Some would say you file a lawsuit right away. Go in hard and fast. Name everyone and anyone that might be associated with this ploy to ruin your business. You have been wronged and it’s going to take financial experts and forensic accountants to calculate all the damages your business is incurring. You are angry. You really hate those competitors and you want to stick it to them.
Litigation is an option but in reality it’s probably not your best option. The type of litigation you are getting into is complex; multiple parties with multiple claims. This is going to be a costly endeavor. While none of these opposing parties may have huge litigation budgets, if you are taking on 4 or more parties that is 4 litigation budgets you are taking on. Then you also have to consider the time that it’s going to take to go through this battle. In the end, even if you win the case, you might be worse off than if you had just rolled over.
Often times there are alternative solutions to these disputes. Take a look at our example from above. This brokerage firm can have their attorney contact the publications and work something out. These publications don’t want to expend money on litigation and they still want the revenue from your advertising too. There is probably a solution in there.
Other solutions might include finding alternative marketing methods. Remember you are different in the market so not following traditional lines of marketing might be better received. Another possibility is to offer contingent services that you might break even or even take a loss on but if these services bring in potential clients for your brokerage services then you have subverted your competitors attempts to stunt your business’ growth.
This is not to be interpreted as you should never seek out litigation as a solution. Sometimes it is the best solution. The best resource to have is a Grand Rapids business law firm that you work with regularly. If you wait to contact a litigation attorney when you have this issue come up, he is likely going to push you into litigation. That is his business and how he makes money. Your trusted general counsel though will help you find the best possible solution.
Source: “Should You Sue Over Sour Grapes?” by Norm Brodsky of Inc.com