While the old adage “you’re not doing well in business until you get sued” may have lost some of its luster in today’s economy, the specter of a lawsuit is something entrepreneurs and business owners should never dismiss out of hand. To some, a lawsuit is more than just an attempt to address a legal issue. It could be a means of settling a score, or a form of “legal” intimidation.
Regardless of the intent behind it, a lawsuit should be taken seriously, as protracted litigation can deprive you of more than just money. With that, this post will highlight a few proactive steps to be taken if you are served with a complaint.
Don’t ignore it – It may seem obvious, but some business owners believe that if they don’t respond to a lawsuit it will eventually go away. Unfortunately, this cannot be any further than the truth. There are specific deadlines that could affect your ability to raise legitimate defenses if you do not respond to a complaint.
Do not destroy or delete potential evidence – The temptation to get rid of incriminating evidence could be tempting, because what the opponent doesn’t have as evidence can’t be used later. However, it is a terrible idea to destroy evidence after being sued, as it could lead to further legal troubles. This is where a document retention plan becomes essential.
Don’t panic – Instead of hyperventilating over lawsuit, contact an experienced business litigation attorney to get some preliminary advice over what the next steps should be. Having a conversation with a skilled lawyer can put things in perspective and prepare you to raise the best defenses available.
The preceding is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.