To every thing there is a season

Business litigation is always fraught with peril. Should you sue your distributor/supplier because they breached you contract? You must weigh multiple issues. You may have suffered actual economic damage and need to recoup your losses.

You may want to enforce your contract, to prevent a perception that other businesses would be able to take advantage of your business. You may be concerned that you will fundamentally damage your a very important relationship, one that you may not be able to easily repair or replace. 

And you may worry that by your business litigation, you will send the wrong message and damage your reputation, and be view by potential partners as a “difficult” party to work with who is quick to resort to litigation. These contradictory crosscurrents are never easy to resolve.

Once litigation begins, you may wonder if you can afford the process. You know your attorneys are not attending to your needs because they enjoy your company. With a lawsuit, you know the meter is always running and no matter the emotions, you must keep your eyes on the final cost/benefit analysis.

In addition to the actual costs, you also have to measure the opportunity costs with a litigation transaction. Protracted litigation can be emotionally exhausting, and can distract your focus from actually running your business.

These are all points you must give careful consideration to with your legal team when examining the prospect of litigation, as any one of them could become a showstopper. Litigation is an important and valuable tool for your business, but as with all tools, it must be used at the right place at the right time.

Boston Business Journal, “Boston Scientific settles $7.2B lawsuit brought by Johnson & Johnson for $600M,” Don Seiffert, February 17, 2015