How the Squeeze Unfolds
We’ve written extensively about the conditions that can give rise to a dispute between shareholders or partners. We’ve also talked about some of the corporate law behind those disputes. Over the next several posts we’re going to look at another important element in shareholder and partner disputes, the question of strategy. However the dispute came about, once attorneys are involved considerations of strategy enter in. How to conduct the dispute can be just as important as the facts underlying the case.
One aspect that needs to be considered carefully is how long any legal proceedings are likely to take. Once a dispute has gotten into the courts, it can only progress as fast as the legal process permits. There are motions and counter-motions, discovery requests, hearings before a judge, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences. If the case gets to that point, which is to say if it can’t settle, time eventually comes for a trial, followed by waiting for the judge to render an opinion. However much the parties involved may want a speedy resolution to their dispute, it’s very likely the case will take some time to resolve.
There’s nothing revolutionary in pointing out that legal system moves slowly, of course. The aspect many people may not consider, however, is how this fact of life affects the strategy of a case. It comes down to the specifics of the parties involved in the case. How long can you sustain legal efforts? How long can the other party? Legal proceedings are stressful. They may interfered with your work. The longer things last, the more legal bills accrue.
When these specifics end up lopsided, when one party can stretch things out more easily than the other, that imbalance can become part of the strategy of a case. One party may attempt to slow things down, drag the process out, to leverage that advantage. Of course unreasonably slowing the progression of a case — for example, refusing to produce documents in discovery, leading to repeated re-requests for the same material — can lead to sanctions from the court.
In any case, there are numerous aspects to the strategy of a dispute and parties are well advised to seek experienced counsel who can navigate that complexity and secure a desirable outcome.
Horowitz Law Offices represents shareholders and partners to litigate their difficult disputes. You are welcome to contact us at (312) 787-5533 or firstname.lastname@example.org