In the course of running a successful business there are going to be disputes that arise. A product received was not what it was thought to be. The amount owed was believed to be incorrect. Someone is trying to profit off of your hard work. All of these are situations that can cause tension and hard feelings. These are also unavoidable situations because eventually as a business someone is going to have a problem with you or you are going to be wronged by another.
Global corporation Amway recently brought a lawsuit against Ken Hankinson for illegally selling its products on internet auction site eBay. Hankinson claimed to have legally purchased the goods from a third party and then was reselling them for a profit. Amway claimed Hankinson, by his selling of Amway products, was hurting the reputation and customer service that Amway was built on.
This case has since been dismissed because a settlement was able to be reached. This type of situation could have cost tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to both parties but Amway’s in house counsel was able to reach a settlement with Hankinson. Amway is a multi-billion dollar company so it could afford to litigate that business dispute but for small businesses a business dispute can be devastating.
Having an experienced business attorney that has partnered with your business can be beneficial to avoiding litigation. Trial lawyers make a living on running up high billable hours and often times can take unnecessary steps just to tack on a couple more hours to your bill. Working with an attorney that benefits more when your business is successful is more likely to work to a similar resolution like in the Hankinson case. A quick resolution equates to less money spent on an attorney and the quicker ability to move on with more important matters like your business. In some situations it can mean that a business relationship is saved and the parties can continue a profitable relationship.
Business disputes are bound to happen. It’s important to be prepared to act proactively to avoid as much damage as possible.
Source: “After unexpected Amway lawsuit over his eBay sales, Grand Rapids man says company 'treated me with respect' in settlement” by Shandra Martinez of MLive.com