David H. Schwartz
How to Protect Your Business While Getting Sued
Regardless of the measures that a company takes to mitigate a lawsuit, a disgruntled employee, injured client, or a dissatisfied customer may still bring a claim that threatens the company’s reputation and business continuity. As such, the company must consider the legal ramifications of a lawsuit, while integrating reputation management strategies to protect the brand in the court of public opinion.
Companies that face lawsuits often lose their cases due to poor decision-making or lack of proper legal representation. Consequently, these companies may end up paying out thousands of dollars in damages or, worse, close their doors within a few months after a judge awards the plaintiff. Below is a short guide on what businesses can do to protect their interests while getting sued.
The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz serves clients in a wide range of legal matters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as San Jose, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Oakland, and Alameda County, California.
1. Hire a Business Litigation Attorney
The most important decision that a company can make is to hire a capable business litigation attorney to represent them in all areas of the case. An attorney can help a company in the following ways:
- Investigate the claim to determine the facts of the case
- Engage directly with the claimant on behalf of the company
- Gather evidence to demonstrate the company’s innocence
- Prepare an adequate defense against the claim
- Negotiate a settlement with the claimant
Company owners should hire an attorney that has experience with business litigation law and can navigate the complexities of a lawsuit.
2. Avoid Making Public Mistakes
To preserve a company’s image, owners and their employees should avoid making public statements or conducting themselves in a manner that may be considered inappropriate. This includes making slanderous statements, discussing the case, or doing business with questionable businesses or individuals.
It is vital that a company’s ethics – real or perceived – are above reproach throughout the entire case. A company owner may want to consult their attorney on best practices for maintaining a healthy business image until the case ends. Furthermore, company owners or executives may want to implement protocols or training for members of the organization.
3. Avoid Contacting the Claimant
The more contact a company has with a claimant, the more vulnerable they become to further accusations. All communications between parties should go through the attorneys that are working on the case. A lawyer can engage with all parties including prosecuting attorneys, insurance companies, and plaintiffs with attorneys present.
All employees in a company should refrain from speaking about the case with anyone, publicly or privately. This includes sending emails, posts on social media, phone calls, or other correspondence. Any contact, direct or indirect, may hurt the company’s case.
4. Try to Settle Out of Court
As the target of a lawsuit, a company must decide if winning the case is worth lengthy and expensive litigation. In some cases, a company must defend its reputation and fight the claim to the end. However, other claims may be best suited to settle out of court. Granted, the direction a claim takes is also dependent on the actions of the claimant.
A company may want to settle out of court to expedite the case and avoid it becoming a public spectacle. The role of a business litigation attorney is to help the company assess whether going to court or settling out of court is the best option. An experienced attorney can explore the facts of the case and determine which route will harm the company the least.
San Francisco Business Litigation Attorney
The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz provides comprehensive legal services in cases involving business litigation. David has the experience necessary to represent clients and advise them on how to protect their business. Get a free case assessment with a commercial litigation attorney today. The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz serves clients in Oakland, Alameda County, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Jose, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.