If you’re a business owner, there’s always a chance that you’ll find yourself in the middle of a legal battle—whether it’s a dispute with another business or an issue with one of your employees. In fact, according to research, 90% of companies have found themselves in some legal dispute throughout their lifespan.
While no one wants to go through litigation, it’s essential to be prepared for the process so that you can protect your interests. Here’s what you can expect during business litigation.
The process takes time.
The first thing to understand is that litigation is often a long and drawn-out process. After all, when two parties are locked in a legal battle, neither side is usually eager to give up or back down. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced business lawyer who can help you navigate the process and ensure your interests get protected at every step.
Essentially, it takes time for both sides to present evidence, share testimonies, and make their case. That means a business dispute can take months—or even years—to resolve. However, it still depends on the case’s complexity and how willing both parties are to reach a settlement agreement.
Nonetheless, it’s crucial to remember that litigation is not a fast process. So, it’s best to be ready for the long haul and know what to expect.
You will need to serve and respond to legal documents.
Another critical aspect of the litigation process is responding to motions and other court documents. During litigation, you may need to serve legal documents to the other party and vice versa.
These documents are often lengthy legal papers you must send within a certain timeframe. But it isn’t as simple as just delivering the paperwork. You must also provide proof that you delivered it and send a response within the designated period.
Each state also has its laws and procedures regarding serving motions. So, you might need support from a professional process server to serve an out-of-state subpoena. These experts understand the local laws and can help ensure everything goes smoothly, providing you with a stronger case.
In doing so, you can ensure you comply with the requirements and serve these documents on time. With it, you can protect your business rights and interests.
There will be a discovery period.
One of the first things that will happen is that both sides will exchange “discovery requests.” These requests involve each side asking for relevant information from the other party that could be used as evidence in the case.
For example, if you’re getting sued for breach of contract, the other party might request any emails or text messages between you and the person they’re suing on behalf of. This information can then be used as evidence during the trial.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand how discovery works and how you can respond accordingly. A business lawyer is crucial to help you with the entire process, and you must be prepared to promptly provide the requested evidence. This way, you can protect your business interests throughout the process.
You might get settlement offers.
Once discovery is complete, both sides will better understand what evidence is available and what argument they need to make to win the case. At this point, it’s not uncommon for parties to try and settle the case out of court before going through a trial.
But if the other party makes a settlement offer, you don’t always have to accept it. It’s essential to understand the terms of the agreement before making any decisions. After all, you must ensure that the settlement’s terms are fair and protect your interests.
At the same time, it’s wise to consider the costs of going through a trial. After all, the legal fees can add up quickly and could be higher than the settlement offer presented. That’s why it’s crucial to get advice from an experienced business lawyer and determine what’s best for your case.
There might be more than one trial.
In some cases, a single trial might be enough to resolve the dispute. But in other more complex cases, there could be multiple trials.
For example, suppose a company is getting sued for trademark infringement. There might be one trial to determine if the defendant infringes on the plaintiff’s trademark and another to decide what damages are due.
In these scenarios, it’s essential to understand how each trial works and how you can best prepare for it. That way, you can ensure the trial runs smoothly and protect your business interests throughout the process.
The above are some key aspects of business litigation you should be aware of. Understanding what to expect ensures your case goes as smoothly as possible and protects your business interests. In doing so, you can provide a favorable outcome for your case.