REALISTIC LITIGATION OBJECTIVES AND LIMITATIONS
Companies seldom seek lawsuits; however, in certain instances, civil litigation is a necessary or effective means of achieving business objectives.
Whether the disputed proceedings concern a business entity or enterprise, real property or some other property rights, realistic goals and assessments, as well as recognition of the potential benefits and limitations of Court proceedings and private arbitrations, are essential.
If businesses are sued, they may be required to oppose the other party’s claims, and may bring affirmative claims, to protect and enforce their properties, rights and interests. The opposing party may be seeking money, performances or other recoveries that are not acceptable or feasible. In other proceedings, setting or avoiding precedents is an important consideration.
When the company or individuals are bringing suit, they should have realistic goals and try to make prudent business decisions about the proceedings, whether a lawsuit, arbitration or settlement mediation.
Such decisions and evaluations involve an understanding of the functions- and limitations- of Courts and other forums, such as juries and arbitrators.
Too often, the lawsuit is prosecuted or continued because the litigant wants “justice” or to prove they are “right” or “good”, while the opposing party or parties are “bad”, “unjust” or “wrong”.
Humans have emotions; disputes almost inherently create adversarial attitudes and conduct that the lawsuit can seek to vindicate.
Business lawsuits should be about “principal”, not “principle”, in most instances.
The concept that the litigant is an enforcer or defender of law or is trying to “make a point” (as opposed to a precedent), often leads to unsuccessful and extremely costly results.
Civil Litigation, whether corporate, commercial, real property or other business subject, usually is too expensive and uncertain to be waged to try to serve some objective outside the proper scope of the legal process.
Our legal “systems”, whether in Courts or through juries, arbitrators or mediations, are particularly effective when their capabilities, strengths and limitations are recognized and invoked.
Carefully and regularly focusing the status and purposes of the lawsuit, including in consultation with counsel, can assist business people and their companies in improving their prospects for successful results.