If you are the owner of a company who is facing some form of a legal dispute, litigation can be tricky business. We live in a litigious society, and oftentimes it can feel like litigation is the necessary route to resolve your business issues. But the fact is, there are times when litigation is appropriate and times when it is not.
How do you know when it is worth it for your company to litigate, and when you should pursue other methods of recovery? In this blog we have detailed eight factors you should always consider before electing to move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Please keep in mind that this blog does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation. You should always consult with an attorney like those at the Trembly Law Firm before pursuing any form of legal action.
First and foremost, you must do a cost/benefit analysis of the potential lawsuit. As a business owner, you should be very familiar with weighing risk versus reward in your decision making process. As with any business decision, you must weigh the various risks involved in filing and potentially losing a lawsuit versus whatever it is you stand to gain by winning the lawsuit. If the reward outweighs the risk, then litigation may be the right approach.
Chance of winning
Take an objective look at the details surrounding your case and ask yourself, “Can I really win?” You may be 100% confident that you have been wronged and you deserve compensation, but if you don’t have the evidence or there is some other reason that you stand to lose the case, then it is probably not worth it for you to pursue legal action.
Make sure you consider all possible alternatives to litigation. Don’t assume that some other method of recovery won’t work. You may be able to simply send a demand letter and that will be enough to resolve the dispute. If not a demand letter, some other settlement or alternative form of dispute resolution like mediation may be a better route depending on the circumstances of the case.
Perhaps there is a 100% chance you will win your case if you take it to court, however, you should consider whether you will be able to collect your reward when you win. The opposing party may not have the funds to pay you what you are owed. If this is the case, there is little you can do to recover the compensation. If an award is not collectible, you may not want to spend the money it will take to litigate the case in the first place.
How much time are you truly willing to spend mired in litigation? It is no secret that litigation can be a long and drawn out process. Think about how important it is to you to win the case and weigh that against your opportunity costs. If you are busy with a court case, that is time you will not be able to spend on your actual business, improving your product and making money.
Willing to involve witnesses
Another factor you may need to consider is whether or not you are willing to involve witnesses whose testimony may be vital to winning your lawsuit. Their knowledge may be key, but perhaps the witness is someone you don’t want to take the stand in a public trial.
Statute of limitations
This one is rather straightforward, but be sure your case isn’t impacted by a statute of limitations. If you take too long to file a lawsuit, and the wrongdoing for which you are bringing the lawsuit occurred outside the statute of limitations, you have little to no chance of winning the case.
Litigation will generally be a matter of public record. Do you really want all of the details of your case on display for the world to see? There could be damaging details involved that you don’t want to become public knowledge. In such cases, you should probably pursue alternatives forms of dispute resolution that can remain private.
If your company is considering filing any sort of lawsuit, please contact the Trembly Law Firm today and let us analyze your case and advise you on the best possible course of action based on your specific circumstances.