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Knowing When Your Business Should Pursue Litigation

William B. Hanley, Attorney At Law May 8, 2023

According to the Judicial Council of California, in its report published in 2022 for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, there were 646,142 statewide civil lawsuits filed in that period. The statistics don’t break down these legal actions by how many of them were filed by or against businesses—but as someone who owns and operates a business in California, you surely know that the possiblity of litigiation when it comes to your enterprise is very real. 
If you run a business in or around Irvine, California, and you are involved in a dispute, breach of contract with another party, or another issue that you believe may result in a lawsuit, contact William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law.  

Attorney William B. Hanley has more than 40 years’ experience in business litigation and has represented clients on a wide variety of legal issues, including everything from contractual and leasing agreements, to unfair competition, to partnership disputes, to theft of trade secrets, and more. He will press forward with litigation to protect you and your interests. 

Reach out immediately for skilled and strategic business counsel. The firm serves business clients throughout Irvine and the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the rest of Southern California.  

Common Issues that Can Result in Litigation

If you operate a business, you no doubt have ongoing interactions with various parties— customers, employees, contractors, suppliers, vendors, and government agencies. Disputes can arise on many fronts. Say you have a contract with another person or entity to supply you with products to sell, or to do your taxes for you, and that party reneges on their obligation. The products don’t arrive on time, or at all, or the taxes aren’t paid on time and the IRS wants to know why. You may have a breach of contract suit you need to file. 

Here’s another angle: Imagine a company wants to steal market share from you, so it launches a false advertising campaign, or uses social media to tarnish your reputation, or interferes with your operations by luring away contractors you rely on. You could have a variety of lawsuits here, perhaps for reputational damage, tortious interference, or harm from advertising. 

The question is: When is a lawsuit justified? That really depends on the extent and/or duration of the damages and losses you’re suffering. The best answer is to seek legal guidance from an experienced business litigation attorney. 

Preliminary Steps to a Lawsuit

When disputes arise, the first option in many cases is to negotiate with the other party. The problem with this is that, acting alone without legal guidance, you may only worsen the situation— or worse, give the other party fodder to use in a lawsuit against you or in their defense should you sue them. 

Another step is to seek mediation, by which a third-party independent mediator listens to both sides, first in a group session and then individually, and offers a solution. Neither side, however, is obligated to accept the proposed remedy. 

The final option, which is akin to a trial in many ways, is to seek arbitration. An arbitrator will hold a hearing much like a civil trial, in which both sides can present evidence, bring forth witnesses, and make their arguments. The arbitrator will then issue a decision, which is mandatory. 

Knowing When To Pursue Litigation

The above steps, which fall under the umbrella of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aren’t always available. After all, it takes two to tango. The other party may have no desire to negotiate with you or to go into mediation or arbitration. 

In addition, some situations may represent emergencies that need to be addressed immediately, and if so, litigation is the proper route to take. For instance, a competitor has so damaged your reputation that you’re losing clients or customers right and left. Your business is on the brink of collapsing. You need to act immediately, not only to stop the harm being done but also to seek restitution and compensation for damages as well. The same holds true if a contract is being breached to the point that you cannot continue to conduct your business and your future is on the line.  

Whenever and for whatever reason you believe it's time to pursue litigation, you need to consider the risks and rewards. Lawsuits can be costly and lengthy with no guaranteed outcome, but sometimes just serving notice of litigation on a third party might lead to a settlement that enables you to continue operating in a sustainable and profitable way. 

Protect Everything You’ve Worked For

If you find your business being threatened or harmed by the actions or inactions of others, you certainly need to take action, and quickly. If you’re in or around Irvine, California, reach out with your questions and concerns to William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law. He will examine the situation with you and advise you of your best legal options. He can pursue litigation and will fight decisively and assertively to protect your interests.