Experienced Litigation Lawyer in Virginia
As a litigation lawyer in Virginia from Dale Jensen, PLC tells business owners, you owe it to yourself to enlist the services of our team to protect your business, mitigate the risk of legal issues and step in should you need them. Hire a litigation lawyer before an issue arises so you are prepared. Establishing a plan ahead of time can save you time, money and ensure that you have the layers of security that you need. Don’t wait until there is an emergency to take the steps to protect your business from outside threats.
Make the preparations now so that you are ready in case a party decides to threaten you with a lawsuit. Business owners make every effort to ensure their business is flourishing, and Dale Jensen, PLC Law Firm, can assist with achieving this goal. Put the right barriers in place so that you can be protected from claims by using our trusted and comprehensive services that will make you prepared for any threat of litigation. With our experienced team, your business will have guidance from professionals who can help manage the legal pitfalls that businesses may be susceptible to.
Threats of litigation are problems that every business owner should anticipate. From disgruntled customers to disputes with business partners, there are many reasons that you could be confronted with a lawsuit. Protect yourself by knowing how to respond to each of the unique scenarios that you could potentially face. Some of the most common reasons business owners may find themselves facing litigation:
Business owners rely on their employees to keep their business running smoothly. Maintaining a good connection with employees is necessary to prevent issues from occurring. Both employees and business owners should be on the same page about their understanding of business policies and how rules are interpreted and enforced. However, sometimes issues raised by employees regarding employment law can lead to disputes.
Before hiring your first employee, having an understanding of employment law will be critical. This serves to not only protect your employees, but helps you enforce your business policies and it also helps to protect your business. Additionally, having written employment procedures can ensure that employees clearly understand expectations in regards to the requirements that they must follow. When you are developing your employment policies and procedures, be sure to be as detailed as possible so that they are clearly conveyed to your entire team.
When a business owner understands employment law, they can mitigate the risk of inadvertently causing harm to their employee. Without knowledge of discrimination laws, labor laws, workers’ compensation, harassment, and more, you could put your business at risk for litigation and even financial ruin. An employee may bring a lawsuit against you which can harm your business’ reputation and result in costly countersuits. To avoid such issues, take the time to review employment law and develop your written employment procedures to reflect them.
Chances are, your business owns intellectual property, and, in some cases, you may not even realize it. Intellectual property comes in many forms and is typically an intangible idea or invention of the mind. This could be trade secrets, written works, brand logos or slogans, and much much more.
Not only does this help with brand recognition, it can also be a reason that your clientele continues returning to your business. When clients are able to clearly recognize your brand and associate it with positive service, they are more likely to become loyal customers. Good brand recognition also helps to make your business stand out from your competition on the market.
To make sure that your business ideas are protected, it is important to take the steps to formally register your intellectual property, even down to the smallest designs and ideas. Ensuring your intellectual property is registered and protected will be critical to your success and prevent the risk of using IP that another business or person already owns. To learn more information about how to register your intellectual property, speak to a lawyer who can explain the process for each type of intellectual property that you have.
Drafting & Managing Contracts
Developing contracts is integral to running a business as they clearly outline how businesses will exchange goods and services. Contracts ensure that the parties you do business with understand your shared goals, and also set guidelines and procedures for the process.
While some people may conduct business based on a simple handshake, this is not recommended. Developing a written agreement is crucial for maintaining good communication, preventing issues, and protecting your business from litigation. Having the terms of a contract clearly outlined can ensure that all parties involved are clear on their obligations.
Should something go wrong, it may be much more straightforward to remedy the situation when parties can reference a contract. There is a legal document all parties can refer to, so it helps to settle any disputes that may arise early on in the collaborative process. When there is no written contract, it is much easier for a party to go back on their word.
Should one party be in breach of the contract, it may be possible to make things right. However, our Virginia business litigation lawyer can assist with enforcing the contract and taking legal action when necessary. Having a litigation lawyer that you can reliably turn to minimizes issues and helps you to resolve disputes more quickly and efficiently.
Commonly Asked Questions About Litigation Law
During a consultation with a litigation lawyer, you may have several questions on your mind about their services and what you can expect. Litigation law encompasses many topics, so there is a lot to learn about. Ask as many questions as you want when you are first meeting with a lawyer so that you have enough information about your case, the litigation process, and other details it would benefit you to know. Below are some of the most common questions that a lawyer may receive from clients.
What Is Litigation Law?
Litigation law is going to regard filing a lawsuit, seeking damages and compensation, trials and other related topics. It is also meant to cover the individuals that take part in a lawsuit both the defendant and the plaintiff. This is essentially the type of law that goes to trial and there is somebody seeking compensation or return for something that happened to them or was damaged. A judge will hear both arguments and ultimately decide if a party must compensate the other.
What is the difference between criminal and civil trials?
