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Business Law - Litigation Should Be a Last Option

"Discourgage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good [person]. There will still be business enough."

- Abraham Lincoln, Notes for a Law Lecture.

"I was never but twice; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one."

- Voltaire

Most lawsuits are between two or more businesses. In today's business world, litigation is a fact of life. This means that you - as a business owner - will face the choice of filing suit to protect your business interests or your business will be sued by another business or you will have problems with your business partners or employees.

The litigation process is an important part of our democratic process, but anyone who does business in the rest of the world will quickly explain that it is our judicial process which gives stability to our capitalistic system of business. The judicial system of our country can and does work. Unfortunately, it is an expensive and time-consuming process that is not for the faint of heart.

When litigation becomes a reality, business owners should turn to lawyers who are experienced business litigators. Not every lawyer has the experience to handle the complexities and nuances of a business dispute. So how do business owners select an attorney for their business dispute? What should business look for in selecting a business litigation lawyer?

There are some observations that we share with all of our clients before they become involved in any lawsuit:

  • Litigation is not good business. It is expensive and time-consuming. The results are uncertain and a successful result cannot be guaranteed. There are many things that can happen in a lawsuit which will determine the outcome, not all of which can be anticipated. Witnesses may die or change their stories. Evidence must be properly preserved and presented according to strict rules of evidence and procedures.
  • Litigation consumes your time, energy, resources and money that could be spent in further developing your business.
  • Most every civil lawsuit settles before or during trial. But the trick is to posture your case in order to get the best possible settlement. That requires negotiation skills and an understanding of the court system.
  • And, there are no guaranteed result in any lawsuit. The best lawyers only commit to doing their best and are committed to representing the best interests of their clients.

At Bellas & Wachowski we advocate an aggressive litigation approach for our clients since strength deters frivolous claims and unreasonable litigation tactics by the other side. But, we also know that our clients are best served by attempting to settle their disputes as soon as possible. It is in everyone's best interests to settle disputes early in the process. This saves resources that are better spent on the business. This is why we encourage our clients to constantly explore the possibility of an alternative dispute resolution process (such as mediation or arbitration) to settle the case. It may not always be possible to settle the case early, if at all, for a number of reasons. The biggest hurdle we encounter is that people sometimes have unreasonable expectations or the parties have not been able to get to the stage emotionally where settlement is possible. Litigation is not where a party should seek revenge and justice is an elusive concept.

The litigation experience of your lawyer should be a major factor in making this decision. Not every lawyer has the experience you may need to best serve your interests. That is where we are different. The Chicago business litigation lawyers of Bellas and Wachowski have the experience and knowledge to assist business owners with complex business litigation issues. We have successfully represented business owners in disputes ranging from breach of contract cases to violations of international joint venture agreements. We have also helped settle numerous disputes. George Bellas was a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, is a certified mediator for the 7th Circuit d-Discovery Committee and has mediated complex disputes. Contact George Bellas at 847.823.9032 or george@bellas-wachowski.com to discuss your business dispute.