Slate’s Law Blog

What are the Steps in Business Litigation?

What are the Steps in Business Litigation?

When your business has been harmed because another party breached your contract, or due to an issue like tortious interference, you are likely wondering about your legal options and may be considering business litigation. Understanding the process of resolving a business issue can be complicated, and you may be unsure about the steps that are involved in business litigation. It is important to know that each case will have its own particularities, and the precise steps that occur in your case will depend on the issue or issues you are facing. In general, however, our Santa Fe business litigation lawyers can provide you with a broad overview of what you should expect.

1. Negotiations With the Other Party or Parties

Many people assume that working with a business litigation lawyer involves immediately filing a lawsuit against the other party who has breached a contract or otherwise engaged in an action that has harmed their business. However, it is essential to know that business litigation lawyers provide a wide range of services to help resolve disputes and other legal issues affecting companies. Indeed, the best business litigation lawyers want to help you avoid a lengthy and costly courtroom case, and will instead begin the process by engaging in negotiations that could result in you obtaining a settlement from the other party.

2. Presentation of Options to Avoid Litigation

When more information negotiations fail or are impractical for your case, your business litigation attorney will usually present you with options that may be available to avoid litigation. To be clear and to reiterate, you should not usually work with a business litigation lawyer who wants to file a lawsuit immediately. Instead, you will want an attorney who presents you with more cost-effective options that may allow you to resolve the legal issue. 

3. Filing a Lawsuit

When other options fail, the next step will be to work with your business litigation attorney to file a lawsuit. Every type of civil lawsuit has a statute of limitations under New Mexico law, and your lawyer will ensure that your claim is filed on time. Once you file a lawsuit, a series of additional steps in the process will occur. Most importantly, the discovery phase will begin, during which your business litigation attorney will seek evidence to support your side of the lawsuit. During discovery, your attorney may seek information from the other side through a variety of means, which may include, for example:

  • Written discovery, which requires the other party to respond in writing to specific questions;
  • Depositions, which will require the other party to provide oral testimony (this occurs outside the courtroom); 
  • Requests for production of documents, which will involve requesting specific documents from the other party.

During discovery, settlement negotiations can continue to occur. A trial is not inevitable.

4. Trial

If necessary, your business litigation lawyer will present your case to the court in a trial, relying on various forms of evidence. The amount of time a trial takes, and the financial cost involved, can vary widely depending upon the circumstances of the case. 

Contact a Business Litigation Attorney in Santa Fe

If you have questions about the business litigation process in New Mexico, you should get in touch with an experienced Santa Fe business litigation lawyer at our firm. Contact Slate Stern Law today to learn more about how we can assist you.