According to a survey by Alix Partners, business owners have been involved in more legal disputes than they have ever been in the last two years. These disputes have ranged in everything from intellectual property cases, to breach of contract and even fraud.
As a small-business owner, you try to run your business to avoid litigation. However, should the worst happen, you’ll need to anticipate the effect lawsuits will have on you and your team.
Even if you try to cut costs and handle your case yourself, you and your team will spend a lot of time obtaining accurate information, locating important documents, and meeting with outside counsel.
While a lawyer can help you save time, even the best cases could take days, weeks, or months away from your business. Some lawsuits have no real merit and rely on inaccurate or alleged facts, but often times the court won’t dismiss the case unless the opposing side has no facts at all.
As an owner, you already know that time equals money, and the more time you waste on a case, the less time you have to promote sales and find leads for your business. Your budget will need to account for the costs of preserving, collecting, and processing documents. If you need additional help proving your case, you may need to pay for cross-country flights as well as hire experts in your field who can back your statements.
If you plan to save money during a lawsuit, you’ll want a lawyer who can minimize expenses through budgeting tools, as well as someone who can resolve your case early on. Otherwise, expect to pay for costly obligations and deadlines out of your own pocket.
Don’t like confrontation? If someone else has filed a claim against you, don’t give into the temptation to settle outright. While throwing $25,000 or more at the problem may temporarily solve the nuisance, it might cause you greater problems in the long run. If you give in without a fight, others may take that as a signal to sue you more regularly in hopes that you’ll settle again and again and again.
Rather than sending the wrong message, you’ll want to take your case to court, despite your fears about losing time or money.
Even if you have a strong case with plenty of evidence to back your claims, you could still lose the trial depending on the opinions of the judge and jury. To achieve the best possible resolution for your case, talk to an experienced litigation or business lawyer.