Everyone knows that litigation is an expensive distraction from the true mission of any business. Good management, with well drafted contracts and employee supervision, go a long way to minimize lawsuits. However, despite the “best laid plans”, things happen. Even well-managed businesses sometimes find themselves involved in a lawsuit. When that happens, it is often advantageous to bring a big stick…and be prepared to swing it–which involves hiring an aggressive litigation lawyer and experienced trial attorney.
PLEADING THE RIGHT CLAIMS
Lawsuits typically begin with a “complaint”: the legal document which sets forth the particular facts and legal claims of your case. Proper drafting of the complaint and other initial pleadings, including all appropriate claims, is critical to maximizing the strength of your position at the outset. Pleadings establish the framework of the entire lawsuit and control what discovery can be taken, as well as what money damages or non-monetary relief can be awarded following a trial. A savvy litigator will understand how, based on the facts that exist, to best plead his or her clients’ case. He or she will know how to plead a claim so that it more likely will, or will not, be covered by the opposing parties’ insurers. The knowledgeable business litigation lawyer will also know how to plead, when appropriate, so that punitive damages might be recovered, which generally creates more leverage to negotiate a prompt settlement. In sum, there is simply no substitute for experience.
INCLUDING ALL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES
Less experienced lawyers often overlook strategic advantages that can result in including parties who, on first consideration, may seem unrelated or uninvolved. If suing a closely held corporation, for example, the strength of one’s case might greatly be enhanced, in appropriate circumstances, by also naming as defendants the principal shareholders, on the theory that the corporation is merely their “alter ego” where it seems likely that “piercing the corporate veil” may be successful. Likewise, the experienced business litigation attorney will investigate and consider the viability of including as named defendants, other individuals and business entities who may have “conspired” with the principal wrongdoer, or who may have some duty of indemnity. To the experienced eye, there are myriad of factual scenarios and legal theories which could support including defendants laypersons or even other lawyers may not otherwise consider.
TRIAL EXPERIENCE IMPROVES NEGOTIATING POSITON
The more your opponent fears going to trial, the stronger your settlement position. Your bargaining position is based on their perception of the case, including their perception of your attorney. When you have an experienced, persuasive trial attorney, you increase your bargaining position. Overall, approximately 90% of all cases settle before trial. However, the amount of compensation you might be able to recover in a settlement is often significantly impacted by the perceived strength of your case and experience of your trial lawyer, both of which make choosing a business litigation attorney extremely important. In addition to being skilled at trial, the effective trial lawyer must also be a good negotiator, in order to maximize results for the client.
Gehres Law Library prides itself at hiring attorneys who are exceptional at what they do, have proven results, and are dedicated to obtaining the best results possible for each client. Browse our website for more information about our San Diego business lawyers or contact us for a free evaluation.