How to Defend a Civil Lawsuit Like an Experienced Business Lawyer
No matter what the situation, an ounce of lawsuit prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure. The best way for small business owners to deal with the threat of lawsuits is to tackle potential liability risks head-on. Experienced Business Lawyers are worth their weight in gold.
There are some things small business owners do every day that could be increasing the risk of a future lawsuit, and eliminating those dangers can go a long way. Here are a few simple things small business owners can do to reduce their legal liabilities and their risk of costly lawsuits.
Failure to research applicable laws and regulations has tripped up many a business owner.
Being blindsided by the law is always a bad thing, and it can put small business owners on the losing side of a lawsuit. No matter what business type or niche, small business owners should familiarise themselves with applicable laws and industry regulations and make sure they are meeting both the letter and the spirit, of the law.
Stick to the tasks you know best
It is easy for business owners to try to do it all, but handling unfamiliar tasks or tackling jobs for which they are not qualified can increase the risk of an accident and a resulting lawsuit. Delegating those tasks to individuals with the requisite skills may cost more upfront, but it could save the small business owner a bundle in the long run.
Put it in writing. Dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s”
Being sloppy about contracts can also put small business owners at risk, so pay careful attention to the paperwork and make sure it’s being prepared by a legal professional. Once again, using a lawyer to draw up simple contracts may cost more upfront, but quality legal advice could head off potential lawsuits later.
Get insurance coverage
Insurance that covers your legal exposure (including public liability) is a given for most small business owners. It’s something you hope you will never need to call upon, but if you have the need then you will be much further ahead if you have the insurance coverage.
Simple Steps to Hiring the Right Lawyer for Your Business
When you’re in business, it’s vital that you find the right lawyer a legal expert who can provide practical, useful, effective advice and represent your interests in the best possible way. There are many areas where a good attorney can help your small business, but how do you find the right one?
- Understanding what you need the lawyer to do
- Getting recommendations and referrals
- Preparing to interview the lawyers
- Establishing expertise Communication and delivery
- Finding someone you trust
- Interviewing your shortlist Establishing terms, conditions and price
Hire the right lawyer
The benefits of hiring an experienced property and qualified lawyer include:
- Having more confidence that your business is in safe hands
- Getting clear, practical legal advice on the things that matter to you and your business
- Building up a good relationship with your chosen legal advisor
- Reassurance that legal issues and challenges will be dealt with effectively
So now you know the importance of hiring the right lawyer, how do you go about finding one?
Step 1: Understand what you need the lawyer to do
Think about exactly what skills and services you need an attorney to provide to your small business. Look at each area of your business, speak with colleagues and get advice from people in similar fields.
Areas where you might want legal help include:
- Intellectual property, patent and copyright law
- Contracts, terms and conditions
- Hiring and HR practices
- Trademarks and brand protection
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Other areas
Note down the key areas or issues where you or your business would benefit from good legal advice. You can use your business plan, risk analysis, marketing plan and other business documents to explore areas where a lawyer could help.
Step 2: Get recommendations and referrals from others; shortlist the best fit.
Speak to colleagues and contacts in your networks, industry and other connections that you have. See if they have used lawyers themselves and if there are any local law firms that they would recommend. When you speak with people, find out what the legal results were and how individual lawyers performed; this will help you to create a shortlist of legal experts that you can interview
Step 3: Prepare to interview lawyers to find the best fit
Now you’ve shortlisted some candidates, you can start preparing to the interview stage. You need to be sure that any attorney that you end up hiring is going to be a good fit for your business. You can accomplish this by asking the right questions, following your instincts on who you could work with and understand their skills and experience.
You should create a list of areas and questions that you want to ask, including finding out their legal expertise, their experience in your required field, their communication skills and most importantly finding someone that you can trust and rely upon.
Running your own small business can be very satisfying, and (hopefully) quite profitable, but it is very important to recognize your risks and be prepared for them.
Small businesses will always be the target of legal action, and simply being in business puts you at risk. Even so, these things can reduce the liability risks inherent in your field.