If your company is involved in a business dispute, there are definitely ways to protect your company and prevent the media from accessing information about the dispute. In these cases, we work with our clients and with opposing counsel to limit any type of public disclosure of dispute-related information. There are enforceable agreements that can be put in place toward those ends. Among the most common are Non-Disclosure Agreements (or NDAs) and Settlement Agreements, which both specify things that should not and will not be leaked to the public.
If you are a business owner dealing with a dispute and the possibility of further and future litigation, the last thing you want to deal with is being castigated in public and on social media. The very fact that the company is going though a lawsuit can lead to unwanted attention and speculation, and could even seriously taint the company’s reputation.
Our job is to protect a client’s best interests throughout their legal disputes. As a part of that mission, we assist clients in legally ensuring that their public personas and reputation and those of their businesses are also protected.
What Types of Business Disputes Does Your Firm Typically Handle?
For the most part, we handle business disputes regarding real estate, contracts, business purchases, and sales. In many of these circumstances, a company will attempt to do some of these contracts, purchases, and sales on their own.
One of the most common scenarios we see is when a business tries on their own to get a loan. Usually, they need this loan to buy an asset, or to continue their business. If they find that they can’t get that loan or those funds from a bank, they go to one of many much less reputable, much less secure online loan programs. These programs allow them to quickly download a contract and to sign it without reading it. Then, lo and behold, they receive the money.
However, some time passes, and things have oftentimes not gone perfectly (as is frequently the case in life). At that point, the business owners find themselves bound to the particular terms in the online contract they signed. They are then left scrambling and trying to play catch-up in figuring out the actual terms of the loan. Frequently, those online loan contracts leave out key definitions. For instance, what do the terms of the loan actually mean? What is the protocol for handling disputes? Are there limitations on potential damages?
If you hire a competent attorney from the outset, you can avoid this entire scenario. We can draft our own contracts and terms from the outset. This will help to ensure that your terms will be met, and that the definitions that you expected going into that particular contract will be fulfilled.
If you do find yourself dealing with the consequences of a vague, poorly written contract, an experienced attorney can still help. I have helped many clients walk through and unravel the terms of those contracts, all the while ensuring that their best interests are represented. This will help in securing the best possible outcome that circumstances will allow.
My Business Partner Breached our Shared Contract. What Steps Can I Take?
If your business partner breached a shared contract, there are several steps you can take. Many people think the best first step is to file a lawsuit, but that’s typically not where I like to start. Sometimes, businesses have standard operating procedures for handling issues like this. You can either use the rules of the contract itself or a separate set of ethics to take pre-litigation steps. Alternatively, it might be best to report the misdeed that breached your shared contract—whether it be fraud or embezzlement or whatever the case might be—to a local authority, to see if they will begin to investigate. At the same time, I would work with you to ensure that your best interest and the best interest of your business is protected. And of course, if there comes a point where a lawsuit does need to be filed, we certainly can do that as well.
Another Company Breached a Contract with my Business. Do I Need a Business Attorney or Can I Settle This Dispute on My Own?
In the event of a dispute between your business and another business, it’s always best to hire a business attorney. This is especially true when it comes to something as serious as breach of contract. A business attorney can help you create a gameplan to best protect yourself and your business. You need to know what your desired outcome is, as well as what you’re willing to settle for.
A business attorney can also help you see the full picture of what is happening. In some scenarios, the issue may be that you are not properly understanding the full implications of what the other party is trying to do.
One good example of this sort of clarification is a car accident case. Unfortunately, car accidents are common enough that many of us have been in a car accident in our lifetimes. When you get into a car accident, you are often forced into negotiations with an insurance company (either your insurance provider or the insurance provider of the at-fault party who caused the accident). Upon first reaction, many people simply say that they just want to get their car fixed. In response, the insurance company will enthusiastically cover the cost of your car repairs, as they are required to do so by law. They will often pose their agreement to fix your car in exchange for settling your entire case. However, what a person may not consider at first is that they are also entitled to claims against the insurance company to cover other expenses caused by the accident, such as their medical costs.
If the person in the car accident scenario accepts immediate settlement in exchange for their car repairs, they may be fine in the short-term. However, two months or even six months down the line, they often start to feel the real medical effects of the accident. Maybe their lower-back starts hurting, or they start experiencing headaches or neck pain.
In that scenario, if the person already settled their case with the insurance company, they cannot then go back to the insurance company for additional money. They have already settled the case, saying that the car repair costs were the full and complete damages you had a right to seek from the insurance company. That person would quickly find themselves stuck paying for all medical bills resulting from the car accident.
The same thing is true of a breach of contract case. You have one shot at getting all of your damages addressed and taken care of. This makes it especially important for you to seek a full and complete settlement, rather than a bare-minimum settlement. My firm works with clients to ensure that they seek what they are actually entitled to in damages the first time, and to keep them from jumping the gun on signing away their rights to future claims.
Should I Try to Settle My Business Dispute Outside of Court? Should I Avoid Litigation if Possible?
If possible, you should absolutely try to avoid litigation and settle business disputes out of court. The last thing we want is to take a client through a full-blown lawsuit if it is at all avoidable. Lawsuits are extremely expensive, and can also be very painful and very stressful. To avoid putting our clients through the expense, pain, and stress of a lawsuit, we always try to settle out of court before we pursue litigation. However, even considering those things, we will not refuse to go to court if it means settling for less than is necessary.
Now, sometimes a decision to settle is a matter of simple math. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to spend $50,000 pursuing litigation instead of just paying a $20,000 settlement. Those are the types of business decisions that need to be made under careful consideration and counsel. An experienced, trustworthy attorney is essential to this process. We will walk you through all of the decisions involved in your case, and give you multiple courses of action that you can choose to pursue.
Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat. We want to give you all the information necessary to make an informed decision about how you would like to proceed in any given dispute.
For more information on Business Disputes In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 637-0240 today.