In a criminal trial the state or government is going to represent the people in order to seek punishment for someone who has committed a crime. A prosecutor leads a criminal case. Civil suits are going to take place when two individuals or companies cannot come to an agreement and are in dispute by themselves. Essentially in a criminal trial the state or the government has a personal interest whereas in a civil suit only the two parties involved have a personal interest. A civil trial does not result in punishment such as jail time for a specific individual, and focuses instead on financial compensation for the victim.
If I go to court and win, how do I receive my compensation?
If you are core and you win a compensation amount, the court clerk is going to file a judgment against the party stating that they owe you this money and what amount they owe you. This can be used to obtain the money or take property of the party that is equal to the amount of old.
Is mediation covered as litigation law?
In some cases mediation is indeed covered by litigation law. Mediation is when two parties decide to try and settle things outside of the courtroom, and oftentimes even though the court will have to approve the decisions and record those decisions for them to be legal, there is going to be ⅓ party acting as mediator and it is not going to be a judge. Mediation is often a less expensive alternative to court, and the case is not put on the public record so the parties can maintain their privacy.
What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitation is going to be the law that regards the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against somebody for a particular incident. There are different statutes of limitations for different offenses and this should be something you check into immediately if you believe that you have a valid case. Oftentimes your litigation law lawyer is going to be able to help you determine this timeline.
Because the time period is extremely limited for many types of cases, you should pay careful attention to the statute of limitations. Explore your legal options early so you are not taking action too close to the deadline. Your lawyer will need enough time to properly assess your case and determine the right legal strategies.
What if I lose a case?
If you’ve been taken to court and you lose the case, which means the findings and decisions are not in the favor of you, you have the right to appeal. In most cases there is going to be a certain period of time in which you can appeal so you should talk to your litigation lawyers as soon as possible to decide that you want to appeal.
When you work with an experienced VA litigation lawyer, you can rest assured that you are getting the best services available. They’re going to be able to answer any and all questions, and direct you to the correct people to follow your forms with or after questions all.
Myths About Litigation
Litigation can be a scary thing, especially if you believe some of the myths out there. The lawyers at Dale Jensen, PLC want to dispel common litigation myths that can cause unnecessary trepidation or misunderstandings about the process. Here are some of the top myths you should know about before hiring a litigation lawyer in Virginia.
Myth #1: Litigation Costs Will Bankrupt Your Company
It’s wise to be wary when it comes to protecting your finances, especially if you own a startup business. But litigation is not an automatic bankrupt sentence like some business owners believe. You may be able to get a full contingency arrangement, which only requires you to invest your time. But to take advantage of the benefits this arrangement can provide, you’ll need to be prepared to give up a large portion of the litigation proceeds.
Of course, the full costs of litigation depend on a variety of factors, including your likelihood of winning, the value of winning, and the complexity of the litigation. A litigation lawyer in Virginia can help analyze these factors and help you understand the probable costs or gains of litigation in your case.
Myth #2: Suing Someone Looks Bad for Your Business
While some types of litigation might come across as petty to outsiders, other types are legitimate and warranted. For example, if a competitor takes your protected property to gain a profit, you have every right to sue. Any reasonable person would realize this and would likely support your chosen course of action. A litigation lawyer in Virginia can help you build your case and work toward a successful outcome.
Myth #3: Litigation Is a Liability
Many business owners have the idea that litigation is always a liability and the outcome is always unpredictable. But that simply isn’t true, especially if you are the plaintiff. Plaintiffs have a lot of control over the litigation process. They get to decide if they want to litigate based on the probable outcome of the process. If you have a strong case, you can sue with a good degree of confidence in the outcome.
Of course, if you decide to sue, the defendant can potentially make a counterclaim. That is something you can prepare for with help from a litigation lawyer in Virginia. If you have a potential claim and you and your lawyer can’t identify any potential counterclaims, you may have a strong case to move forward.
As you can see, litigation doesn’t always have to be a scary thing that can potentially throw you into bankruptcy. The lawyers at Dale Jensen, PLC can help you determine whether litigation is worth your efforts or not.
Litigation threats are not easy problems to resolve, but there are preventative measures that business owners can take. Staying on top of your bookkeeping and accounting is a must, such as having records of all transactions. When developing and reviewing your legal contracts, check that the language is correct and that you are not missing important details.
Keeping lines of communication open can help disputes from escalating, whether you are dealing with customers, employees and partners. Consult with a lawyer to ensure that you have taken the suggested precautions and that everything from your financial records to customer service is thoroughly addressed.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
The prospect of hiring a lawyer can be daunting, especially when business owners consider the cost associated with legal representation. However, know that this can vary based on your needs. There are numerous advantages to hiring a litigation lawyer when you are running a business. It is a wise investment because you can solve existing issues and prevent potential ones from happening in the first place.
