What An Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Taking Legal Action

Sweta Patel

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I have had to take legal action several times in my life—I did not get paid by a client once, was embezzled another time, and also had to deal with a robbery. I only did it if the value was greater than $100,000; if it wasn’t, then it was not worth fighting the battle. Many lawyers will fight for anything as long as they are getting paid. They never guarantee results, and this is why you have to really think about taking steps for litigation before moving forward. You think an attorney will protect you through the process, but sometimes, this is wishful thinking because the attorney is just there to fight your case. If they can’t resolve the matter for you, it is considered a loss. The fees are not cheap, and unfortunately, they can add up fast.

We must learn how to adapt to these adverse situations before they get the best of us. It is tough to choose litigation because it is not only time consuming, but there are a lot of steps before a settlement takes place. As I strengthened my entrepreneurial abilities, I realized that so much savings are involved in settling before taking litigation.

Here are the only times I would consider taking legal action as an entrepreneur or business owner:

Communication is not open

Most of my issues came from having a communication disconnect between people. It wasn’t necessarily that anyone was bad or they didn’t know what they were doing. The bigger issue was that we didn’t understand one another and didn’t take the time to try. We went off of our own judgments. This is not productive when it comes to trying to solve problems. As an entrepreneur, it’s always important to look at the bigger picture. Is this disconnect going to matter in the next five years? Can you just let it go and move on with your life? Is this your ego saying you must fight this person to seek some validation?

We can certainly avoid communication errors if we understand one another better. I have been in situations with liars and people who have deceived me. I always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, which made me more vulnerable to being taken advantage of. In business, it is important to keep your mind on your goals versus how you feel. People have their own agendas, so beware and tailor your communication to bypass it. If you can avoid legal action, do it because it is often not worth your time.

Mediation is not possible

I would look for people related to the person I have a conflict with and see if they are open to mediating the situation. People love to speak and tell stories, so this would give them a chance to tell their story and help solve the conflict. In an ideal situation, mediation is usually the best way to resolve the situation. You can use counselors, mutual friends, or even colleagues and co-workers. The process can be simple but effective. The goal is to come to a settlement without going the legal route. You want to create win-wins without having to take steps to find a lawyer, then fork out the cash to hire them. This is where humanity and community come in.

If we go back in time when lawyers didn’t exist or were less common, people had to drop their egos and help one another. When considering litigation, take stock of all that is involved, including the costs. When two people can drop their pride and try to settle with a compromise, but they don’t have to waste money in court, this is a win-win.

The community can’t help resolve the situation

Many times, we look to government agencies for help, but they don’t usually take steps to help us. We even look into national agencies, but these people just sit back and collect paychecks. They will never help in the ways that you need. For example, when a co-worker embezzled me, I went straight to law enforcement. They told me to take legal action. I didn’t feel the need to do that, so I contacted the person’s relatives and asked if they could possibly help resolve the matter. Often, the relatives would see the situation and wonder how it happened and would want to know more. They would eventually try to speak to the person and sort out the matters. It takes time. I remember when this happened, the agencies, and even law enforcement, didn’t get back to me until a year later. I wondered why they took so long, but the process is very long in itself. Sometimes, it is not worth waiting around if you need help quickly.

I hope this helps you think of other ways to solve issues and avoid taking legal action. Sometimes, we really don’t have another choice when someone is so stuck in their ways. It is tough to maintain hope, and legal action may be the only way to come out on the other side. These are times when legal action is appropriate, and you don’t have to worry about having to deal with someone who is not workable. Most people driven by their egos will never have compassion towards other people. They are simply driven by money, and there is no other workaround for them. These are the types of people where legal action may be the best way versus wasting a lot of time trying to fix a broken record.

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Millions of women who silently struggle with autoimmune-related health issues have a new resource to turn to for help. Sweta Patel, founder of Healveda is no stranger to success. She has advised and served as an executive for more than 200 high-growth startups in Silicon Valley. She’s the founder of Startup Growth Mode, Best-Selling Author, and an Oracles Member, an elite brain trust of entrepreneurs that include Sir Richard Branson, Tim Draper, and more. Sweta switched from tech to health after successfully dealing with three different autoimmune episodes. Today, she is on a mission to help women all over the world find natural ways to defeat the crippling effects of autoimmune diseases while going after their dreams.

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