Helpful Suggestions In Selecting A Good Business Litigation Attorney
Your business provides your livelihood and presents your professional image and good reputation to the community. Through your business dealings, people learn about your expertise, ethics, talents, reliability and dedication to quality. In these dealings, you must make important decisions which ultimately affect your business profitability. These decisions are not always easy and sometimes result in disputes or disagreements, whether justified or not.
So when serious conflicts arise in your commercial dealings they can threaten the integrity of your entire business operation. Breached contracts, collection problems, employee claims are just a few of the business problems you might experience. The business litigation attorney you hire to help you evaluate and resolve these conflicts can make all the difference. In selecting a good business litigation attorney, here are some helpful suggestions.
First, select a business attorney who has good business acumen. In addition to his or her legal training, has he or she been an entrepreneur; held executive positions; served on a corporate board or as a corporate officer; or had jobs with comparable experience and responsibility? You want to be assured that not only is your attorney capable in negotiations or in the courtroom, but also that he or she understands how legal decisions affect your bottom line and your business’ reputation.
Second, your lawyer needs to be a skilled negotiator, able to help you discuss settlement with the other party to see if the conflict can be resolved satisfactorily without resorting to litigation. A good out-of-court settlement can save a great deal of time and money. Often this results in positive intangible benefits like preserving good will in the market and community within which your business operates.
The decision to file a lawsuit against another party in a business dispute should not be taken lightly. Finding a good negotiator who works hard to familiarize him or herself with your business and to fight for your rights is extremely valuable.
Whether to file a legal action that could lead to a trial if the matter does not settle is a serious business decision. An experienced litigator will be able to explain all the important issues to consider. Among those are what legal claims may be available, the likelihood of success if these claims are pursued, the collectability of any judgment obtained, the exposure on possible counterclaims, the collectability of and possible liability for attorneys fees and court costs, an approximation of what attorneys fees and costs will be incurred if the matter is litigated and whether these fees and costs will be justified in relation to the probable result.
Finally, the litigation attorney you select must be experienced in the courtroom with a solid record with the kind of claims you are making. He or she must be skilled in presenting, simplifying and arguing complex business matters to judges and juries so that they will understand the true nature of the dispute and identify with your position. He or she must also have access to and relationships with well-qualified forensic experts in accounting, tax, economic damages and a multitude of other professional specialties. Ultimately, he or she must be hardworking and prepared to dedicate his or her full energies to your case to optimize your chance of winning.
Some of the types of business disputes that could end up in court include:
- Contract disputes with other businesses like suppliers and service providers
- Employee matters like non-compete agreements, employment contract issues, misconduct, wage and hour issues, and discrimination claims
- Zoning, permit, licensing and environmental matters with government agencies and local governmental bodies
- Internal issues among partners, executives, shareholders and other stakeholders, including potential business dissolution or “business divorce”
- Intellectual property matters like misappropriation or infringement of copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets
- Professional defamation
- Insurance disputes
- Real estate, construction and commercial lease issues
- Premises liability
Remember to carefully consider the business litigation attorney you retain. The decision can be crucial to the outcome of important commercial disputes and ultimately to the next steps your business takes to fulfill its objectives.