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Being an entrepreneur is a noble pursuit. It takes great skill, intelligence, wit and fortitude to set aside the rat race and go into business for oneself. Few people have the combination of skills and disposition to establish a business of their own and even fewer have the determination and staying power to ensure that the business grows from strength to strength. Not everyone can take their skills, knowledge and personality and use them to forge a sharp business mind.
If you are one of these people, your business is most likely your baby. Your employees are more than just people who work for you, they’re your family. Your customers aren’t just people who come to you to spend their money, they’re the life’s blood that keeps your business fit and healthy. And your reputation is more than just your ego, it’s your livelihood.
Thus when a disgruntled employee or a vengeful customer makes a legal claim against your business it can be devastating on both a personal and a professional level. It can cause you severe stress and depression and that the world has shifted on its axis and now it’s everyone else in the world versus you.
While it may be easier said than done, you should not despair if this happens to you. While stressful and upsetting, litigation against you needn’t be the killing blow for your business’ reputation.
There is help out there specifically for you
No matter what the nature of the litigation there will be someone skilled, knowledgeable and impassioned out there just waiting to litigate on your behalf. Whether it’s an employment law firm like Ogletree Deakins, a tax attorney or a business transaction lawyer, there will be someone out there who has your back.
Although you may feel sullied by the accusations made, be aware that your legal representation will work tirelessly to ensure that your reputation is not damaged by this incident. Remember that small businesses face litigation on a daily basis and while it’s a horrendous experience for you, you are not alone.
Your reputation is worth investing in
It’s in the nature of an entrepreneur to look at all business costs as something to be managed ruthlessly and scythed down as far as possible. The defense of your reputation, however, is worth paying for.
Investing in legal aid can be a costly affair but it’s an area in which cutting costs could well result in inferior reputation with a less favorable outcome. You have no guarantee of getting your money back, but you do have a range of options when it comes to payment.
Contingent Fee Agreement
You are not required to pay an upfront fee, but an agreed percentage of your award will be payable when your attorney wins the case. If your counsel offers this, they expect to win.
Damages Based Agreement
Again, there is no money down, but your attorney agrees that their fee will be taken from any compensation or damages awarded to yourself.
Third Party Litigation
This is a third party (other than a law firm) funds your case. They pay all of the upfront costs in exchange for a share of the damages. Thus, if the case fails, you lose nothing.