Every business is vulnerable to risks and therefore business owners find themselves embroiled in commercial litigation at some point of their life. However, many business folks shy away from approaching the courts because they have heard horror stories about lawyers, courts and business dispute management. However, many myths and urban legends surrounding business litigation are untrue.
Here is a list of such myths, along with appropriate rebuttals:
Lawyers Drag Every Case Into The Court
WRONG. Business owners have always heard that every commercial dispute ends up in a court because all lawyers, including wills and estates lawyers, are fond of making money, and dragging a case into the court is the best way to fill their coffers.
This is untrue because lawyers provide their clients with a list of other dispute-resolution options such as arbitration, mediation and negotiation. Lawyers recommend filing a suit only as the last resort and you will be surprised to learn that many disputes are resolved through negotiations.
Going To Court Will Waste Time And Money
FALSE. Every potential litigant hates the courts. He figures that making court appearances, giving evidence, etc., wastes time, money and energy. However, this is untrue. Business owners must realize that they don’t have to stand in the witness box – all they have to do is provide documents and other evidence to the court.
American courts deliver speedy justice and encourage plaintiffs and defendants to provide documents and other proof that can help both parties resolve the dispute in quick time. In fact, most commercial litigation is resolved before the trial stage. So, the courts actually end up saving the parties’ time, money and energy instead of wasting it.
Litigation is very expensive.
DEPENDS. It depends on how complicated your case is and how much time the lawyer spends on it. Most business cases are simple disputes, and if business owners do their own spadework (arranging documents, evidences, etc.) then the lawyer’s involvement becomes limited and so do his fees. However, if you want your lawyer to do even simple tasks for you, then yes, there will be costs. That said, complex lawsuits filed by big corporations do cost a lot of money.
Frivolous Litigation Hurts Small Business
UNTRUE. There may be many frivolous lawsuits filed all over the place, but people who are in business do their best to conduct their affairs in a smooth and peaceful manner by sidestepping over potential lawsuits. They’d rather sit across the table and resolve matters instead of filing cases and that is why you don’t hear about ridiculous business lawsuits like a vendor suing your business because he walked into your glass display.
Attorneys Charge By The Hour And That Bleeds Their Clients
FALSE. Civil justice lawyers charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of damages recovered.
These are the commercial litigation myths that you must be aware of. We hope the knowledge given above makes you a well-informed business owner who does not run scared of the courts.