Taking the Right Steps When You Become Involved in Business Litigation
It’s generally an unavoidable aspect of running a business — at some point, you will have a dispute with a customer, vendor or competitor that cannot be settled. When litigation is the only means to settle your differences, there are measures you should take to protect yourself.
Never ignore legal papers, and if you have been served with a Complaint, you MUST file an Answer WITH THE COURT.
Incredibly, we have seen business people whose response to a lawsuit is to call the plaintiff or their attorney, and expect that everything will all work out! They are then surprised when a judgment is entered. Calls or letters to the attorney for the other side do nothing. Whatever you do, you must file something with the court. Even if a matter is “settled” you need to file something to let the court know.
Hire Competent Legal Counsel
Regardless of how insignificant the dispute may be, you are always well served to seek advice from an experienced and competent attorney. You may be totally unaware of filing restrictions, and can risk the loss of your rights by trying to handle matters on your own.
Contact Your Insurance Carrier
It is always a good idea to review your comprehensive general liability policy or other policies to see if any provide coverage for the costs of business litigation or possible liability. Your insurer may have a duty to defend you under the policy. Even if your carrier denies coverage, you may want to seek a legal opinion regarding coverage. It costs you nothing in most cases to make a claim with the insurance carrier, but do it in writing. And do it right away.
Protect All Relevant Records
The most important step in protecting your rights is to nail down and safeguard all relevant records. If the records are hard copies or physical evidence, they should be separated and stored in a safe and secure place. This includes all electronic records or files. For these, you need to institute a litigation hold. Some of the key components of a litigation hold include:
- Saving all electronic records and communications to a protected server or backup media, where nothing can be modified or changed
- Creation of a secure backup with all metadata intact
Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP
We understand the stress, anxiety and confusion that can be associated with potential business litigation. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. For an appointment, call Neuner & Ventura at (856) 596-2828 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.
Representing Clients across South Jersey