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One experience no business wants to get involved in, regardless of size, is dealing with legal action. It usually becomes challenging and stress-inducing, whether it’s having to protect yourself or deal with others. On top of that, there are so many different types and steps when it comes to legal action; you’re going to be hit with a wave of confusion if this isn’t your first time experiencing this. While, of course, lawyers can help you with the process, you’re still going to have to handle some of these challenges alone, such as gathering evidence. So, what do you need to do when handling legal action? Here are some helpful tips and strategies!

How to handle a lawsuit

Lawsuits are unfortunately more common than business owners would like to admit, but they can happen. Whether it involved intellectual property rights, past employees, customers, or far beyond that. But what are some helpful steps for managing a lawsuit? Whether you’re on the receiving end or not, here are a few things you’ll have to know.

Preserve evidence

Whenever a business is involved in a lawsuit, it must take action to preserve evidence. This is because destroying evidence may put the company at risk. It also decreases the chances of winning a lawsuit. If a business owner is unsure about how to preserve evidence when handling a lawsuit, it’s best to consult an attorney. The lawyer will be able to help you determine whether you must preserve evidence. The laws governing this matter vary from state to state. Some areas allow the plaintiff to recover damages for the destruction of evidence.

To preserve evidence, the plaintiff’s legal team sends a letter to the defendant requesting that it preserve the relevant evidence. This letter is commonly called a preservation demand, but this can have other names depending on your country or region. The letter is sent by certified mail with the return receipt requested.

The recipient of the letter is then obligated to preserve the evidence. This can be hard to prove in practice. However, courts look at specific circumstances to determine when the obligation began. Generally, it begins when a party reasonably anticipates litigation. If a business does not preserve the evidence when it is in the lawsuit process, it could face harsh penalties. In addition, the business can lose the case if the plaintiff can prove that the evidence was destroyed intentionally or negligently.

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Keeping accurate records

This goes hand-in-hand with keeping all the evidence; you must also ensure everything is accurate. The true secret to successful record keeping is to ensure that you’re taking advantage of the many important steps that will help you avoid legal entanglements and save you time and money in the process. By adhering to all legal formalities, you can avoid paying for the cost of litigation and protect yourself from personal liability.

Usually, businesses will opt for digital filing systems to help them out. However, you’ll need to know the recordkeeping laws and regulations to avoid fines and penalties. Properly maintaining records is one of the easiest ways to protect your business. So, not only do you need to stay compliant, but you’re also going to need to make sure everything is accurate.

Consult with an attorney

No matter what type of legal action you’re going to have to take, you’re going to have to have a lawyer on your side. Even if it’s not a lawsuit, but you need assistance with commercial litigation case, you need one. Having a lawyer on hand when dealing with a lawsuit as a business owner can help you avoid major damages. Most lawyers offer a free consultation. During this meeting, you and the attorney will discuss the problem and evaluate the attorney’s ability to solve your problem. The attorney will also discuss your rights and options and suggest ways to handle the case.

Before you meet with your attorney, you should ensure you have all the necessary information. You should know the type of legal problem you are facing, the laws that apply to your situation, and whether you are in a competitive industry. If you are, you should be wary of attorneys that represent competitors. It is a good idea to find an attorney who specializes in the industry you are in. For example, an attorney specializing in car accidents might be a better choice if your business is in the auto repair industry.

You should also make sure your insurance provider covers you. Your policy will likely cover certain types of lawsuits. However, there may be specific circumstances in which your policy does not protect you. You could spend thousands of dollars on legal fees if you do not have the proper coverage. If your business has a general liability policy, it might cover certain types of lawsuits. Depending on your insurance provider, you can use this coverage to pay for your attorney’s fees.

Avoid ignoring the lawsuit

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner or a large company; dealing with a lawsuit such as being sued is a serious risk. It can be stressful and time-consuming, but you can’t just ignore this or try to “sweep it under the rug.” If you do not respond to the plaintiff within the specified amount of time, he or she has the right to request that you default. 

You do not want to be in default, as this will make it more difficult for you to win your case. You will also need to comply with any temporary orders or court-ordered deadlines. If you are unable to respond, you should contact your attorney to find out what can be done to avoid being in default. In general, ignoring this will not make it go away.

Watch out for damaged reputations

There’s great importance in understanding that a lawsuit or any sort of legal action can have a serious impact on your company’s finances and reputation. A legal dispute can affect various areas, from your bottom line to your employees’ work quality. This can also temporarily stop your operations, which means you might not see a return on your investment for a while. Overall, while it’s not ideal to expect the worst, you should at least know what to expect.

How to Handle a Commercial Litigation Case

Just as lawsuits can create a hassle for businesses, usually, you can expect the same from a litigation case. Lawsuits and litigation cases are different, but there are a few similarities between both them. So, here are some tips for handling a case like this.

Limiting the possibility of a lawsuit

While litigation doesn’t often turn into lawsuits, it’s ideal that you try your best to make it turn into one. Of course, you’ll need an expert on your side to help. An experienced litigator will know how to pursue your interest and defend your case aggressively. This means you’ll have the best chance of winning the settlement you’re seeking. 

However, even if you favor a settlement, your case will still need to be tried, and you may have to spend a lot of time and money to collect or enforce the judgment. Regardless of the outcome, you will have to deal with the damage a lawsuit can cause to your relationships and reputation, which is why you should try your best not to allow this cause to turn into a lawsuit.

Structure your business to protect important assets

An attorney can advise how to protect your assets during the case best. For example, you may want to consider setting your business up as a corporation, LLC or partnership. These types of structures allow you to create a two-layer defense for your business. 

The first layer of protection keeps your personal assets out of the hands of your creditors. The second layer offers more protection for your personal property. You can also work with an estate planning attorney to protect your assets from your business obligations. Using one of these strategies is one of the best ways to avoid liability.

Hire a commercial litigation attorney

It’s vital to understand that not every lawyer will due; not all law firms are the same either. You’re going to have to be very selective on this. A business litigation attorney is critical to protecting your company’s assets and interests. Commercial litigation cases can be complex. 

They can involve disputes over contracts, intellectual property, and trade secrets. These often take a long time to resolve. In addition, they can be very costly, making it important to find a way to resolve the dispute without a courtroom trial. A good litigator will work to achieve a settlement deal before the case goes to trial. This can protect the defendant from losing even more money in court. The attorney will also ensure that the client understands their rights and obligations.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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