Questions to Review with Your Attorney Before You Decide to Sue
Business disputes arise from a variety of matters. Customers or clients may have a complaint regarding goods or services received. Businesses may have a dispute with vendors or contractors. Companies may disagree about the terms and conditions of a contract.
Most business disputes settle without court intervention. However, there are cases in which a lawsuit may be justified and in your best interest. If you have been unable to settle a business dispute, discussing your case with an experienced Florida business law attorney can help you decide whether you should file a lawsuit.
Factors to Discuss with a Florida Business Attorney Before Filing a Lawsuit
Five questions to ask your attorney before filing a lawsuit include:
- Do I have a legal cause of action?
Anyone can file a lawsuit. However, if you do not have a legal cause of action, your lawsuit is likely to be dismissed in the early stages of the litigation process. Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney reviews the circumstances of your dispute and researches various causes of action. Causes of action are a set of facts that meet the legal requirements for seeking judicial relief for a claim, such as breach of contract, product liability, or fraud.
- Do I have a right to sue?
If the statute of limitations has expired, you may not have a right to sue the other party. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing certain causes of action. The deadlines for filing lawsuits vary by the type of claim being alleged in the lawsuit.
In some contracts, the parties agree to settle disputes through mediation or arbitration. If you agreed to settle your dispute through one of these forms of alternative dispute resolution, you might not have a right to sue the other party unless you have a valid legal argument that overrides the contractual agreement.
- Can the court provide the remedy you desire?
The judicial system is limited in the remedies that it may provide. In most business disputes, the court is limited to issuing an injunction preventing the other party from taking certain actions; ordering the party to pay financial compensation to you, or requiring specific performance of certain portions of a contract. Before filing a lawsuit, you need to determine if a court can give you the relief you seek. If not, it may be best to reach an out-of-court settlement with the party.
- Are there any adverse consequences of filing a lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit does have some negative consequences. Lawsuits typically require more time and money to pursue compared to settling disputes out of court. There could also be other negative consequences of filing a lawsuit.
Lawsuits are matters of public record. Anyone can read the information filed with the court and follow the case through trial. During a trial, information may become public that you would rather remain private. Your brand or reputation could be damaged during a lawsuit. Settling a matter through mediation or arbitration keeps the matter private.
Also, filing a lawsuit may involve other parties, such as business partners, family members, or friends. Avoiding litigation may be a better option if you wish to maintain a good relationship with these individuals.
- Will I win?
An attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of a lawsuit. Judges and juries are unpredictable. Even though the evidence and the law may be on your side, there is no guarantee of how a judge or jury will decide a case.
Your lawyer gives you his opinion of the likelihood of prevailing based on his experience, the facts in your case, and the law applicable in your case. Weighing the strengths and weaknesses of your case against the possible outcomes of a lawsuit gives you a better idea of whether filing a lawsuit or settling out of court is the best option for you.
Contact an Experienced Florida Business Law Attorney for Help
If you have a business dispute or your company is named in a lawsuit, contact Attorney Matthew Fornaro to discuss the matter. Call 954-324-3651 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.