An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Let’s be honest – commercial litigation can be very costly! All too often clients come to us after they have embarked on a commercial transaction without the guidance of competent legal counsel. In an attempt to avoid legal fees, they decided that they really didn’t need a lawyer to help with the deal. Then, the deal hits a snag and they come to us asking for advice as to their rights in resolving the dispute. They then learn that, because they did not have the assistance of counsel, they find themselves in a disadvantageous position or embroiled in costly litigation.

This scenario repeats itself over and over again. Regardless of how simple you might believe the transaction to be, or how amicable the negotiations appear to be, it is always a prudent investment to engage the assistance of counsel in the preparation of the agreement memorializing a transaction. This applies to situations involving the simple purchase of a home to the complex acquisition of a business.

Here are four of the significant reasons why we advise clients to engage us before the deal is inked and not just after the impasse or problem arises. First, commercial law is complex. In fact, recognizing this complexity the New Jersey court system recently established a statewide Complex Business Litigation Program. Even the savviest business person cannot consider all of the legal nuances that might come into play. Second, the attorney is looking out for your best interests and is not simply looking to “make a deal happen.” Third, the attorney is generally more aware of adverse conditions that may affect the transaction. Fourth, special circumstances should not be overlooked or handled without care.

If you have, however, embarked upon this path without counsel and a problem does arise, do not compound the error by failing to immediately seek the advice of a qualified commercial litigation attorney. The odds are that you will only place yourself or your business in a worse position by attempting to handle matters yourself. Often an experienced litigator can assist in finding a business solution to the issue rather than full-blown litigation.

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