It is likely that, as a business owner, you deal with legal issues every day. This is true if you have employees on your payroll, you pay taxes and you use contracts for your business transactions. For the most part, operations go smoothly, and you may not have many issues or conflicts that you can't resolve with some careful negotiations.
However, when your business becomes party to a complicated dispute involving complex federal or Nevada laws, you may feel you are out of your element to handle it on your own, especially if it escalates to litigation. Knowing what to expect throughout the many stages of the litigation process may help you prepare so you have the best chances of protecting your business interests.
Whether you began the lawsuit or the other party filed the complaint, the process begins with both sides gathering evidence and building their cases. You and your opponent will participate in the discovery phase by sharing relevant information such as:
- Emails and other correspondence
- Expert opinions related to the issue
You and your opponent will also participate in depositions, which is where you make statements under oath and answer questions both attorneys ask about the dispute. It is important that you are truthful during the discovery phase and avoid hiding information or destroying any data that relates to the case. At the end of discovery, both sides will look at the evidence and decide whether it is best to reach a settlement or continue to court.
Going to trial
In the weeks and days leading up to the trial, the respective attorneys may file motions with the court. These motions may request some procedural changes, or they may ask the court to require more information from the other side. When the date of the trial arrives, both attorneys should be fully prepared to present their cases, and you should be ready to do your part.
During the trial, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. Therefore, if you filed the lawsuit, it is your job to provide enough information to convince the court that the other party violated your rights, whether through breach of contract or other matters. If the other side filed the lawsuit, you must be prepared to defend yourself against the accusation that your business committed a violation in some way.
Because of the complexities of a business lawsuit, you may find your interests are well served by having a skillful attorney on your side. Using knowledge and experience, your attorney will work to help you meet your goals for your business.