There’s a moment of stark fear every business owner faces upon learning that the business is being sued. No matter how serious or frivolous you believe the lawsuit to be, it’s important to take the proper legal steps in response to being served with the lawsuit. These are the first steps you should take in this situation. It’s very important to take the lawsuit seriously and prepare as though the case is bound for court from the very beginning. Dismissing it out of hand can lead to disastrous results for your business – especially considering that there are always deadlines for responses. This is a problem that must be dealt with immediately.
Read All Documentation Carefully
It’s a little painful to read through all the legal language in the papers you’ve been served, but it’s important to read through it carefully so you can have an idea over the circumstances of the lawsuit. The experts at FindLaw believe that it’s important to have some degree of understanding about the circumstances leading up to the suit. Understanding makes it easier for you to come up with a proper response.
Consult a Qualified Attorney
This is one of the most important steps you must take when your business is being sued. Don’t go to the phone book and find the first attorney that comes along. Consult colleagues and get references for an attorney who is experienced in these types of legal cases. Also select one that has actual courtroom experience arguing these cases as an advocate for the defense.
Once your find your attorney it’s important to provide honest, accurate accounts of what happened. Make your attorney aware of all the facts of the case and avoid trying to color things with opinions. The most important thing is to give your attorney the tools he (or she) needs to win the case for you.
The odds are good that your attorney is going to request a fair amount of documentation – including a list of potential witnesses to question. It’s important to get these documents to your attorney as quickly as possible. There may even be a limited time to prepare an argument or response to the initial suit. In other words, time is of the essence.
Organization, throughout the process, saves time.Get your information organized and deliver it to your attorney in a timely manner. Organization makes it easier to get hands on the proper documentation and makes it easier for your attorney to go straight to the documents he or she needs to argue your case.
The real secret sauce to success in this situation is to avoid the temptation to panic. If you hire a reputable attorney who knows the law, you must trust your attorney to do the job you’re paying for and focus on the aspects of your case you can control. In addition, if you have adequate business insurance, you’ll have even more peace of mind.