If you are a new
business owner, you may have heard that it’s only a matter of time before
you face litigation in some shape or form.
litigation can seem unavoidable to small and large businesses alike, there are certainly
things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of being sued. After all,
you can save your business a lot of money if you can avoid litigation.
By seeking the guidance of an experienced business law attorney, you give
yourself the opportunity to proactively make business decisions that help
you avoid litigation.
When you follow your lawyer’s litigation-avoidance advice, you are
reducing the chances of being sued, even when you cannot avoid it entirely.
When you don’t follow such advice, your chances of litigation are
significantly higher as well as the litigation expenses that follow.
Using Good Judgement in Your Business Decisions
Unfortunately, business owners can become very emotional about their businesses,
much like the way people treat their divorces. In effect, business owners
can forget about common sense when they are making a business decision.
When running a business, you must stay calm, focused, and use your best
judgement as these will give you the upper hand in the face of litigation.
We recommend that you are mindful of the following suggestions for they
will help you minimize the chances that your business will become the
target of unnecessary litigation.
1. Nurture your business relationships.
One of the best ways to shield yourself from litigation is to nurture
your business relationships. You don’t want to end up suing a business
partner, a friend, or a peer who’s taken your family to dinner.
In business, relationships are critical and they are valued.
If you have developed a solid relationship and something goes wrong, the
other party will be less inclined to file a lawsuit because you have a
long-standing relationship with them.
2. Be cautious about going to battle.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, soon you will realize that
not every business relationship will end well.
Evaluate your battles and whether they’re worth litigating over.
Sometimes even if you do win, they are not worth the cost of litigation.
You have to look at the big picture and whether it will be worth the time
and expense in the long run.
3. Be polite and professional.
As a business owner, you will have to make many tough decisions, and occasionally,
your decisions will not sit well with other people. If you have to address
an issue or terminate a business relationship, treating the other person
disrespectfully will only escalate an already stressful situation.
Often, using a polite, professional and cordial tone will go a long way
in defusing such situations. If you, or your team uses harsh language,
your chances of being sued are much higher and any foul language will
not look good to the jury who eventually learns about it.
4. Don’t increase the odds of litigation.
Often, as soon as there is a dispute, a business owner will automatically
threaten litigation, thinking it will get the other side to quickly give
in. However, this can have the opposite effect, causing the other party
to immediately have their attorney take legal action.
Threatening litigation often increases the odds of litigation, when a more
cost-effective solution could have resolved the dispute.
6. Take responsibility for errors.
Running a business is a lot about failure, after all, that is how business
owners learn and grow. Usually, errors are made unintentionally due to
lack of experience with a particular problem. When that inevitably happens,
take responsibility and fix it.
Before you fix the problem, however, you should seek advice from a business
law attorney. If you can fix the problem to the other party’s satisfaction,
you may be able to avoid litigation.
You cannot avoid all litigation – that’s just business. At
least if you have to respond to litigation, you do it because it’s
the best way to handle an issue, or because it was your last resort –
not because of a poor business decision without a purpose.
If you have a business dispute,
contact our Chicago business law attorneys for sound legal advice.