A business owner may face a lawsuit during the course of their business due to disgruntled employees, unsatisfied customers, or competitors. Common business lawsuits involve partnership disputes, contract disputes, employment litigation, insurance coverage, and judgment liens. As a business owner, threat of litigation is almost a certainty. Because lawsuits are expensive and drain a company’s time and resources, questions arise of what you should do when you are faced with one.
It is imperative that once a business receives a complaint or claim involving litigation, that they act promptly. The aggrieved party will usually serve legal papers in person or they will be delivered by mail. It is crucial to contact experienced litigation attorneys to review these documents.
Experienced counsel can evaluate the claims made in the complaint to prepare an adequate response. At the outset, counsel may conclude that the complaint papers were not served properly. Upon a thorough and competent evaluation, it may be determined that the business has claims against the plaintiff that it can use to file a counterclaim. An evaluation may indicate a need to bring in a co-defendant through a cross-complaint. Counsel may also deem that the complaint fails to plead causes of action appropriately and therefore, the complaint should be dismissed or demurred.
Additionally, time is of essence because by law, the business has only a certain number of days to respond unless it is able to negotiate additional time from the plaintiff to respond. Failure to respond may result in waiving important rights. It may also make the business susceptible to a judgment without proper adjudication of its rights.
Upon the receipt of legal documents indicative of a lawsuit, it is important to gather and organize all documents related to the alleged issues. Individuals and evidence pertaining to the issues are necessary for the attorney to evaluate the case. It is important to produce all documents to counsel so that they can provide a thorough assessment of the case. A business may do itself a disservice by deleting emails or other documents because the improper handling of documents and evidence may prevent a complete evaluation of the case and cause other legal hurdles in litigation.
Consider All Options Available
After contacting and retaining experienced counsel and providing them all information available, it will be time to evaluate various options. Counsel may advise that given the facts of the case, settlement may be the best solution to save time and money. Counsel may advise that arbitration or mediation may be other avenues to explore and suggest a countersuit or crossclaim against other parties. Upon receiving advice from the legal team, a business must then consider all options and the pros and cons of each to determine which option is most suitable for their business. It is important to involve management in the considerations so that the most appropriate steps are taken for the sake of the business. When faced with a lawsuit, do not procrastinate and seek legal advice immediately.
Philadelphia Business Lawyers at the Harty Law Group Help Business Owners Through Legal Issues
At the Harty Law Group, our experienced Philadelphia business lawyers provide innovative and responsive advocacy to business owners. We will review your case and provide knowledgeable legal counsel. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 267-383-3899.