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Business disputes need not always lead to litigation

| Jun 27, 2014 | Business Litigation |

It’s almost inevitable that a small business owner in North Carolina or anywhere else will run into conflicts and disputes with other businesses or contentious individuals at some time or another. For larger companies, business disputes are a sure thing. At first blush, many owners or chief executives may feel honor-bound to go to court and fight it out. But that is not always the best choice, and in some instances litigation can backfire so that the company loses more than it gains.

Filing a lawsuit against a company regarding a business dispute is a very serious commitment that should be studied prior to taking action. Thus, a consultation with a good business litigation attorney will not necessarily result in a recommendation to sue. A good business litigator will advise the owner or top brass on the downsides as well as the upsides. There may be some situations that demand litigation, and it’s generally best to get some professional thinking to support one’s strategy.

Litigation may be a good way to resolve something that seems unresolvable, but it can also be a ticket to a long and winding road of frustration and hardened feelings. If there is a breach of contract situation, and an arbitration clause exists in the agreement, the decision may be already mapped out. It’s not easy to ignore or get out of a written commitment to arbitration. Sometimes, however, that can be a reasonable option for a fair but far less expensive outcome.

Keep in mind that well over 90 percent of all business disputes end up in a settlement agreement, either before or during litigation. That’s a representative percentage in North Carolina and elsewhere. Considering the great expense and time commitment demanded by litigation, the first goal is to attempt a settlement. The negotiations and final terms should be handled, or at least monitored, by the company’s counsel. In some cases, the issues and the negotiations may be complicated or convoluted enough to warrant having the attorney handle all aspects of the dispute.

Source: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch, “When Your Business Should and Shouldn’t Go to Court“, Michael Laurence, June 18, 2014

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