your emotions aside.
As a business owner, every decision you make must be in the best interests of your business or company. So if you are considering business litigation, think hard if it’s driven by your emotions instead of the best interests of your business. You can’t be in a lawsuit just because of your emotions because that will only be a waste of time and a waste of your resources.
- If you are considering a lawsuit, you owe it to yourself to think it through first if it’s really worth it.
- Lawsuits that resulted from disputes can still be managed by a simple and sincere apology.
- You may also want to change a business practice in your company that has led to a lawsuit.
It’s also important to consider the amount of time and resources that a lawsuit will eat up from you when you could’ve found another alternative to settle the issue. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment especially if you are a business owner.
- Consider the expenses of a lawsuit.
The longer business litigation takes to become settled, the more legal expenses you’re going to pay. So yes, a lawsuit will probably cost you a lot. Business litigations can eat up your financial resources if they are not settled immediately. A lawsuit normally requires you to pay for:
- Court costs.
- Expert witnesses.
- The time lost from work.
Since it’s almost impossible to win a lawsuit on your own, you’re going to need the services of a skilled business litigation attorney to win your case. This will add to your legal expenses too. All these legal costs can be hard for you and your company especially if your business is barely surviving.
Lawsuits are a real financial gamble, especially for business owners. So instead of bringing a dispute to court, try to persuade the other party on an out-of-court settlement to resolve the issue.
- Expect the unpredictability of a lawsuit.
All lawsuits are full of surprising things. Anything can happen in a trial; which is why you also need to consider the unpredictability of a lawsuit. Even if your case is strong, the result may turn against you. There are specific factors that contribute to the unpredictability of a trial:
- Your key witness might be unreliable or have turned against you.
- Your story might prove to be inconsistent when studied carefully.
- The jury may already be against you before the trial even starts.
- Contemplate the timetable of a business litigation.
If you’re asking how long does business litigation often last, well it depends. Take note that a settlement can be organized at any time during the process. So if both parties have agreed to a settlement and have resolved the issue, you no longer need to bring your case to the court.
But if you brought your case to the court it may take at least 1-2 years before a judge can decide, with some even lasting for five years.
There are also specific factors that contribute to the length of business litigation like:
- The complexity of the case.
- The location of the witnesses.
- The schedule of the judge.
- The schedule of the counsel.
- The determination of both parties.
- Be aware of the possible public-relations consequences of a lawsuit.
If you don’t want your business’ public relations to suffer, you should settle the case out-of-court. Lawsuits are not only bad because they are expensive, but they can also damage your business reputation as well.
- Consider another alternative dispute resolutions.
A lawsuit can be avoided if both parties involved agree to an out-of-court settlement. You may also want to consider arbitration or mediation as an alternative to litigation.
- Arbitration is a non-judicial process to settle disputes where both parties involved assigns an independent third party called an “arbitrator” to make a binding decision.
- Mediation. Mediation another form of dispute resolution where both parties assign a “mediator” to help them come to an agreement. Mediations are less formal and are cheaper than arbitrations, making them a popular choice for solving disputes.
There are a lot of things to consider if you decide to bring a dispute to court. But if you’re going through business litigation, make sure to get legal counsel immediately. Business litigations are extremely complicated and stressful. Representing yourself to the court will make the process even more stressful. With the help of a qualified attorney, you should be able to get through business litigation easily.
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.