There are many times when the best course of action for a business litigation matter is to stay out of court. If your claim is questionable or if litigation could cost you more than you would gain if you prevailed in your lawsuit, the wise course of action may be to take another path than litigation.
One of the best investments you can make when considering whether or not to pursue a legal claim is to consult with an experienced Arizona litigator. Here are nine questions you may be asked as part of a litigation analysis:
Is this a winnable claim?
Your attorney will need to learn the facts of your case and then explore applicable laws to determine if you have a good claim — i.e., one that provides you with a good chance of prevailing in your lawsuit.
Is your claim large enough to make a lawsuit worth it?
Unless there is an important principle to be fought for — important enough where money is no object — you don’t want to invest a lot of money in a lawsuit if the final award is likely to be less than what you have invested.
Is there counterclaim exposure?
Your attorney will discuss with you the potential for counterclaims to be made and, if so, what the chances are they will succeed.
Are there other less expensive options available?
If the purpose of your lawsuit is to solve a specific problem, there may be less expensive avenues to explore other than litigation.
Can you afford to pursue your claim?
If you will suffer financial hardship by pursuing your claim, it may not be in your best interest to pursue it.
Can you accept the risk?
There is no guarantee that you will win your claim, although your attorney can give you the benefit of their experience in handling similar claims to help you determine your tolerance for risk.
Can you handle the stress?
Litigation can be stressful, especially if your lawsuit involves family members or business partners. You will need to weigh the emotional cost carefully before making the decision to proceed.
Can you recoup your attorney’s fees if you prevail?
Under Arizona law (ARS Section 12-341.01), a court can award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in a contract dispute. Some contracts may also specify the awarding of attorney’s fees as well. If the dispute does not involve a contract, attorney’s fees are typically not awarded unless provided for by statute.
If you win, can you collect the judgment?
There is little point in pursuing litigation if the plaintiff is unable to collect a judgment. In some cases where the defendant’s assets are in question, it is wise to conduct a pre-filing investigation to determine a defendant’s financial circumstances or whether there is insurance coverage for the claim.
Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., is a law firm with decades of experience in commercial litigation, including IP infringement, employee lawsuits, business divorce, aviation, and high stakes litigation. Contact us at (602) 256-9400 and schedule a time to meet with us today.