If your Georgia business is dealing with people and money, chances are, at some point, you will also be dealing with a lawsuit. You may have taken every possible step to avoid it. Your contracts are solid, and your employees have received comprehensive training. Nevertheless, you are now defending your company in civil court.
Whether the plaintiff is a customer, a supplier or another business, you have a lot at stake. Any lawsuit will take time and money from your business, so you want to do your part to move things along efficiently and effectively. It may help to know some of the steps you can take to be proactive.
How your attorney can assist you
You may feel you know your business and the elements of the claim well enough to handle the matter yourself. However, having a skilled attorney on your side can benefit you in many ways, including these:
- Reviewing the lawsuit documents for accuracy and technical errors that may work in your favor
- Responding to the lawsuit and meeting court deadlines
- Handling all communication between your company and your opponent
- Helping you understand the nature and scope of the claim
- Offering several alternatives for the most cost-effective and least damaging method of proceeding
- Advising you on the possibility of filing a counterclaim, if relevant
- Filing motions that may benefit your case, such as a motion for discovery or a motion to dismiss.
While your attorney handles the details of your case, you can continue to focus on your business and its future. This will also help you to see the lawsuit in relation to the big picture, which may prevent you from pursuing the matter out of pride or anger when it may be better to settle.
Your attorney will likely advise you on how your business should proceed while the lawsuit is underway. For example, you may have to suspend any routine document destruction, prohibit email deletions or take other steps to preserve evidence that may be useful during the trial. You should also contact your business' insurance company to see what your policy will cover.
You and your attorney will have much to discuss, including how you intend to respond to the case. Your counsel may advise you to work toward an out-of-court settlement or encourage you to aggressively defend yourself or even countersue. Obtaining as much information about the potential outcome of each option is a wise step.