Business litigation lawyer in Alexandria, VA
No business is immune to litigation and often some type of litigation is common and the cost of doing business. Whether you are collecting unpaid bills or defending your business against slip and fall cases, every business needs a business litigation lawyer to help resolve any issues.
A business is seen as a separate entity from its owners. Therefore, whenever a business is suing or being sued, they require an authorized representative to appear on its behalf. Most states do not allow business owners to represent a business in court. You will need a business litigation lawyer Alexandria, VA, or else the case will be dismissed or your business will suffer a default judgment.
The requirement to have a business litigation lawyer on hand may scare some businesses but the benefits significantly outweigh the costs. A business litigation attorney is experienced and knowledgeable enough to protect your business from windfall slip and fall customers and skilled enough to recover money from customers that refuse to pay their tab. Business litigation lawyers also help you maintain contracts and ensure smooth operation between your business and its vendors.
The most typical cases businesses end up litigating are:
- Breach of Contract Cases
- Recovery of unpaid invoices
- Disputes with vendors/delivery of goods and services
- Commercial leasing issues
- Vicarious liability cases
- Employment disputes
What’s the average timeline for a business litigation case? (new content)
The average timeline for a business litigation case can vary in each situation and circumstance. After all, cases such as a disagreement between business partners or shareholders can often be resolved through settlements or mediation and won’t need to go to court while more serious cases may require court. As a whole, though there are typically five main phases of a business litigation case:
- Demand letter: The first step is usually either sending or receiving a demand letter from the other party. A demand letter will detail the issues the other party has and usually offer some sort of resolution. Essentially, the demand letter is a way to resolve a case amicably without getting lawyers or the courts involved.
- Complaint: After the demand letter the now plaintiff will file a complaint against the defendant. The complaint is similar to the demand letter as it details the problem(s) the plaintiff has with the other party, but it now holds legal weight. After this, the defendant will have 21 days to respond to the complaint and file an answer addressing the complaint’s concerns.
- The discovery phase: The discovery phase can sometimes be quite extensive as it involves both parties gathering enough evidence to prove their argument. Some of these methods for gathering evidence can range from producing documents that detail their own account of the events, interrogations of any parties that may be involved, gathering a list of witnesses that can testify, gathering any documents that can act as evidence (such as receipts, bank statements, photographic evidence, etc.), depositions, etc. Not only is this phase crucial for gathering evidence, but is also crucial for understanding the other party’s argument.
- Trial: Although it’s often the goal to settle a case before it can go to trial, sometimes it’s unavoidable. The trial will either go before a judge or a jury.
How to handle a business litigation case?
Whether you’ve been hit with a demand letter or complaint or are planning to file one there are some things to keep in mind that can help you win your case. To begin with, seeking a resolution before the case can go to trial is something that can be considered. Even if you don’t think you’re in the wrong methods such as employing mediation between parties and trying to reach a reasonable settlement outside the courtroom is a good idea. Of course, sometimes reaching a settlement might not be on the table either due to the other party being unreasonable or because you have a strong enough argument to dispute their claims.
If you decide that reaching a settlement isn’t the right path then you’ll want to gather as much evidence as you can to back up your case. Although your business litigation lawyer can assist you with this, it’s never a bad idea to get the process rolling. This may include anything from official documentation, witnesses’ testimonies, your own personal written account of events, etc. It’s crucial to include any detail you can even if it seems unimportant. Your lawyer will then look over the evidence you’ve gathered and help you determine what’s important and what’s not.
How much does a business litigation lawyer cost?
Each business litigation lawyer has their own fees. Often times you will be paying by the hour making long and complex cases more expensive than simple breach of contract cases. Typically, the hourly rate of a business litigation lawyer ranges between $200-$1000 depending on the experience of the lawyer.
Some business litigation lawyers will offer an ongoing retainer with your business. Typically, this is a monthly payment agreement wherein the lawyer will handle all of your business’s legal issues for that flat monthly price. This is, in the long run, the most cost-effective way to retain a lawyer for your business as you will have the commitment and expertise of having a full-time lawyer without having to hire in-house counsel.
Keep Your Documents
As a business litigation lawyer Alexandria, VA residents trust at Mughal Law Firm PLLC explains, even when there are times without litigation, companies still have to keep certain documents and keep them organized. If your business has recently faced a lawsuit, it is imperative that you do not destroy any paperwork that could be associated with the other party’s allegations against you. Your lawyer will likely ask for copies of documents relevant to the case, so they can get a better idea of what the situation is and how they can best help you. If you destroy documentation on purpose, it may result in further legal ramifications for your company.
Do Not Contact Party Directly
You may want to contact the other party who filed the lawsuit against you, in an attempt to hopefully resolve the situation before it escalates. As your Alexandria business litigation lawyer may advise, refrain from doing so. After a lawsuit has been filed, the time to find a solution for the allegations has already passed. All communications between you and the other party should only occur through your legal representatives. Keep in mind that the conversations you have between you and your lawyer are confidential, however, what you say to another person involved in the lawsuit may be subject to discovery.
Contact Insurance Agent
You may want to check your business insurance policy to see if you have coverage for the kind of lawsuit your company is facing. If your business has insurance, then call your agent for more details on what this covers exactly. You may not want to inform your insurance about the lawsuit out of fear of increased premiums, but litigation is costly too, and you have insurance for a reason. Your insurance company can let you know what you can do during this time to protect yourself and your business while absorbing some of the financial burdens that may arise from defending a lawsuit.
Create a Business Defense Strategy
After finding a reputable lawyer and gathering the necessary documentation, you can start to work with your legal team to devise an effective strategy that will defend your business. Your lawyer will review the facts at hand and carefully scrutinize the allegations made against you in the lawsuit. Depending on the case, your lawyer may suggest offering a settlement that would reduce the progression of the lawsuit, while saving your business valuable time and monetary resources. Every lawsuit is different, and no two strategies for litigation are the same. The defense strategy can change as the lawsuit moves forward and more proof is presented by each side.
Do Not Combat This Alone
You should never try to deal with a business lawsuit on your own. The second that you realize your company has been served with a lawsuit is the time to contact a law firm that is knowledgeable in handling cases like these. While you may have friends and others who want to offer advice and insight into their own experience with litigation, remember that each case will vary from another. What may have worked for someone you know, may not be the same that works for you now. Let your Alexandria business litigation lawyer assess your situation and guide you from there.
Need a business litigation lawyer?
It is necessary for you to be prepared for the worst in order to have a successful business. Therefore, having a business litigation lawyer in the best of times may make the worst of times more tolerable.
That’s why you should have a competent business litigation lawyer to handle all of your business’s legal needs, for litigation and for everyday operations. Turn to Mughal Law Firm for your business lawyer where we are committed to your success.