Many business owners think they don’t need a lawyer until their last remaining option is to file suit. At that point, the relationship has become so sour between the parties that settlement has become virtually impossible. As a result, they wind up getting involved in a costly lawsuit with no guarantee of success. And if they prevail, they discover that the costs – both economic and otherwise – were far higher than they expected. All things considered, they often could have achieved a much better outcome had they reached out to an experienced business dispute lawyer earlier in the process.
A 360-Degree Assessment of the Dispute
One of the ways that a business dispute lawyer can help is by giving you a thorough assessment of the legal issues and potential outcomes involved in your dispute. This can include the following:
- An analysis of how the law will apply to your case
- The strengths and weaknesses of your position versus the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing party
- The potential costs of litigation
- The potential harm to your business
- Your options for settling or otherwise resolving the dispute
In the heat of the dispute, it’s easy to overestimate the strength of your case or become blind to potential weaknesses. Your lawyer can provide a candid assessment of what you can expect if you have to go to court.
Further, litigation can be expensive even if you have a strong case. Understanding whether or not you can seek recovery of your legal fees and costs is an important element in deciding how to move forward.
These are just some of the aspects of your case that your lawyer can evaluate – aspects that you may be totally unaware of that can have a significant impact on the outcome.
Leveraging Your Relationships
Some business disputes involve important relationships. Taking an unnecessarily aggressive position could do irreparable harm to those relationships and jeopardize the long-term success of your business. An experienced business dispute lawyer will know how to navigate these challenges and use your relationships to achieve a better outcome for your dispute.
Developing a Step-by-Step Strategy
In addition, your attorney can lay out a strategy for moving forward – pursuing a resolution outside of the courtroom does not necessarily preclude enforcing your rights through a lawsuit. You can attempt to resolve your dispute without litigation without compromising your ability to pursue your claim in court if it can’t be settled. A skilled attorney will be able to carefully tailor a strategy that meets your specific priorities and puts you in the best position for success. This allows you to resolve your case without litigation without getting bogged down in endless negotiations.
Most business owners are excellent negotiators and know how to negotiate for the best possible outcome that meets their needs. Unfortunately, the dispute may have strained your relationship with the other party, leaving them unwilling to communicate with you freely. Bringing in a different “voice” to the dispute can sometimes, by itself, soften the other side’s position. Furthermore, the fact that you have engaged an attorney communicates to the other side that you are serious about your rights. This can sometimes jumpstart negotiations that have otherwise stalled.
Resolving these disputes can also be very time-consuming. Your lawyer can handle the heavy lifting while you retain control over the major decisions. This leaves you able to focus on running and growing your business rather than bogged down in resolving a dispute you don’t need.
Knowing When to Say When
Of course, litigation is sometimes unavoidable. In other cases, it may be your best option for resolving the dispute and you need to act quickly to enforce your rights. An experienced business dispute attorney will know when filing suit is in your best interest – when it makes sense to wait, and when it makes sense to be much more aggressive.
Contact Ragain & Clark if You Have a Business Dispute
If you’re in business, you’re in the business of resolving conflict. While some disputes are merely minor annoyances, some can do significant damage to your business’ bottom line and your reputation. We can help you navigate whatever dispute you may be facing with seasoned legal advice and practical, results-oriented solutions.
At Ragain & Clark, we have decades of experience in helping Montana and Wyoming business owners resolve their disputes. From minor disagreements to complex commercial litigation, we can help – call us today at 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.