The mere idea of a lawsuit is terrifying for any business owner, but there are ways to make things a bit easier. Taking a few steps BEFORE you are involved in a legal dispute is essential to ensure you are in the best possible position to quickly conclude a case, which has the potential to save your business tens of thousands of dollars and untold stress on you, the owner. Should your company ever be involved in a lawsuit, make certain you do the following:
- Document, document, document – If you are forced into a he said/she said situation where a trier of fact must judge the credibility of testimony, your small business attorney is in a much weaker position when protecting your interests. Get into the habit of documenting every agreement, every important communication with employees, vendors and others, establishing employee policies in writing, as well as management policies and meetings. Doing so can mean the difference between a relatively inexpensive suit which your attorney can get dismissed inside of six months, or a long, drawn out battle which may last years and be a financial drain on your small business. Having documentation of what occurred, when it occurred, who was involved, and the nature of the event or discussion can vastly improve your chances of quick success and can even thwart lawsuits since opposing counsel can be informed that the documentary evidence does not support the opposing parties’ case.
- Use your calendar – Don’t let your calendar sit empty on your desk or your smartphone. Use it how it is intended, and then go beyond that. Notate when you have appointments, meetings, or other business-related events. You can also include who you were with as well as start and end times. Having this information handy during a lawsuit can bolster your testimony and strengthen your case.
- Be Organized – Maintain copies of everything, even in draft form, and organize your documentation for easy access by you and your small business attorney. You know you need copies of business documents, but it can also be beneficial to maintain copies of drafts or superseded items in chronological order. Doing this can show the trier of fact what your intentions were during negotiations or discussions, as well as what has been deleted or added to official documents. Such evidence may help discredit the opposing party’s allegations or support your recollection of the underlying facts.
- Have a timeline of events available – Judges and business attorneys alike appreciate an accurate and detailed chronology of events. They need to know what happened and when it happened, so take the time to prepare a chronological summary of key events and players. This can serve as a great starting point to quickly lay out your position before getting into the finer details.
Contact Gehres Law Business Attorneys
If you need assistance preparing for a lawsuit or wish to learn more about how you can prevent one, contact the business attorneys at Gehres Law today. Want to read more? See our Business Litigation page for more information. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help save you money and time, contact us for a free evaluation.