Lawsuits are a fact of life for American businesses of all sizes. And if not properly handled, they can have a financially devastating impact on the business. Disputes may arise between a business and its competitor, customer, supplier, vendor, service provider, partner, and even a current or former employee. Whatever the case may be, it is essential that you address any lawsuits filed against your business and meet all required deadlines; lawsuits do not just go away by doing nothing. Proactively addressing the lawsuit early and head-on can help you avoid a disastrous outcome for your business.
If a process server delivers a complaint and summons to your company’s statutory agent, then another party has filed a lawsuit against you. There are other methods of service as well. The delivery of legal paperwork is called service, and it triggers a series of rights and responsibilities with respect to the pending lawsuit. If you don’t take appropriate action within the required timeframes, the court can enter a default judgment against your business without you even having chance to present your side of the story. As a result, it is essential that you immediately contact an experienced Arizona business litigation attorney for advice after your business is served with a lawsuit.
After your business is served with a lawsuit, you have 20 calendar days in which to file an answer to the lawsuit or other motion with the Clerk of the Court and pay the required fee. If you fail to do so within this 20-day period, the other party can ask for the entry of default against you. Essentially, this means that the other party is asking for judgment in his or her favor simply because you have not responded to or otherwise appeared in the lawsuit. If you don’t file something with the Clerk or otherwise appear in the case within 10 business days, the court can enter default judgment against you for whatever damages, or amount of money, that the other party is requesting. This judgment will allow the other party to begin collection proceedings against your business.
Even if you successfully file an answer to the lawsuit within the required timeframe, your business is then party to a lawsuit, which results in other obligations. For instance, you will have to disclose certain information and provide certain documents to the other party. These disclosure obligations are automatic and do not require anyone to actually request the information. Discovery is another way to obtain information, which requires a formal written request for specific information or documents. Disclosures and discovery are governed by strict rules and deadlines.
Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., has the experience and reputation that you want when you are dealing with a business-related lawsuit. We have the tools to help you through this stressful time and get the resolution that you want. We are here to obtain the best possible outcome for your situation. Do not hesitate to contact Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., at (602) 256-9400, and see how we can help you resolve your legal matter.