What Steps Should I Take to Protect My Company If I Am Being Sued?
If you are served with a summons and complaint, commonly referred to as a lawsuit, the papers will include information on who is suing you, what is being alleged and the venue where the lawsuit is pending. Once you’ve been served with the papers, the most critical first step is to contact my office right away. If you fail to act, the claimant can often in as little as 20 or 30 days obtain a default judgment against you. This means they file an additional motion with the court and point out that you didn’t respond within the time allowed under the rules. Therefore, regarding whatever amount of money they are alleging you owe them, or any other relief that they are seeking from the court, they will ask the court for orders granting that relief and for entering the judgment against you for money damages and anything else they want. If you ignore that, they will have a judgment against you and they can start collection on that judgment. They can file liens against real estate you own, garnish your bank accounts, and they can attach to other assets. You don’t want to ignore the lawsuit when it happens. Obviously, you want to hire legal counsel but, if it gets to that point, it may be too late to do some things to better protect your assets.
If you, for example, try to retitle assets of your company or your entity, those things are going to be viewed very suspiciously by the court. The plaintiff will likely allege that you are just doing that in an illegal and an unlawful manner to try to defraud or hinder a legitimate creditor. There may be some things that you can do but wholesale retitling of assets is not recommended. What is recommended is that you start working with my office early on, and we begin defending you from this action in any way we can within the confines of the law. We will investigate. We will want to see whatever your files reflect and if there are legitimate grounds for you to dispute what’s going on either in whole or in part.
That’s what we will help you do and we encourage people to use this type of defense because it’s legitimate and it’s your right under the law to have the court hear your side of the story.
What Are Some Alternatives to Litigation In Business Disputes?
There are many alternatives to litigation but the biggest are mediation and arbitration. Litigation is sort of a descriptive word for filing a lawsuit that traditionally happens in a state or federal court that has jurisdiction over the parties or over the matter. Mediation and arbitration are generally done outside the confines of the formal court system. In Colorado, for example, if parties have agreed ahead of time to go into arbitration should a dispute arise between them, the arbitration can take place and then that arbitrator will enter what’s called an award or an order. The arbitrator’s order will have the same or similar effect as if a judge in a District Court in Colorado had entered it.
In other words, if the arbitrator finds that a plaintiff is owed a set amount of money by the defendant, for example $10,000, the arbitrator can enter an order to that effect. The plaintiff in the case can then go to the local Colorado District Court and ask for enforcement of that order by the district court. In most circumstances the courts tend to favor the process of arbitration. One of the reasons that arbitration has become so popular over the years is because a lot of courts have a big backlog of cases and are always looking to encourage the parties to settle or to find a remedy that is outside the court system. If the parties agree to do that they can do whatever they want to try to come to closure or some rendering of a decision outside of the traditional courts, especially in business litigation and civil disputes.
In civil cases it is very common that businesses will go to arbitration if there is some sort of dispute.
For more information on Remedial Steps For A Business Lawsuit, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 870-8492 today.
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