Regardless of how upfront and honest you are with your business partners and customers, disputes will occur. Unfortunately, some of those disputes could end up in court. If you suspect a lawsuit is going to be filed against your business, here are some tips for handling the situation.
Determine If You Have Actually Been Sued
Some business owners panic after receiving a legal notice from a law firm, but there might not be cause for it. Before a lawsuit is filed against your business, an attorney will likely send a demand letter to you. The demand letter is nothing more than a list of demands and the possible consequences that could follow if your business does not meet those demands.
As official as the letter might sound, it is not a lawsuit. It is the first step towards a lawsuit, though. It is imperative that you talk to your attorney and discuss your options. If you are not willing to give into the demands or want to negotiate, your attorney can notify the other party of your decision.
Provide Your Attorney with Documentation
If the other party files the lawsuit, you have a limited time to file a response with the court. The response is the first the court will hear of your side of the story. It is your chance to dispute any of the claims the other party has made.
To form the response, your attorney needs documentation to review the details of the case. Without it, he or she cannot possibly file the response. Ideally, you should provide the documentation within the first few days of being notified by the court of the lawsuit. The more time your attorney has, the more time he or she has to review the details and discuss the case with you.
Do Not Contact the Other Party
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to contact the other party. Regardless of the relationship your business has had with him or her in the past, you are being sued. The lawsuit does not mean that your relationship is permanently damaged, but it does mean you need to protect your business. Conversing with the other party could result in an admission that could hurt your case.
Your attorney will handle any communications that need to be made, including negotiations. If you have the urge to contact the other party, call your attorney instead.