Just as some colds become pneumonia or something more serious, business disputes can also take a turn for the worse–they can lead to litigation. Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and in the long run, may not even be able to settle the actual dispute. Therefore, knowing the signs when your business dispute is heading in this direction is very important to be able to either head it off at the pass or prepare for the attack.
Here are five common signs that your business dispute is going to head for litigation:
1) Communication breakdown
Both parties can be guilty of this. If you’re being ghosted in your dispute by the other party, they’re either pulling back to get their litigation ducks in a row, or they’ve chosen to take the head-in-the-sand approach to force you to make the next move.
2) “Talk to my lawyer”
If the other side retains counsel and starts to direct all discussions to their counsel, this is a very good sign that some formal dispute resolution will take place in your future. In some situations, it may be beneficial to involve an attorney, especially where the attorney is a reasonable intermediary between you and the other party. Other times, involving an attorney means that the dispute will escalate because that has always been what the other party wanted.
3) You are talking past each other
Where no party really listens and hears what the other party is saying about the dispute, there will probably be no reasonable resolution that at least does not involve lawyers.
4) No compromise
If the other party doesn’t seem interested in reaching some kind of compromise, they could basically tell you that the ball will stay in your court to escalate matters. Likewise, if you take a non-compromising position, don’t be surprised if you’re served sooner rather than later with a suit.
5) Your contract was poorly drafted
This isn’t so much a sign as a cause, but if your agreement regulating your relationship with the party that you may end up in litigation with has not been well drafted or left unanswered a lot of questions, this is almost a guaranteed ticket to the court. If your contract does not address what happens if one party fails to keep their end of the deal, you could end up losing out on monies owed or a product or service that was promised to you.
Seeing these indications for what they really are–big warning signs of litigation approaching–can help you plan for the litigation or try to prevent the train before it gets too far. Clients are often caught off guard by a lawsuit when the warning signs were there all the time in reality and they were unable or unwilling to see them. But you have a good chance of weathering the storm with much less stress and expense by being prepared.
Naturally, a competent counsel with experience in business transactions is a must, not just at the stage of litigation. A well-drafted contract or agreement can easily avoid many situations which in the first place would otherwise lead to litigation. Let the Law Office of Jack R. Sturgill take the burden of legal matters off of your shoulders. Contact us today and set up a free consultation.