Think Settlement of Your Commercial Litigation Case from the Start
In New York State, only approximately 3 percent of all cases filed in Supreme Court are disposed of after a trial. If you have a business dispute, your goal is to come to a resolution as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. If you have been involved in a lawsuit before, I am sure you know why this makes sense.
As an attorney, one of my responsibilities is to discuss with you the costs of a lawsuit. The basic costs of a lawsuit may include the following:
- Court Costs
- Attorney Fees
- Expert Witness Fees
- Court Reporters
There are emotional and economic costs to you and your company as well. You are going to have to come to my office and meet with me. If you have an employee who has intricate knowledge of the case, they need to be available. Your time is finite. The meeting that you could have conducted regarding a new marketing initiative is now centered on litigation. Let’s face it, litigation is not kind on your nerves.
After doing a basic cost benefit analysis, eventually you will likely settle. Litigation could take years. Key witnesses may be unavailable. The costs of a lawsuit may simply be too high.
That’s why it is vital to have a discussion with your attorney to discuss strategy. This would include an analysis of what would be best theory of the case so you can position your argument in a way that we can settle your case for the right price.
You should start the process as early as possible. Here a couple of items to get your thought process flowing:
- Put pen to paper (if you still use paper) and simply write the facts of the case. Think of all of strengths and weaknesses of your case.
- Identify anyone who has knowledge of the case. Anyone means anyone. From your secretary to the salesperson who executed the agreement.
- View your adversary. Does your opponent have deep pockets? If so, it would be wise to settle early.
- Think about your true intentions of starting a lawsuit. Are you looking for money or is it personal?
- Estimate the correct amount that you think that you are entitled to. If you are being sued, think about how large a verdict can you expect.
Be aware that settlement is not a sign that you are caving in. You are doing yourself a disservice by not giving it a thought from the start.
The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson represents plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation in New York. If you have a question, feel free to call me at 212-233-066.