When you hire a trusted and experienced lawyer, you can steer your business in the right direction for growth. Acquiring a lawyer’s services can save money, in the long run, to prevent costly legal issues from arising down the road. Know that a lawsuit is not just expensive; it can destroy your business. Even if a lawsuit reaches a settlement, it can result in damage to your brand and business reputation which can take years to remedy. Recovering from a lawsuit will be an even bigger hassle and inconvenience. A lawyer can provide you with the upper hand and prevent problems before they become a more significant issue.
There is a lot that can be gained from hiring a dedicated litigation lawyer that you can rely on to assist you in protecting your business. Threats of litigation can be quite complex, but you can navigate your case with the right legal support. Entrusting an experienced litigation lawyer can help you solve any issues you might be facing. Reaching out to our team at any point in the process should be one of your first considerations. While we can act as a preventative measure, we can also take action when you need us the most. Whatever your legal needs are, we can take care of them at any moment.
Make Documentation Your Priority
To safeguard your business and your best interests, it’s vital that you take time to properly document important commitments and communications with other parties. If you are anticipating litigation, you have to implement a litigation hold, otherwise referred to as a preservation order or hold order, as soon as you know a dispute exists. Your lawyer may advise holding onto information at this time so that nothing gets trashed or deleted. Losing evidence due to failure of instituting a litigation hold can cause negative sanctions against you. As your lawyer may suggest, some best practices for keeping up with documentation include:
- -Keeping emails in a reliable filing system
- -Not engaging in handshake or verbal deals
- -Avoid using templates online to create your contracts or agreements
- – Have your lawyer review contracts prior to signing
Do Not Promise What You Can’t Deliver
If you want to avoid issues with employees, clients, and competitors, then strong communication is essential. You must always take time to provide clarifications for expectations and make a habit of never over promising. Keep the promises that you do make, however, do not overestimate what you can provide. You may do so with the best of intentions, but then it can increase the chances of an issue developing if you are not able to fulfill your end of the bargain. Be proactive, do not avoid challenging conversations or awkward situations, and rely on your lawyer whenever you need support.
Review Your Policies For Insurance
While insurance is not a popular topic to discuss, it is a big aspect of reducing the risk of litigation. Ensure that all your current policies are appropriate and correct for your organization, investigate options with various brokers, and determine if an insurance company focuses on your specific business needs (if they don’t, then look into another company). As your lawyer may advise, it’s important that your insurance company is industry-specific to you. Understand the potential need for various types of policies, including errors and omissions, commercial liability, property, auto, product liability, workers comp, and other endorsements.
Work With The Right People
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your business is to work with the right people who are genuine and have your best interests in mind as well. By surrounding yourself with people who support and believe in you, you are less at risk for serious litigation developing in the future.
Questions to Ask Prospective Litigation Lawyers
Do You Have Trial Experience?
As a litigator, your litigation lawyer in Virginia should have extensive trial experience. Therefore, the answer to this question should be “yes.” However, you should also ask for details. You need to understand how many bench trials, jury trials, hearings, mediations and arbitrations your prospects have participated in. Find out about their negotiation experience as well. You should discuss the lawyers’ success rate as well.
Share the details of your case with your prospects. A reputable attorney with the resources to take on your case should conduct a complete analysis and give you an idea of how the case can be resolved. Dale Jensen, PLC may also give you ideas about what will strengthen your case. You can ask about the likelihood of success and risk of failure based on the case evidence. However, understand that your attorney cannot guarantee a result.
What Costs Can I Expect?
You need to prepare a litigation budget. Therefore, you need to ask your litigation lawyer in Virginia how much everything will cost. For example, settling the case outside the courtroom should be significantly less expensive than going through a full trial. Ask for a fee schedule, including any hidden fees. Then, discuss the amount if time the litigation may take.
You should also work with your attorney to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. This will include discussing the outcomes of the case as well as your exposure to other legal challenges if you win or lose.
What Alternatives Do I Have Available?
Trials are time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, Dale Jensen, PLC can share trial alternatives, such as arbitration and mediation, with you. Your prospective attorneys should be able to walk you through each process, including their costs and possible outcomes.
Do You Have any Conflicts of Interest?
Litigators represent a wide range of clients, but you don’t want your litigation lawyer in Virginia to have represented companies or individuals who are on the opposing side of your lawsuit. Therefore, ask the attorneys whether they have ever represented your opponents. You should also discuss other entities you have contracts with to get a general idea of any conflict of interest that may arise in the future.
The attorneys should also review the clients of others in the firm. If another attorney represents or has represented anyone you have a contract with, you can ask that your information be kept private from that attorney.
Contact Dale Jensen, PLC
Our team has in-depth knowledge of business litigation and are here to serve you and ensure that you have the proper protections in place for your business. Get started today by scheduling a consultation with our Virginia litigation lawyer from Dale Jensen, PLC; we are eager to help you.