For business owners, there aren't many things more terrifying than the thought of a lawsuit. Fortunately, there are steps you can take before a legal dispute arises, to ensure you are in the best possible position for a positive outcome. Proper preparation can save your business tens of thousands of dollars, as well as a great deal of stress on you, the business owner. Before you get tangled up in litigation take these important steps:
- DOCUMENT EVERYTHING: If a lawsuit is filed against your business and you are forced into a he said/she said situation, then you are likely to face an up-hill battle, which makes it much more difficult for your business attorney to protect your interests. Make it a habit to document not only the agreements but also communications with employees, vendors, and anyone else with whom you do important business. All employee policies, management policies, and meetings should also be well documented. Some of the important points to cover in your documentation include: what occurred, when it occurred, who was involved, and the nature of the event or discussion. Having this information in writing can vastly shorten any legal battle and can even prevent a lawsuit from arising in many situations since the documentary evidence may not support the opposing parties' case and they can be informed of this prior to filing a suit.
- MAKE USE OF YOUR CALENDAR: Your calendar is more than just pretty pictures or an app on your smartphone. Use it for what it is intended by notating any business related events such as: appointments, meetings and other scheduled activities which relate to your business. As you schedule new tasks, it is typically best to include who you will be meeting with, the subject of the meeting, reference related documents, as well as the anticipated start and end time of the meeting. These simple steps can strengthen your case by providing a day to day reference to the relevant events.
- BE ORGANIZED: Keeping your file system neat and accessible is key since all the documentation in the world doesn't help if you can't find it when you need it. Maintain copies of everything, in chronological order, even if it is only in draft form. Retaining drafts of negotiated agreements can show a trier of fact what, if anything, has been added or deleted from the documents which typically goes to show the intent of the parties, as well as what happened and when it happened, which can be the difference between winning or losing your case.
Contact the Attorneys at Gehres Law Group
If you are in need of assistance in preparing for a lawsuit, learning how to prevent one, or if one has already arisen, contact the attorneys at Gehres Law Group, P.C. today and find out what we can do to help you.