An alarming development has you and your colleagues wondering how this happened. Another company intends to file a lawsuit against your business. Once the news sets in, you realize that you must understand the challenges and face them head on, but not alone.
You do not look far for inspiration. When you started your company years ago, you faced and tackled plenty of challenges and relied on a trusted team. With a pending lawsuit, it is time to rely on your team again, but for a different set of challenges.
Talk with inner circle and retain a skilled attorney
Here are three important steps to take when your company faces a lawsuit:
- Examine, address and discuss the legal issues with your inner circle: This is the time to work together with your trusted business team, business partners and respected contacts within the industry. Lean on their advice. As you gain a better understanding of the lawsuit, explore every potential legal angle and share experiences. Someone within your circle may have been involved in a similar incident and may have vital insight. These discussions must remain confidential.
- Enlist the help of a knowledgeable and trusted attorney: As a small business owner, you likely do not have access to corporate counsel. Do some research and contact trusted colleagues for references. An experienced and assertive attorney will review every detail within the case in determining whether the plaintiff has a valid case or is merely trying to frighten you.
- Gather every significant document: Your goal is to collect supporting evidence that will dispute any or all claims made by the plaintiff. Expect to review documents – paper and electronic, contracts, invoices made out to clients and suppliers, letters, emails and voicemails. You may also want to review any of the plaintiff’s social media sites. Assembling these documents will provide you with a chronology of what occurred and refresh the memories of you and your business team. Safeguard this information, which may be called upon in court.
This unexpected lawsuit has startled you and your business team. It is time for you to organize and prepare. You can do it.
Aggressively address the lawsuit
Understand that responding to a lawsuit will take time away from your business and your customers. But you must address this situation and do so aggressively and successfully. Your company depends on it.