5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Pursue Litigation

As a business owner, you have a lot of decisions to be made every day. While most of the time things will remain relatively uneventful, there is always the risk of becoming caught up in a dispute between you and your customers, other businesses, and numerous other entities with whom your company regularly interacts. Whether a vendor breaches a contract, there is a legal dispute with an employee, or any number of other conflicts, it may become necessary to pursue litigation. However, litigation is a serious matter which should never be taken lightly. You should always be sure to ask yourself the following five questions before making a decision about whether or not your company should pursue litigation.

Can You Win the Case?

When determining whether or not to sue you need to look at the case through the eyes of a judge or jury, not your own. Even if you know with certainty that you have been wronged, you need to be able to prove it in the court of law. One of the best ways to evaluate the strength of your case is to work with an experienced attorney who can look at the details of the situation and let you know whether or not it is a good idea to move forward based on their legal knowledge.

Even if You Win, Can You Collect?

There are many times when a company sues another company or individual and wins the case, but never gets to collect their winnings. If, for example, you are thinking about suing a vendor that didn’t fulfil their obligations because their company is going out of business, it may be difficult or impossible to collect any damages you are awarded. You’ll end up having to cover all the costs of litigating with very little potential for recouping them. While you may get the satisfaction of winning in court, you need to make sure that you’ll also be able to win financially.

Would it Be Possible to Resolve the Conflict by Other Means?

While suing someone may become necessary at some point, it should rarely ever be your first course of action. Most business disputes can be resolved through some form of negotiations or mediation. Attempting to resolve a problem outside of court will almost always be faster and less expensive in the end. Even if you have to compromise, it may be worth it financially since you’ll spend so much less time and energy on resolving the dispute.

Will the Public Attention Be Damaging to Your Business?

As a business owner, your reputation is extremely valuable, so you should be aware that virtually every type of litigation is going to be a matter of public record. Before moving forward with a lawsuit, make sure to look at what type of publicity you will get from the case. Sometimes the publicity of litigation can actually be beneficial for your company. Other times, however, the publicity could cause some trouble. Carefully evaluate your specific situation to make the best decision.

Is it Worth Your Time?

When taking someone to court, you will need to spend some time explaining your situation to the attorney and then actually appearing in court. While your attorney will handle most of the work on your behalf, legal cases can still be time consuming. Determine how much money you are hoping to win from the case and see if it is actually a smart use of your time. In many cases it is, but if you’re suing for a very small amount, it may not be worth the effort.

Seeking an Objective Opinion

If you need help determining whether or not it is a good idea to take someone to court, the best option is to speak with an attorney. The Cohen Law Office has helped numerous companies with their business litigation needs, and we can help you too. Contact us today to discuss your situation and see if going to court is the right decision in your case.

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