First Steps to Take if Your Business is Served with a Lawsuit

Getting sued is unpleasant in any scenario, but particularly if it’s your business and life’s work that’s on the line. No matter the case, dealing with legal issues are always a headache so it’s best that you do everything possible to help your case from the moment you receive notice of the suit. At this point, you’ve probably already been startled by the person serving your notice, so assuming that was done correctly, you might be wondering what your next steps are. That’s where we come in. Read ahead for some of the first steps you should take if your business is served with a lawsuit.

1. Consult with a business law attorney.

Since legal issues can quickly get out of hand, it’s essential that you review your case with an experienced business law attorney. By working with an attorney, you can make sure that you are doing what is in the best interests of your business without worrying if you are missing something important.

2. Determine how to respond.

Once you’ve been served and have consulted with your lawyer, you can determine the best way to respond. Not every lawsuit is going to result in a full court trial, so it’s important to remember that you have options and the time you need to get everything in order to respond properly.

3. Keep all documentation.

A key thing to remember once you’ve been served is to make sure that you don’t do anything you’ll regret, such as deleting or destroying any documents or correspondence that might be relevant to your case! Doing this is a crime and will be detrimental in the long run, so just make sure to keep everything safe and secure. That way, you and your attorney can work out the best course of action while keeping your sensitive business documents as secure as possible.

4. Don’t communicate directly with the other side!

Another thing to avoid, in many cases, is communicating directly with the other party in the case. By keeping lines of communication closed, you avoid the risk of accidentally admitting guilt or saying something confusing that could be misconstrued and used against you later on. In some instances it can be beneficial to speak directly with the other party, but you should consult your attorney before doing so. Although it might seem silly to talk only through lawyers, it’s truly the best way to protect yourself throughout the process.

5. Don’t ignore it!

Finally, make sure you don’t ignore anything that you receive from the court in your case! In a complaint, the other party will base their case on a set of assertions, and if you fail to respond to these in the allotted time provided by the court, that might be deemed an admission of guilt. This is another area where your lawyer will be an invaluable asset. They can keep you on track and informed about any important dates that you need to know.
Dealing with legal issues and court cases is stressful, particularly if you’re the one that’s been served. For these reasons — and many others! — it’s essential that you work with an experienced business law attorney right from the start. They can alleviate a lot of the stress and give your business the best chance of seeing a positive outcome once all is said and done. At Integrated General Counsel, we want to work with your business and keep it informed every step of the way. If you have been served with a lawsuit, please contact us to speak with a member of our team right away!

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Written by Integrated General Counsel

Our focus includes handling a variety of corporate matters and also includes litigation in state and federal courts. Our current practice includes providing transactional services and representing a variety of small and medium-sized companies as their outsourced general counsel.