To Go to Court...or Not: When Your Business Should and Should Not Litigate

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Attorney Jack Garson discusses when to take your opponent to court, and when to hold back

Jack Garson, Founder of Garson | Claxton LLC

When deciding whether to take a case to court, it is best to keep in mind what is good for the business overall.

Litigation is a nightmare for many businesses. The resources required to fight battles in court have steeply increased, and courtroom drama has lost its glamour. It is best to avoid litigation altogether in most cases, except under the right circumstances. When does fighting it out make sense?

In his latest Huffington Post article, “To Court, or Not to Court,” attorney Jack Garson discusses the litigation process, and how to prepare for trial if it is absolutely necessary.

● Reality Check: Taking a case to court takes an inordinate amount of time, money and effort from some of the most important people in a company. Even a quick litigation process usually spans six months to over a year in the legal world. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by paperwork and tasks.

● Why Fight? Settlement negotiations might fail. If you are the party being sued, stakes are high or the opposition is not open to a reasonable settlement out of court, you have no choice but to go to war.

● Alternatives: Attempting to negotiate with an opponent is usually the best first response. Mediation and arbitration are also substitutes for litigation, and they require fewer resources. Arbitration is binding, while mediation is not; both are systematic processes designed to elicit a speedier, less expensive solution than a court trial.

● Practice Pointers: If you do find yourself in the middle of court proceedings, there are still ways to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Hiring a well-versed attorney, having realistic goals and setting aside the time to gather necessary resources will all help make trial less complicated.

Moving forward, make sure your contracts are ironclad and include provisions for dispute resolution. Frivolous lawsuits can be avoided if protocol for conflict resolution is already addressed before problems even arise.

When deciding whether to take a case to court, it is best to keep in mind what is good for the business overall. Think carefully about the expenses, time and distractions brought on by litigation, and whether it will be worth the trouble in the end.

To read Jack Garson’s entire article, “To Court, or Not to Court,” visit the Huffington Post.

For media interviews with Jack Garson on this and other business-related topics, please contact Marc Silverstein at 202-716-9123 or marc[at]onthemarcmedia[dot]com.

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