To Sue or Not to Sue: 4 Things to Consider Before Pursuing a Business Lawsuit

When a relationship falls apart or there has been a breach of contract, it’s tempting to want to identify legal remedies immediately. This is what might lead you to consider litigation. Before you commit to that, though, you need to think carefully about both the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a lawsuit. Simply put, litigation is not always the best solution.

Can I Win This Case?

Without speaking to an experienced business attorney, you might not understand all the potential issues involved in a case. It’s easy to have an unrealistic view of your case when you feel like you have been wronged. Meeting with knowledgeable general counsel, though, could uncover that the legal specifics of your case simply aren’t strong enough to make the lawsuit worthwhile.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Under ideal circumstances, you would file a lawsuit, win the case, and then recover damages. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way that a business lawsuit unfolds. Many complex issues and court procedures can minimize the feeling that you have “won” even when the decision comes down in your favor. Think carefully about the time, money, and energy you’d have to commit, particularly knowing that you are not guaranteed to succeed and achieve your litigation goals.

Consider the following issues as you think about whether the risks of losing the case or having an undesirable outcome outweigh your chances of winning and the potential reward of winning:

  • How much of this dispute is my fault? Is a counter lawsuit possible?
  • Is a monetary resolution going to fix this issue?
  • How much time do I have to commit to a lawsuit?
  • How much emotional energy am I willing to give this lawsuit?
  • Is the other party likely to get angry in response to my filing and try to drag things out as long as possible?
  • Am I willing to spend money on attorney’s fees that I might not be able to recover?
  • Am I prepared for this dispute to spill into the public eye?

Will You Even Be Able to Collect if You Win?

If the other party’s financial status is an issue, you could be throwing money away by filing a lawsuit. Even if you win, if the other party doesn’t have the resources to pay what they owe, you’ll have wasted significant time and money for little to no restitution. Far too many people start the lawsuit process wanting to win on principle and then realize there’s little chance, if any, that they’ll even recover money.

Are There Better Alternatives?

Many times, the source of a business lawsuit is a communication breakdown. If you can fix this problem, you may be able to avoid litigation entirely. Trying to resolve things on your own can be one avenue to pursue. If that doesn’t work, your attorney can help you to pursue a negotiated settlement, potentially through the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as mediation.

Many times, alternative methods like mediation can speed up the process and save both of you money in resolving your legal dispute. Since there’s more flexibility in the mediation process, there’s also a better chance that you’ll identify a mutually agreeable solution.

If you are considering taking legal action in the form of a business lawsuit, please first reach out to the attorneys at Integrated General Counsel and let’s discuss your options!

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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.