Lawyer Up: How Your Company Can Win Its B2B Court Battle
There are many factors to winning your B2B case just as there are many ways to lose it. You should always observe precautions. No court victory is guaranteed. But, with the understanding that each case is a little different, here are some tips to help you win the legal decision.
1. Understand Your Contract
Hopefully you had a written agreement and understood the business contract completely before you signed it. Now that a court case is pending, it’s time to read it again, whether you’re the one at fault or not. Determine which party failed to do what, what the obligations were, and where things went wrong. If you had an oral agreement, be sure to collect as many witness accounts, notes, receipts, or other critical information as you can.
2. Gather Any Correspondence
Collect all correspondence that leads up to an agreement and put it in chronological order. This could be emails, texts, reports, and both printed and digital documents. This is important if either party is being accused of misrepresentation. Sit down with your lawyer and discuss the whole sequence of events, standard practices in your industry, and the statements of any employees who were part of the negotiations.
3. Document Modifications
What took place after the agreement was reached is really the key to the case. Contracts may be modified by mutual agreement. Enforcing specific terms of a contract may be irrelevant depending on what was done or said. If either party waived a condition, such as shipping insurance, they surrendered their right to pursue damages for a lack of same. Try to recollect all conversations, and when and with whom they took place.
4. Lack of Payment
At times your company can faithfully honor an agreement only to be denied payment for some alleged breach of contract or simply because of a lack of funds. If you fulfilled your part of the agreement but have been denied or failed to receive timely payment, contact a business lawyer with experience in B2B collections. No matter the circumstances, an attorney can be much more effective than a debt collector, and may be the only way to salvage a business relationship that’s gone bad.
Don’t forget that you have two other options: settlement or arbitration. It depends on whether you’re in a hurry, want to maintain confidentiality, or think that these will lead to a better outcome. Your attorney will explain your best option.