Should You Settle a Business Dispute or Have Your Day in Court?
Business disputes can be costly and time-consuming for a business owner. Whenever possible, it can be better to accept an out of court settlement. However, there are some instances in which proceeding with a lawsuit and eventually to trial may be in the best interest of the company.
Five Things to Consider Before Having Your Day In Court
- Trials Are Lengthy and Time-Consuming
It could take more than a year to have your day in court after filing a lawsuit. During that time, you could incur substantial litigation costs in preparing for trial. In most cases, settling a claim outside of court is not as costly and can be achieved quicker and under terms that you agree to abide by.
- Lawsuits are Public Record
If you decide to go to court, the lawsuit and trial are a matter of public record. In some situations, it may be best to keep the matter private by using a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle the matter. Mediation and arbitration are private and confidential. If a company is concerned about its reputation, it might opt for mediation or arbitration instead of going to court.
- Outcomes Are Not Guaranteed
You cannot predict what a judge or jury may decide, even if the facts in the case appear to be clear cut. You may have the law and the facts on your side, but a judge or jury may be influenced by testimony from witnesses or arguments by attorneys. You lose control of the outcome of the case when you have your day in court. Negotiating a settlement gives you more control in the outcome of the dispute.
- Weaknesses vs. Strengths
You must carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of your case before deciding whether to settle or go to court. Are there weaknesses in your case that will make it more challenging to present sufficient evidence in court to convince a jury to side with you? Does applicable case law and statutes related to your business dispute weigh more in your favor or the other party’s favor?
Your attorney provides advice regarding your overall chances of being successful through a lawsuit and at trial. If your chances of winning are not high, you may want to accept a settlement to avoid losing the case at trial.
- Does Settlement Offer an Acceptable Outcome
In some cases, negotiating a settlement can produce an acceptable outcome. You may not receive everything you desire, but the compromise is something that you can accept. In other words, the settlement is acceptable when you consider the time, cost, and potential risks of trial; it is a business decision.
However, there are cases in which a settlement may not result in an acceptable outcome. This situation may be the case if the other party refuses to compromise to reach a fair settlement, or the matter cannot be decided without a lawsuit or trial. In those cases, it may be necessary to have your day in court to achieve the outcome you desire.
Contact a Florida Business Litigation Attorney for Help
It can be difficult to know when to settle a business dispute and when to go to court and trial. Working with an experienced litigation attorney in Coral Springs can be helpful.
An attorney investigates the business dispute and researches relevant laws to provide a skilled analysis of the situation and your options. Whether you are considering filing a lawsuit or you are responding to a lawsuit regarding a business dispute, you need a business attorney who is a skilled negotiator and an experienced trial attorney.
If you have questions about business disputes or business litigation, call 954-324-3651 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Florida business litigation attorney near you.