IF YOUR BUSINESS WAS SLAMMED WITH A LAWSUIT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

In over 6 years of experience as a lawyer, i know for a fact that resolving disputes through court proceedings can be tedious, time and money consuming if not properly managed.
Few months ago, i was approached by a client with a court process asking him to appear in court in regards to a suit that had been filed against him. Apparently, the dispute arose from a business transaction between my client and the other party.
From the little i knew about him, i knew for a fact that he didn’t have the luxury of time neither could his business afford such money to defend himself in court. But interestingly, his purpose of seeing me was to ask me to represent him as his counsel for as long as the case would last in court!
During our conversation, i made enquiries to find out for myself what could have led to a suit been filed against him.
As I pressed further, i discovered the true reason behind it all! A simple miscommunication between my client and the person who had taken him to court! Can you believe it?
Armed with this information, i made him see why resolving the pending dispute through litigation wasn’t a suitable option. I made him realize that there were other less formal but lawfully recognized methods of resolving disputes of such nature.
By the end of our meeting, he was eager to have this matter settled amicably and as quickly as possible.?
My next task was to device a means to bring the other party to the same table with us. I must confess, it wasn’t easy during my first attempt. But when he became convinced on how genuine we were, he was open to dispose his case in court.
With my supervision both parties were able to reach an agreement on a win-win basis before the next court date! ? We had the other party inform the court of the development, and of course the court gladly sent us home with their blessings?.
Now here’s what i loved about this incident;
i. My client spent far less than he would have spent if i had accepted to represent him throughout the duration of court proceedings. ii. Everything was handled on strict confidentiality. iii. Even better, as far as i know, both of them are still on the best of terms!
Don’t get me wrong, litigation isn’t a bad option! In fact, there are instances where it may be an only option.
But where you have a lawfully recognized, convenient, less formal, time sensitive and cost effective option of settling legal disputes as against litigation, which would you prefer as a business owner?
Think about it.

Cynthia Tishion
Cynthia is a lawyer and currently serves as Head of Corporate / Commercial Services at LEX – PRAXIS. With her passion for business and entrepreneurship, she is actively engaged in creating awareness on the legal aspect of businesses through various platforms such as writing, public speaking engagements.

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