By Alexander Barthet

Steering clear of lawsuits, especially those stemming from construction disputes, is always a good idea. To do so, make a point of getting all important agreements in writing. This will avoid miscommunication and selective memories. Do the same with any subsequent modifications. If things aren’t working out, document the problem with written notice to the other side. Then if you reach a point where your disagreement can’t get resolved, remember these pointers to gain an edge if you have to sue:

  • Being a plaintiff rather than a defendant is best.
  • Statistically, juries more often side with plaintiffs.
  • File first – this way you get to choose the forum where the lawsuit will be litigated.
  • Your own backyard, rather than a different city or state, is generally less costly.
  • Be factual not emotional – don’t be swayed by your anger or disappointment but rather by the actual facts leading up to the dispute.
  • Pursue a resolution – spend your time seeking a solution not trying to prove you’re right.

Finally, be aware that the legal fees and costs incurred in a case can quickly exceed the actual amounts being litigated, so keep litigation as a last resort.

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