Small Business Litigation
Any business can be sued for any reason. Whether someone will prevail is an open question. While you can do many things to prevent a lawsuit you cannot control when a lawsuit will be filed against you. The more business and revenues you have the more likely you will be sued. Insurance may or may not be available or obtained to protect your interests. You need to protect yourself to the maximum extent possible. Try not to take the lawsuit personally even if the allegations are against you personally. Do what you can to aggressively defend yourself. Lawsuits are about money. People want to get compensation.
Very small cases (Under $10,000)
In California the Small Claims Court allows cases up to a maximum of $10,000.00 Not all cases are covered but most are and you do not need an attorney. It is best to have some legal advice but you do not need an attorney in most cases.
Small Cases ($10,000 to $25,000)
Cases where damages are $10,000 to $25,000 can be just as complex as a million dollar case but the issue is the legal fees necessary to defend yourself or your business. In these cases strategy is very important. You need to have a cost benefit analysis to determine how much time and money you want to put into a case where the legal fees could easily exceed the settlement or trial amount. If you are the defendant you do not control what the plaintiff will do in pursuing the lawsuit.
Medium cases ($25,000 to $250,000)
Similar to small cases they can be just as complex as a large case but the legal fees necessary are more justifiable as these cases tend to proceed further to a settlement, Arbitration or trial. These cases usually require you to proceed past the pleading stage and a minimum of discovery before resolution. Every case is different. You must have a strategy that gets you the best outcome possible. You need to know the risks as you proceed.
Large cases (Over $250,000)
These cases tend to involve more motions, more discovery and more legal fees because the valuation and risk is so high. If you defend a $40,000 case and lose you usually lose $40,000 plus potentially costs and in some cases attorney fees. In a $500,000 case your losses can be greater and so it’s more important to spend more in legal fees.
For information on how a lawsuit proceeds please see Legal Procedure – The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein
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