When it comes to commercial litigation, as a CEO and business owner, you often think that being able to call an attorney gives you a piece of mind to sleep at night. Although there is some comfort and truth to this, the question really becomes what can you do now so that you don’t have to call an attorney to defend you.
These Ten Commandments Can Help Businesses to Minimize Commercial Litigation
Regardless of how long you have been in business, commercial litigation and the economy in recent years suggest that you should strongly consider the following ten points to improve your everyday business practices.
- Have Your Staff Follow Up With Customers Early: The best thing you can do to decrease commercial litigation is to make sure that your staff promptly follows up to customer complaints and disputes. You never want to lose a large commercial account simply because someone failed to follow up.
- Develop written contracts in your commercial operations: Litigation can be very expensive, although The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs the sale of goods, some companies still are not sure what contracts have to be in writing. The Statute of Frauds mandates that certain contracts must be in writing. Failure to comply with this commonly missed requirement sometimes makes your agreement unenforceable. Can you image a million-dollar agreement being tossed out of court because you did not follow a mandated need?
- Have Your Contracts Reviewed At Least Once Per Year: The changing laws and commercial litigation decisions sometimes go unnoticed by business owners. If you can realize the importance of Miranda vs. Arizona after a U.S. Supreme Court decision to how states quickly imposed advisement of attorney rights after an arrest, you should also understand how an important court decision in your location can impact how you do business.
The last thing you want is to file a civil litigation lawsuit, or work under an old contract, only to find out that the other side is ahead of the game at Court. For commercial businesses in Colorado and other states, recent court decisions, if gone unnoticed, can also cost you thousands or millions in commercial litigation. See more information on Colorado civil litigation lawyers.
- Ensure that You Have Non-Compete Agreements in Place: A practical thing to do when avoiding commercial litigation, especially if you have commercial accounts, is to ensure that you have a non-compete agreement in place. Without it, you can receive a hard blow when a former employee goes to work for themselves or for the competition.
Certain states, such as Colorado, have varying rules about non-compete agreements. Speak to your commercial litigation attorney for more details.
- Develop Internal Policies and Controls: Small businesses and large corporations should have sound internal policies and controls in place. If you are a government contractor, there are mandated laws that require you to have certain policies in place. If you are audited or investigated by state of federal government entities such as the SEC or DOJ, showing such policies can minimize the impact or adverse actions.
- Ensure Your Contracts Have a Provision for Attorney Fees: In commercial litigation cases and contract laws, some companies spend thousands of dollars at trial only to find out that attorney fees and costs may not be recoverable. The way to avoid this is to ensure that contracts have an expressed provision for attorney fees. Otherwise, you would have to rely on a statutory provision to be successful.
- Include a Forum Clause That You are Comfortable With: Commercial practices need a substantial amount of out-of-state contracts. Within the fine print, it is common to see a forum clause that you may not be comfortable with. Do you have to sign the contract? It depends. The logical approach is to first determine the risks involved. Another state’s law may not benefit you in the event of a breach of contract. Have a commercial litigation lawyer to review or negotiate on your behalf.
- Look at Federal Government Contracting for Additional Revenues: The federal government is the largest customer of commercial products and services. It spends billions every year. Your competition is more than likely bidding on government contracts right now.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t know that kills you. More specifically, commercial companies across the country do not quite understand how federal contracting really works, or they believe it’s “too much red tape.” There is no question that government contracting is regulated. However, the trade-off can be significant if you see the amount of contracts awarded in your specific industry.
- Train Your Supervisors and Managers: This point is often realized when employers are sued for discrimination violations. In addition, failure to train your people can lead to breach of contract claims in construction or other commercial practices. Train your people and document the training to avoid commercial litigation.
- Keep Records of all Commercial Transactions: If you are ever hauled into court for breach of contract or some other claim, you want to be able to prove your case or defense. Commercial litigation often hinges on the amount documentation you have to support your position.
Call Us to Reduce Commercial Litigation
These are all proactive measures that you can take to cut lawsuits. Call a commercial litigation disputes lawyer if you need immediate help. Call Toll-Free at 1-866-601-5518 or Denver, Colorado – 720-941-7200. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.