Business litigation can be a long and expensive process. The best business law attorneys in Portland or Seattle look for opportunities to streamline the process and make it more cost effective for their clients.
As I've written in this blog before, the best way to handle litigation is to prevent it. No litigation at all is the cheapest and most effective litigation, period. That is why you will hear the attorneys at Slinde Nelson preaching preventative legal maintenance. Keeping your contracts fresh, keeping you eyes up and looking ahead -- these are the only ways to completely avoid expensive business litigation.
But business is business, and some business disputes are unavoidable. When you find yourself in one, you need a business dispute attorney who focuses on big picture strategy, as well as nuts and bolts litigation.
One early opportunity to clarify and narrow a case is what is known as the motion to dismiss. This is a motion against the formal claims in the case. Oftentimes, a lawyer files a lawsuit by throwing facts and legal claims against the wall to see what sticks. Five, seven or even ten different claims might come out of an initial pleading, even in a simple case.
Narrowing that case by forcing your opponent to justify those claims can provide good results: If ten claims become two, you might be facing a much less expensive piece of litigation. Efficiency served.
Another important outcome of an early motion can be added clarity: You have to know what you're defending against to successfully defend a case. But a corollary to that principle is that wasting money defending against claims that are beside the point is bad business. A motion to dismiss can smoke out the other side's legal theories and get to the heart of the case.
Smart litigation sometimes costs some money up front to narrow and clarify claims, but in the end it can help streamline a lawsuit and save you money.