What Litigation May Look Like For You

Entrepreneurs and business owners must dedicate time and resources to mitigating litigation risk. The number of threats they account for can be significant, but it is a financially worthwhile endeavor to prevent issues rather than react to them. For instance, you may be required to contact a business litigation attorney when your intellectual property is being misused or when you have a contractual dispute with one of your third-party vendors. Internally, there’s the potential for employee, partner, or shareholder disputes. 

Those who have never experienced a lawsuit may harbor specific anxiety about the process. Although it is stressful and emotional—even when the lawsuit's basis is frivolous—it becomes even more so when you don’t know what to expect. The following is an example of what the litigation process in Florida might look like for you.

What Happens in What Order?

Imagine running an office and hiring a contractor to remodel a portion of it. You sign a service contract that details the scope of work, the costs, and the timeline of when the contractor must complete the job. To use a deliberately egregious example, the contractor begins the project and never returns. While you are trying to get a hold of the contractor, they send you a bill for the work they did do. When you refuse to pay it, they file a lawsuit against you. 

The first step of the process is the plaintiff (the contractor) filing a complaint against you, the defendant. You will be served when you receive the complaint and a summons. This is when you contact a business litigation attorney if you haven’t already done so. Your attorney has limited time to respond to the complaint, so it is in your best interest to be active. Another important consideration is that failing to answer the complaint could result in a default judgment against you. Your legal counsel may choose to file a counterclaim against the plaintiff. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t automatically put you on the offensive. 

Then the discovery phase begins, which is why keeping detailed records of your interactions with the contractor is paramount. During discovery, the parties involved in the lawsuit exchange documents, people get questioned under oath, and sworn written statements get submitted. The vast majority of these cases will never make it to court. The attorneys may work out a settlement, or one party may file a motion due to something that surfaces during discovery, such as definitive evidence that the contractor failed to uphold their end of the contractually agreed upon terms. If your case isn’t dismissed, settled, or resolved through mediation, a court will issue a judgment to resolve the dispute.  

Cueto Law Group will Represent Your Business

Our highly-skilled attorneys represent businesses regarding civil complaints, commercial litigation (internationally, too), and breaches of contract. These cases can become legally complex and nuanced. You must speak to a business litigation attorney when you learn you are involved in a dispute that could develop into civil litigation. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.