Monday, March 18, 2013

Being "litigation-ready."

Litigation-readiness is a concept used by big companies that face multiple lawsuits at any given time. It means that a company is always prepared for litigation. When it arises, the company does not miss a beat in preparing documentation and prioritizing other tasks necessary to the litigation process.

Litigation-readiness is a good concept for small businesses and individuals to implement into their daily lives. Unfortunately, many people face litigation or threats of litigation at some point in their lives. It makes the process easier if you are prepared and can minimize the obstruction that litigation causes to your daily life. Being litigation-ready requires no drastic changes from your current lifestyle. It does not mean that you are willing to sue anything that moves. It suggests nothing about using the legal process offensively. But if you are a defendant or respondent in a lawsuit, litigation-readiness minimizes the stress and anxiety over litigation. Two of the most important things that you can do to be "litigation-ready" are:

  • Use a calendar on your smartphone. Put important events in your smartphone and do not delete them after they have passed. Make sure that your calendar is backed-up on occasion, so if your phone breaks, your events are not lost. Past events, even if irrelevant, can rekindle other memories and help create a relevant timeline of events. If you do not have a smartphone, keep a calendar and write important events on it.
  • Write stuff down, and get stuff in writing. If you are wronged and the person admits it, get them to write it down. They will be reticent to do this, but if they trust you, they may be willing to do so. This does not mean that you will sue them, but if something happens and you find yourself in litigation, written admissions are extremely powerful pieces of evidence. On the other hand, do not make an admission to someone else if you wronged them, unless you are prepared to write it down. If you do not feel comfortable writing it down, do not make the admission in the first place. This principle extends beyond written admissions: 100 percent of the time, written evidence is better than oral evidence.

Of course, there are other things you can do to be litigation-ready. These are just two of the most important.

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