Every business runs into disputes with clients or vendors. For example, a long-term customer delays payment on a purchase order for goods. When pushed to make payment, the customer suddenly claims that the goods are defective. You suspect that this is just an excuse to delay payment or obtain a discount. Emails and phone calls become increasingly adversarial and threats of litigation are made. You know you are in the right, but does it make sense to fight?
The notion of achieving victory at trial and having an opportunity to share “your side of the story” is compelling. Our system of justice is built on that premise. However, the reality of commercial litigation is that most disputes will never reach the courtroom and if they do, significant time and financial resources have often been expended. At the conclusion of a contentious litigation, both parties often end up as “losers,” regardless of the outcome. Put simply, you may have won the lawsuit, but also lost your opponent’s business, which can be more valuable.
In light of this, businesses must recognize that any dispute, regardless of its merit, requires a business decision. From the outset of a dispute, our firm advises clients to look beyond the emotions and ask “what is the best outcome for my business?” In highly-charged disputes, that question often becomes “do I want to die on this hill?” Sometimes pursuing litigation to trial is the best business decision. Other times, a creative solution may be better for your business. Perhaps your customer can make payment by prepaying for product to be delivered over time - improving, rather than harming, your business relationship.
At Barley Snyder we advise our clients to look beyond winning and losing and focus on the best outcome for their business. Barley Snyder’s litigation attorneys work collaboratively with accountants, financial advisors, and our colleagues in other legal specialties to craft the best strategies for your business to end ongoing disputes and eliminate similar disputes from arising in the future. However, when a matter cannot be resolved through settlement, Barley Snyder’s seasoned litigators are prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve the best result for your business.