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News & Views

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Why hiring an attorney is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. TBHR offers tips for businesses to steer clear of litigation.

Litigation can be enormously costly for a business. Boston-based Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers, P.C. (TBHR) has represented businesses on both sides of the litigation table and offers insights as to how, with proper legal counsel, many lawsuits can be avoided - or their financial impact reduced - before a dispute arises.

“Hiring an attorney in the earliest stages of any business transaction is probably the best way to avoid litigation,” said Mark Furman, a TBHR Member and chairman of the firm’s litigation department. “While businesses are usually looking for ways to keep costs down, having an attorney review a contract, a purchase and sale agreement, a lease or any other legal document before it is signed can drastically reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit down the road.  Remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ agreement.  An attorney works to avoid ambiguous language and to make the agreement as favorable as possible to the client in the event a dispute does arise.”

Some other steps TBHR recommends for businesses to avoid litigation:

  • Get it in writing – the days of verbal and handshake agreements are over. By putting it in writing, you leave nothing to recall should the other party decide to take legal action.
  • Perform background checks on prospective employees and potential business partners. 
  • Have a thorough and well-drafted Employee Handbook – even if you employ as few as five people.  Putting in writing your company’s rules and expectations can help you defend your company against claims by a disgruntled employee.
  • Trademark search – before you open your doors, have an attorney do a trademark search on your company name.
  • With the help of your attorney, realistically assess the likely recovery against the estimated costs of the litigation to make sure the action will be cost-effective.
  • Listen to your customers, tenants, employees or whomever it is who has a complaint about your business or service. 

“It’s amazing how many lawsuits have started just because the business owner did not respond or even acknowledge a complaint. That’s something every business owner can do without the benefit of retaining counsel,” stated Furman.

 

About Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.

Formed in 1991, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. is committed to providing high quality, comprehensive legal services to its clients. Featuring a breadth and depth of experience and perspective usually found only at larger law firms, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers. P.C. offers sophisticated legal counsel to entrepreneurs, businesses, individuals, families, and institutions.

Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers’ areas of expertise include corporate law, employment matters, mergers and acquisitions, litigation and dispute resolution, estate planning, taxation, real estate, bankruptcy, and municipal law.

To help clients make informed decisions and achieve their goals, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers P.C. develops creative customized solutions for its clients by emphasizing careful listening and considerate evaluation. Utilizing the expertise and collegiality of the firm’s fifty plus members, associates, and support staff has consistently resulted in the building of lasting relationships of trust and confidence.

The offices of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. are located at 101 Huntington Avenue, Prudential Center, in Boston, MA 02199. For additional information, or to arrange for a consultation, please call 1-617-218-2000, e-mail info@tbhr-law.com, or visit www.tbhr-law.com.

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