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Ways to Try and Avoid the Courts

We all work very hard for our money and want to be able to hold on to as much of it as possible. The reason most of us work is to be able to take money out of our business and put it into our pocket. Getting involved with the courts is generally expensive. Business people generally find themselves in court either because they are seeking to recover money or damages from a person or entity that has not paid them or has breached a contract or an agreement or has committed some other legal wrong. Or a businessperson can be sued or find him or herself in court as a defendant. The trick is to try to avoid either having to sue or being sued.

There are several precautions business can take to try to avoid finding themselves in court, either as a plaintiff (the entity bringing the lawsuit) or a defendant (the entity being sued). First, you should have all of our business contracts, documents and forms reviewed by an attorney. While having forms that thoroughly address your business and legal interest may not keep you out of court entirely, they can substantially reduce the amount of time and expense of the court proceedings. Ambiguities in forms and agreements are one of the major causes for lengthy and expensive lawsuits. They give the parties the opportunity to argue different meanings and often lead to the need for a full scale trial when, had the forms been clear, perhaps the court may have been able to enter a summary judgment, i.e. a judgment without the need for a full scale trial. In addition, documents that clearly express the intent of the parties are less susceptible to interpretation and ambiguity in the first place. Therefore, a business is more likely to resolve the dispute without involving the courts. The parties may be willing to settle without going to court, and that, of course, means more money stays in your pocket.

The time and expense it takes to have an attorney review your business forms is much, much, much less than the time and expense involved in a court proceeding. With a corporate attorney, business people can potentially save thousands of dollars in court costs and attorneys’ fees. Do not wait until you find yourself in court to have your business forms, contacts and agreements reviewed. Take the time now to get off on the right foot. Make it your business practice to do all you can to keep out of court and keep more money in your pocket.