When Should I Sue?

If you have a dispute with a business or another person, you may be wondering when the right time to sue is. You want to make the decision that makes the most financial sense. If you pursue legal action too quickly, are you going to potentially lose more time and money? Are there steps to consider beforehand that will allow you to obtain a favorable outcome without going into a courtroom? 

There are several sources from where disputes and disagreements may arise. They are common scenarios and may cause someone to pursue civil litigation:

  • Breach of Contracts
  • Property Loss
  • Employment Disputes
  • Commercial Problems
  • Real Estate Arguments 

Cost & Reward

The most important thing that you and your attorney are going to determine is if you can win. Many clients come to our offices determined to sue, even if they have a loser of a case.  Never initiate litigation if your chances of winning are low.  If evaluating your case is not simple and will cost money, the best attorneys’ fees you spend will be at this point of the dispute. 

The second thing you need to consider is the cost of civil litigation. People might consider the cost of an attorney to be an unknown variable—something that may change while trying to resolve the matter. 

Here is an inside tip that most people won’t consider: get an estimate. When you meet with an attorney and go over your issue, ask how much he or she expects this to cost. If they come back without an answer, consider getting another consultation. While it is impossible to provide a guarantee, an experienced attorney can estimate the cost of less complex cases usually within $5,000 to $10,000.  If you have a complex case, that is when you hear your lawyer say things like “there is no law on this point” or “this dispute is very interesting,” it is much harder to provide accurate estimates.  It also means it is going to be very expensive to sue.

Other Inside Tips

Nothing is absolute. But a significant number of cases settle without going to trial—the vast majority even. Whether a case settles or not is usually tied to the cost associated with not settling. It becomes a financial risk to consider. 

In addition to asking your attorney for an estimate, ask him or her if they are familiar with the lawyer your opposition has hired (if applicable). Regardless of whether your lawyer knows the opposing counsel, their loyalty and obligation are tied to you, the client.

But your attorney may already have open lines of communication established. There may be a familiarity with how the other attorney works. Do they prefer calls? Meeting in person? It may quicken the timeline of your dispute. When you are considering civil litigation, you are constantly weighing the cost vs the reward.  

We recommend litigation to our clients only as a last resort.  If your case has come to the point where litigation is an option, you want to have as much information from your lawyer before making the decision to sue.

Neve Webb

If you are deciding whether to pursue litigation, contact the attorneys at Neve Webb to set up a consultation. Allow us to access your situation and advise you on the right course of action. We can also be reached at (952) 746-2400.

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Neve | Webb Law Firm

Our experienced attorneys focus on business law, criminal defense, professional licensing, and civil litigation. If you seek aggressive advocacy and rigorous integrity, look no further than Neve Webb, PLLC.

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