As an Atlanta contract disputes attorney, one of the many issues that frequently I caution potential plaintiffs about in cases regarding contract disputes is the potential danger of a countersuit.
Most business attorneys in the State of Georgia would agree that successful countersuits are the exception rather than the rule, but countersuits do happen frequently enough that they must be a consideration for any party who is filing a lawsuit.
Whenever someone is contemplating filing a lawsuit, it is important for the potential plaintiff and his or her attorney to discuss all of the possible outcomes of the suit – and particularly the costs.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS WITH LAWSUITS AND COUNTERSUITS?
To begin with, there is always the risk that no damages will be recovered by the injured party. If this is the case, in addition to the plaintiff’s lost time, the plaintiff in a contract dispute case may also be on the hook for his or her own attorney’s fees.
And of course, when it comes to contract disputes, regardless of the success or failure of the litigation, the business relationship between the two parties will inevitably and probably permanently be altered.
Finally, there is always the risk that the plaintiff will face a countersuit that would never have been filed had he or she not initiated the civil action.
WHAT’S THE BEST STRATEGY FOR FILING A LAWSUIT?
So, what can you do to avoid losing your lawsuit and to avoid being successfully countersued by the defendant?
To begin with, it is almost never advisable to file a lawsuit unless you and your attorney both agree that there has been a breach of contract and that your damages are significant enough to warrant litigation in a Georgia court of law.
Additionally, your attorney should perform his or her due diligence to ensure that your dealings with the other party have met your own contractual requirements.
For example, if it is discovered that your company has violated the contract, you will need to assess the possible damages that the other party could claim against you in a countersuit.
HOW CAN AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY HELP?
For this reason, any time you or your business is targeted with a lawsuit, it is always important to be mindful of not only the defenses you have to the plaintiff’s claims, but also what, if any, counterclaims you or your company may have for damages caused by the plaintiff.
Oftentimes your counterclaims can have the effect of wiping out or even overshadowing the plaintiff’s claims by the time all is said and done. In many cases, of course, you and your attorney will be able to settle both the lawsuit and the countersuit out of court.
Of course, no business owner likes to take time away from customers and clients to deal with lawsuits or other legal matters, so be sure that you have the legal help that you may need.
Whether you are considering suing another party for breach of contract, or if you are being sued and you are thinking of filing a countersuit, the key to successful litigation in Georgia is to retain the services of an experienced and reputable Atlanta business litigation attorney.