The Real Costs of Emotional Litigation
Business disputes are about dollars and cents - so why do business owners sometimes find it so hard to exercise business judgment when making good decisions on strategy and settlement?
The Reality Is That Emotions Often Drive Business DisputesAs a general rule, Bray & Long handles business matters. That is a matter of choice - once upon a time I was a criminal prosecutor and others among us worked in insurance defense and family law. We created this firm and our approach to the law because, among other reasons, business owners and corporate executives tend to make decisions based on the bottom line.
But if that is the case, then why do so many business and commercial lawsuits drag on way beyond their shelf life (when measured from a cost-benefit perspective) and end with unjustified legal fees?
The answer is simple - even good corporate stewards often are unable to divorce their emotion from good business sense.
What Every Business Owner Should Know - Be Smart and SavvyA skilled and experienced commercial litigation attorney should be able to spend a few hours on your file and give you a good ballpark about which way the wind is ultimately going to blow. Trust me folks - those of us who have done this job for 15 or 20 years are unlikely to be surprised at your dispute.
Honest lawyers (yes, we exist) will generally be able to sketch out some likely scenarios for your case. Quite often, the advice will be to strategically settle. If I had a dime for every time I said "pay $10,000 now or $30,000 when we get to court" then I'd have at least five dollars. But still, you get the point.
Why don't clients always (or often) take that advice? Because emotions get in their way. Folks like to win, no matter the setting. But if you're making a business decision, isn't the bottom line supposed to guide your way?
Litigation involves tremendous opportunity costs. You and your staff will spend hours, days and maybe weeks dealing with discovery, depositions and even trial. The value of that time - and that intellectual capital - must be considered when valuing a lawsuit.
There are plenty of important decisions to make when entering litigation on behalf of your business. But perhaps the most important is this - does it make sense to invest in the fight, or pursue a strategic settlement?