4 Signs Your Business Dispute Is Headed for Litigation

Your business associations are like other close relationships: no matter how well you get along in the beginning, conflict will almost certainly arise at some point. Business partners, vendors, employees, and customers can all initiate disputes that could very well escalate into litigation if resolution appears unattainable.

While fighting it out in court may be inevitable for some conflicts, others may be contained and managed so that both sides feel heard and a resolution is achieved that preserves the relationship and your business. Below are four signs that your business dispute is headed for litigation:

Complaint to an Outside Authority

You’ve done your best to placate an angry customer, but their demands were so unreasonable that you gave up trying to please them any more. Next thing you know, you’ve received notification that the Better Business Bureau has received a complaint. Or perhaps you’ve been forced to discipline an employee, and not long afterwards the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contacts you. Be warned—the next step in either instance could be litigation.

Direct Threats to Sue

“You’ll be hearing from my attorney!”

This threat is often hurled when any party to a business dispute does not get the outcome they wanted. Sometimes it is simply an empty threat, but often it isn’t, especially if there is a lot of money at stake. If they imply that you’re going to hear from an attorney, the next thing you should do is call yours.

Hiring an Attorney

“Talk to my attorney.”

This is a sign that the other party is no longer interested in resolving the dispute with you directly. A statement like that one is a practical guarantee that you’re going to be sued. It may be possible that the attorney in question will act as a reasonable intermediary and the problem will be settled out of court, but this is not a given. Be prepared.

Refusal to Compromise

If you find that the other party is not interested in negotiating the matter any more, and is even refusing to take your calls, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve given up. More likely, it’s a sign that they’ve decided to sue and see no point in discussing the dispute further.

Recognizing these signs for what they are will help you either change your approach to resolving the dispute or preparing for the inevitable by calling your attorney. By acknowledging that litigation may be the ultimate outcome, you—and your business—have a better chance of managing the crisis more proactively.

If you are involved in a business dispute with a partner, vendor, customer, or other person or entity, call Ken Cohen today for a consultation and review of your situation. We will assist you in attempting to resolve the disagreement outside the courtroom, but if litigation turns out to be necessary, we will put our years of experience to work for you.