“I’ll sue.”

Those words are all too common these days. Run through the channels on your television, and chances are high that you’ll find at least one episode of a courtroom reality show. People can’t seem to get along. Business enterprises are no less feisty. Some argue that California is the most litigious state in the Union. “Show your strong side,” some argue. With all that said, are there reasons to avoid litigation?

Some of the most successful California businesses are doing just that – they are staying out of court. Here are four reasons why your business might want to invest in policies and programs to avoid business litigation.

Benefit Number 1: You’ll Save Money

Financial officers point out that it’s difficult enough to project costs related to ordinary business operations, even those that a business undertakes on a regular basis. The costs of litigation are even more unmanageable. Whether the business has in-house counsel or not, lawyers can be expensive gladiators. While you usually don’t want to be identified as a floor mat, avoiding litigation often saves money.

Benefit Number 2: You’ll Stay Focused

Not many business plans include significant time spent discussing nagging litigation. Litigation is, at best, a distraction. In this competitive world, a business must not only do battle with other similar firms in the area, but all too often it must go head to head with others from around the world. The shortest path to success is a straight line; it usually doesn’t involve the distracted zigzags brought about by litigation. Avoiding litigation will allow attention to remain where it should be: On your business.

Benefit Number 3: You’ll Preserve Business Relationships

A cordial relationship with a person or business is difficult to craft, and even more difficult to maintain. If a dispute with a customer or supplier arises in your business, being “right” isn’t always the issue. Is the loss of that customer or supplier really worth it? The old saying, “he won the battle, but lost the war” comes to mind. Winning can be quite shortsighted. If you or your business is always right, then perhaps you need not ever avoid litigation. If you are less than perfect, it might be appropriate to allow others some measure of imperfection, as well.

Benefit Number 4: You’ll More Likely Maintain Good Will Among the Public

Litigation can have a negative effect on your business reputation. Court battles are, by their very nature, public displays. It is difficult, if not impossible, to manage all aspects of a court battle. Your opponent may cast harsh light upon your enterprise. Industry groups may not always take your side. If you are suing a customer, you may lose others. If you sue a supplier, you may find it more difficult to work with another.

Bottom Line: Sometimes Litigation Isn’t Good for Your Bottom Line

Are you considering business litigation? Have you looked at all sides of the dispute? Recognize that seeking advice from experienced, aggressive attorneys does not always land you in court, that sometimes – even often – it is best to avoid litigation, rather than seek it out. CKB VENNA LLP has a long history of representing clients in all types of business disputes. If litigation is best for you or your firm, we have a team of attorneys that can take your case as far as necessary. We also have the judgment and skill to provide counsel where litigation is not in your best interests. We have offices in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles. Contact us by telephone at 909-980-1040, or complete our online form.

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