Although it can be tempting to say, “See you in court,” when you have a business dispute, it is often to your advantage to try to reach an agreement with the other side rather than filing a lawsuit. Being involved in a disagreement with a client, customer, vendor, or competitor can feel a bit like trying to pick your way through a minefield.
A South Carolina litigation dispute attorney can help you navigate the process of dealing with these situations and advise you on settlement strategies. Here are some suggestions on resolving South Carolina business disputes out of court:
Tips on Settling Business Disputes Without Going to Court
When you try to avoid going to court to have a judge decide the matter, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Create a paper trail throughout the negotiation process. Email is an easy way to do this. You do not want to have the other side back out of an agreement or try to force you to accept different terms than you agreed to in the negotiations. Telephone calls are only useful if you back them up in writing, like emailing the other side and asking them to confirm the terms of the agreement that you specify in the email. Doing all of the deal-making in writing is a better approach.
- Have an attorney draft a formal document that contains all the terms of the agreement. South Carolina law requires specific items to be in a contract for the paper to be enforceable. If an attorney drafts the agreement, you should not have to worry about whether a judge will rule in your favor if the other side breaches the terms of the document.
- Consider having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf, particularly if you think that the other side is working with a lawyer on the matter. Although no one knows your business as well as you do, you might not know the law as well as an attorney. When the other side is getting legal advice, you should do the same. The other side might try to get away with less-than-honorable tactics if you do not have a lawyer looking out for you.
Depending on your situation, you might need to take additional measures to protect your interests.
Reasons to Try to Settle Business Disputes Out of Court
You can save yourself money and reach a quicker resolution if you can reach an agreement instead of going to court. Here are some additional factors that might persuade you to try to resolve the matter amicably:
- Preserve the business relationship. If the party on the other side is a long-term client or you want the relationship to continue after the dispute is over, an out-of-court resolution can do less damage to the situation than adversarial litigation.
- Keep business disputes out of the public eye. When you file papers with the court, they become public record. Most business people would prefer to keep the story out of the media when things do not go smoothly.
- The risk of a counterclaim. Sometimes, the person who gets sued has a valid counterclaim that ends up costing the person who filed the lawsuit more money than they sought in the case.
A South Carolina business attorney can advocate for you in business disputes and try to reach an amicable resolution of the differences. When a conflict does not settle, the lawyer can file a lawsuit to go after the justice you deserve. Contact our office today.