When a small business or individual is confronted with a business problem that appears headed for court, The Babcock Law Firm can help. You may find yourself in the middle of a dispute over a business breakup, or a disputed interpretation of a contract or other agreement, a construction dispute, a real estate ordinance problem with a local government, or another type of business case. The Babcock Law Firm has the experience with these types of disputes to help you protect your legal rights and attempt to resolve the dispute in the most business-like manner possible.
Do any of the following problems sound familiar to you?
- Maybe the contract was not as complete as it could have been.
- The contract was clear, but your counterpart failed to perform as promised and now you need to determine what remedies you have and take steps to protect your interests.
- Your former partners aren’t acting reasonably anymore and quit acting like true partners a while ago. Now you need to try to salvage your capital investment or what is left of your business without them.
- You had been working with that business partner for several years and everything had always worked fine before on a handshake, but that was before this time, and now your business hangs in the balance.
- There were several parties involved, one behaved badly (and also became insolvent), and now there’s a question of whether liability would extend to one of the other parties in the transaction.
- Your remodeling job has landed you in a painful dispute with the local government over ordinance violations and seemingly ever-changing requirements from government officials over the construction work taking place at your business or home.
The first step we will take is to evaluate the potential causes of action that could be pursued by the parties in court, and the viability of those claims and any defenses to them.
Where appropriate, that may include thinking through some legal theories that are off the beaten track, if potentially beneficial. Sometimes, creative thinking can be helpful to a case. At other times, pursing such ideas can prove to be a sinkhole of wasted effort and money. The trick is knowing the difference, and that is where we can provide guidance and legal advice about the viability of the case and the claims within it.
One of the most important things we do for our clients in these cases is realistically assess the risks and benefits. This is particularly true in business cases where dollars and cents should provide the parties with a basis for resolving their case, in contrast to other types of litigation where valuing the case is often more subjective. As a rule, the parties to a business litigation dispute should be able to resolve their cases short of trial. The same may not be true in a personal injury case, where the loss of a limb, for example, can create valuation problems that need to be resolved by a jury.
Consequently, the focus of my practice in business cases is to help provide a clear-eyed view of potential legal exposure for the client and opposing parties in the case. Only after a frank discussion and understanding of these issues can we work together to chart an appropriate legal strategy.
Sometimes in these cases, we see headstrong parties and their lawyers who are unable or unwilling to level with them and provide them with sound, objective counsel regarding the likely outcomes of certain litigation tactics or behavior. That state of affairs is unacceptable at our firm and we won’t practice law on that basis.
Rather, one of our principles in these cases is to provide that dose of reality where it is needed, and to not work with a business person who is too stubborn to understand that the reason they are hiring a lawyer is to get his independent counsel, and that they should listen to that advice and work through the problem with their attorney, not reject it out of hand and insist on a legal course which, while permissible, is clearly unsound or ultimately unwise and will cost the client in the long run.
The Babcock Law Firm has the experience that can help you identify whether a particular legal claim in the case is vulnerable to a potentially case-ending motion in court. We will work together to make a plan for the case to help resolve your business case in a cost-effective manner. That can often mean thorough preparation and taking several depositions of the principal decisionmakers involved in the dispute, which may reveal likely outcomes to the parties and allow for an out of court resolution.
The problem here is that “thorough preparation” can sound like it will cost a lot of money, and rightly so. This is where a frank discussion between client and counsel can make all the difference. In many business disputes, a great deal more money may ultimately be at stake, and the case will need to be investigated and tested through discovery to determine the true value and exposure for the parties. To scrimp on this step is a false economy, and an honest reckoning between client and counsel will make this apparent. Of course, in any case, the methods used will need to be consistent with size and scope of the problem.
At other times, those depositions may show the way forward for the basis on which to resolve the case favorably with a summary judgment motion presented to the court, saving the expense of a trial. In our experience, it is unusual for a business dispute to require a jury trial, and such an outcome typically indicates that one or both parties are acting emotionally rather than in a business-like manner. You can trust The Babcock Law Firm for trusted legal advice regarding your business dispute. Contact or call (912) 574-7575 to schedule your consultation today.