Business litigation is not a process that should be taken lightly. Typically, it’s the final step after mediation and arbitration have failed to help your business reach a reasonable conclusion for all.
Litigation is reserved for significant disputes that involve multiple parties, such as partnership disputes, employment litigation, business torts, and construction litigation. Transitioning from mediation to litigation is a daunting step for any business to take, which is why it doesn’t always happen right away.
If you’re in the middle of a business dispute and you’re not sure if litigation is right for you, the following signs may see you hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later.
You’ve Exhausted All Other Options
One of the first things business owners and managers generally try or at least consider before reaching out to a reputable law firm like Parker Scheer is arbitration. This is a dispute resolution process outside of judiciary courts, with the dispute being decided by a third party.
Alternatively, some businesses opt for mediation, which is a structured process led by an impartial third party to resolve conflict. They use negotiation and communication techniques to help each party reach a successful conclusion. Unlike arbitration, mediation involves achieving an outcome that all parties agree to.
As effective as arbitration and mediation can be, they aren’t always successful. If your business has found that these options are either not suitable for your situation or simply haven’t worked, pursuing litigation can be the next step to take.
You’ve Performed a Cost-Benefit Analysis
When you are determining the best approach to take in your everyday business decisions, you likely rely on cost-benefit analysis. This systematic method allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an approach to a situation to establish which is going to be the most suitable for the desired outcome.
You may take a similar approach to deciding whether to pursue litigation. Along with your business partners, you can establish whether what you will gain from litigation is worth what the entire process will cost in money and time.
You’re Not Worried About the Dispute Being Public Knowledge
Problems and disagreements are kept relatively private during arbitration and mediation. However, that all changes as soon as you hire an experienced business litigation lawyer to represent you in court.
Litigated courtroom proceedings are in the public eye. This means that information you may have hoped to keep within your industry or business’s four walls is now public knowledge. While you can hire experts to assist with maintaining and improving your company reputation, it’s worth being aware of this before you start court proceedings.
However, some problems can be so damaging to your business already that you know your only option is to pursue litigation. At this point, all you can do is put a plan in place to limit the damage to your reputation while hopefully reaching a satisfying legal conclusion to your problem.
Your Case Is Solid
Given the significant step up from arbitration to litigation, it can be worth talking to your chosen litigation lawyer about your chances of success. More often than not, this comes down to how much evidence you have to allow for a conclusion in your favor.
The only way to know is by presenting your evidence to a lawyer who can advise on your chances. They can analyze what you have and even suggest other courses of action if they don’t believe a court case is in your best interest.
You Have Something to Gain From Litigation
Some of the best litigation lawyers in the industry can fight for a satisfactory outcome, but it’s worth considering whether what you gain at the end of the process is worth going through litigation for in the first place.
If monetary compensation is your preferred outcome, that may only be an option if the defendant has assets for you to collect on. That may not always be the case. However, you may believe it’s worth pursuing litigation if there’s something significant to be gained at the end of the process, such as asset protection or money.
Your Lawyer Advises It
You may contact your lawyer with a problem you’re facing when you’re not sure what to do about it. You may want to keep you, your business, and your employees safe but are unsure how to do this without taking legal action.
Once you talk to your lawyer about what is going on and what you’ve already done to try to rectify the situation, they may recommend litigation. Prior to their advice, you may not have understood what your options are. Sometimes, your first port of call can be a lawyer, even if litigation doesn’t end up being the option you choose.
You Want to Set a Precedent
Even if you’re not 100% certain about whether litigation is going to produce a desirable outcome, it might be an ideal option for your business if you want to set a precedent.
Choosing to go through with it can send a message that you won’t be coerced into giving in and aren’t going to roll over to any claims made against you or your company. Doing so may discourage companies and individuals from making claims in the future.
To Protect Your Intellectual Property
Intellectual property refers to trade secrets, copyrights, patents and trademarks that are the property of your company. Significant investment can go into creating intellectual property that forms part of your everyday business, which means you likely want to protect it at all costs.
To show others that you will go to great lengths to shield what’s yours, litigation can be a wise decision. It can be even more critical if another business intends to profit from your intellectual property, which ultimately impacts your bottom line.
However, before going to litigation, make sure all patents and copyrights are valid. This can save a considerable amount of stress if they are found not to be in a court of law.
Deciding to go to litigation is not always a straightforward decision to make. There are so many advantages and disadvantages to weigh against each other and other options to try first. However, if you believe it’s the right call for you, a business litigation lawyer may be worth calling to get the ball rolling.