My Business Has Been Sued. What Now?
The complaint arrives on your desk and your mind begins reeling. Your business is being sued. What you do in the next 24 hours is critically important. There’s no time to wait. Take action immediately.
Contact your Colorado business lawyer & respond to the complaint
There are response deadlines at stake and the clock is ticking. Typically, you and your attorney have about 20 days to respond to the charges in the complaint. Even if you believe the charges are trumped up and that no court would take them seriously, you can’t afford to ignore them or put them on the back burner. Failure to respond can ultimately result in the court issuing a default judgment in favor of your opponent. Since a timely response is critical, get the complaint in your lawyer’s hands as soon as possible.
Following a response, you’ll begin the discovery phase of the litigation process. This is when you gather information from any employees who may have relevant background to share about the situation. You also begin assembling any documents related to the allegations, and then send all this information to your lawyer for use and safekeeping.
The discovery phase of the lawsuit accounts for the bulk of the litigation process. Discovery continues in one form or another throughout the entire legal proceedings until judgment is made and appeals exhausted. It can involve gathering written responses to your attorney’s questions, the taking of depositions and the production of documents to support your case.
Mediation, arbitration or trial
Work with your attorney to see if there is anyway the dispute can be resolved through mediation or arbitration so you avoid a costly, time-consuming trial.
It you and your attorney are unable to reach an out-of-court resolution with the plaintiff, your attorney will most likely make a motion to the court to dismiss all or part of the case. If the judge looks at the motion and determines that the plaintiff has virtually no chance of winning the case, it is likely that he or she will dismiss the case. If your attorney is unable to get a dismissal, your case will go to trial. The case may be heard before a judge, but either the plaintiff or defendant can choose to have the case decided by a jury.
Deciding to request a jury is an important decision that can dramatically impact the outcome of your case. It is wise to rely on the instincts and experience of your attorney in making this decision. One fact to keep in mind is that while jury awards are frequently overturned on appeal, it is a rare event for a judge’s decision to be set aside by a higher court.
Contact an experienced business lawyer for help
Choosing a lawyer experienced in Colorado business law gives you the best chance of reaching a satisfactory outcome to your case. The business attorneys at Robinson & Henry will be your strong and able ally through discovery process, around the negotiation table and, if necessary, in a Colorado or federal court room. To discuss your legal needs, call 303-688-0944 for a free initial assessment.