Dealing with a lawsuit can be your worst nightmare as a business owner. Whether it’s filed by an employee, a business partner, or a client concerning some business matters, the potential consequences are endless. A business lawsuit can cost you a lot of money to pay damages and the attorney’s fees. It can also adversely affect your business’ reputation, leading to more financial losses due to low sales and revenues. As such, it’s essential to resolve a business lawsuit as soon as possible. The quicker it ends, the more you can save time, money, and energy.
Keep reading this article to learn the four ways to end a business lawsuit.
File A Motion To Dismiss
This is one of the effective ways of ending the litigation. Essentially, a motion to dismiss refers to an attempt by one of the parties involved to throw the case out of court. To dismiss a business lawsuit, the judge will examine the facts of the case and determine whether the proceeding is invalid from the beginning. If you’re the defendant, you need to assert that the plaintiff’s complaint doesn’t contain sufficient factual basis to hold you liable for damages and other liabilities.
Typically, you can file a motion to dismiss the business lawsuit on the following grounds:
- The complaints, as well as the summons, aren’t appropriately served to you as a defendant.
- The statute of limitations or the time limits within which a business lawsuit should be filed has already expired.
- The court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case.
- The court has no jurisdiction over your person as the defendant. This means you’re not a resident or don’t have adequate contacts in the place of the court where the case is filed.
- The business lawsuit is filed in the improper venue.
- The plaintiff fails to include in the complaint a valid cause of action for which relief can be granted.
On the other hand, you should know that the procedures vary from one jurisdiction to another when it comes to the filing process. If your case is filed in a different area, you should familiarize yourself with the process. For example, if you’re filing a motion to dismiss Florida or wherever you may be, make sure you understand the steps involved to achieve a desirable outcome.
However, even if the filing process is different in various places, the following are the general steps you can follow to guide you through the procedure:
- With the help of a lawyer, the motion should be submitted to the court in writing at the start of the trial. It should also be served to the opposing party to give them enough time to respond to the motion.
- If the motion isn’t granted, you need to furnish an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint.
- The judge will then examine the motion’s merits and issue a judgment within a certain period. In most cases, the plaintiff’s failure to reply to the motion is assumed to be a non-objection, which may result in the dismissal of your case.
File A Motion For Summary Judgment
If you want a business lawsuit to end quickly, filing a motion for summary judgment can be an excellent option. It refers to a motion asking the court to issue a ruling based on the evidence submitted in court without a full trial. Hence, if you’re filing a motion for summary judgment to end the litigation, you should meet the following requirements:
- You should show that no material facts need to be examined and uncovered through trial.
- You should also attempt to convince the court to issue a judgment in their favor.
Moreover, like in the motion to dismiss, the opposing party has the chance to file a response when the motion for summary judgment is submitted in court within a specific amount of time. During this period, the other party can introduce certain pieces of evidence to rebut your motion and get a judgment in their favor instead.
Suppose you don’t want to go through a lengthy and time-consuming trial for your business lawsuit. In that case, you can also enter into a compromise settlement to end the litigation as quickly as possible. Generally, a settlement is an agreement to amicably settle or resolve the issue without going to trial.
When this happens, you and the opposing party have reached a compromise to settle the dispute based on certain terms and conditions. For example, the other party decides to end the lawsuit in exchange for an agreement that you’ll pay them a certain amount of financial compensation.
Go Through The Trial Proceeding
If the motion for summary judgment and settlement didn’t succeed, the case would go to trial. Although it can be a time-consuming legal proceeding, a trial can also be one of the best ways to end a business lawsuit. But if you want to get a more favorable outcome for your case, you need to work with a lawyer to help you navigate the processes and procedures involved in a trial.
The following are the order of events to remember when you undergo a trial:
Both the plaintiff and the defendant have the opportunity to discuss the facts and matters related to the case in front of the judge.
Presentation Of Evidence By The Plaintiff
At this stage, the plaintiff will present certain pieces of evidence to support their claim and persuade the court to issue a judgment in their favor.
Direct And Cross-Examination Of Witnesses
After the presentation of evidence by the plaintiff, the court will call the witnesses to the stand for direct examination. The plaintiff’s lawyer will ask questions about the facts surrounding the case. On the other hand, the defendant’s lawyer will also have the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses in an attempt to discredit their testimonies. They can do this by showing their history of dishonesty or moral turpitude.
Presentation Of Evidence By Defendant
At this point, the defendant has the chance to present their evidence and contentions to refute the evidence that proves their liability.
Rebuttal And Closing Arguments
Once the presentation of defense evidence is done, the plaintiff is allowed to refute the defendant’s claims. From there, both parties will proceed with their closing arguments. During this stage, they reiterate the critical points of the case to convince the court to render a verdict in their favor. Once the closing arguments are complete, the judge will provide instructions to the jury for the issuance of judgment.
Facing a civil lawsuit can be a daunting experience for a business owner like you. Hence, to minimize the impact of the said legal trouble, you’ll look for ways to resolve the dispute in the fastest time possible. Luckily, you can end a business lawsuit without further hassle by keeping the information mentioned above in mind.
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