What can I do to avoid disputes?
Listen to your customers, be sympathetic and make a good faith effort to address their concerns.
Is there anything I should include in my contracts regarding disputes?
Yes. If there is a dispute and you are sued, the contract should require all lawsuits be filed in your home county and provide for attorney fees to the prevailing party. You may want to include a pre-suit mediation requirement and may want to require arbitration instead of a lawsuit. Depending on the type of business you have, there are many other items that should be in your contract.
Can I recover my attorney fees if there is a lawsuit?
Yes, if you prevail in the lawsuit and so long as there is either a statutory basis for an award of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party, or a contract provision that specifically provides for the recovery of attorney fees by the prevailing party in litigation over a dispute in connection with the contract.
If I need to consult with an attorney about a business dispute, how should I prepare for the initial meeting?
Write down a summary for the attorney of the problem and a list of the issues you feel are involved. Organize all documents in your possession that are related to the dispute and bring an extra copy which you can leave with the attorney. Writing a summary of the problem and organizing your documents will help ensure that you fully explain the problem to the attorney.
If I am sued, what do I need to do?
Consult with an attorney immediately. You have a very limited time to file an answer to the suit and may have a default judgment entered against you if you do not file an answer with the court within the time required.