214-743-4150
1717 Main Street, Suite 5500, LB49 Dallas, Texas 75201
Avoiding Lawsuits Minimize
Lawsuit-proofing businesses
LAWSUIT-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS
You cannot stop someone from suing you or your business.  But, you can take measures to help avoid a lawsuit and or to lessen the effect of a lawsuit on you or your business.

If you are served with a lawsuit, DO NOT  ignore it.  Every lawsuit, no matter how you feel about, however frivolous and meritless you may think it is, every lawsuit must be dealt with.  Call an attorney.  Do not hestiate or delay in contacting a lawyer or seeking legal consultation.  Please, call me.

Here is some general information to help lawsuit-proof your business.  This information is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice for you.  Contact me if you want more information or advice suitable particularly for you and your needs.

1.  Maintain the formalities of your business entity.  The goal and purpose is to keep you insulated from personal liability.  Treat your business entity for what it is:  a legal form separate and distinct from you.  Separate bank accounts, separate records, do not commingle business funds with personal funds.  When was the last time you had a shareholder meeting?  A director meeting?  Is your corporate minute book up to date?

2.  Use clear and well-written contracts and agreements with your customers and your suppliers.  I often say: “What is a contract?  A contract is Exhibit A for the jury.”  The best way to avoid any serious dispute about the rights and duties of the parties to a contract is clear and precise language that everyone understands.  Ultimately, business is a matter of personal relationships but a well-written agreement can help avoid and resolve future disputes or misconduct.

 3.  Policies for employees should be clear.  Employment agreements are an excellent means for informing your employees about compensation and benefits, rules and regulations and procedures (from vacation and sick day policies to office and plant security), and employee responsibility regarding confidential business information, trade secrets, and customer data, and about employee conduct following employment necessary to protect your business.  Non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements might be needed.

 4.  Keep your employee handbooks up-dated.  Employee handbooks also are an excellent means for keeping your employees informed about company standards and policies and procedures.  Schedule periodic internal company meetings to train employees on company policies and to be certain all employees have received up-dated handbooks.

 5.  Maintain and monitor compliance with applicable regulations and laws.  OSHA regulation, Family and Medical Leave Act, your responsibility toward employees who go on active military duty (or are called to jury duty, for that matter), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (especially during the hiring process).

 6.  Review your insurance policies and needs.  Insurance can reduce your risk exposure, and can provide coverage in the event of certain lawsuits.  Review and know your obligations to the insurer.

 7.  Plan for your business partnership to go sour.  When you and your business partner need to end the relationship, a plan should already be in effect setting forth each partner's rights and obligations.  Consider implementing a means to resolve a deadlock.

 8.  Get a legal “check up.”  A little preventative law now can possibly save you from the expensive, time-consuming and emotional cost of litigation.


 
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My practice serves Dallas County, Collin County, Tarrant County and Denton County, which includes the cities of Dallas, Plano, Richardson, Frisco, Sherman, McKinney, Fort Worth and Arlington.   My office is located in downtown Dallas, near the Dallas Courthouses; my home is located halfway between the Dallas Courthouse and the Collin County Courthouse.
 
214-743-4150
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