When your business is sued in Wisconsin, the risk to your personal property depends on two factors: why you’ve been sued, and how you have your business set up. In some cases your personal property may be at risk, and in others it may not be. A business attorney can examine both factors and determine whether or not your personal property is at risk.
Can My Business Be Sued By A Client, Consumer Or Another Company From Outside Of Wisconsin? If So, What Are Some Examples?
Yes, your business can be sued by a client, consumer, or company from outside of Wisconsin. As an example, let’s say your business makes conveyor belts, and you get an order from a customer who wants to install one in his factory in California. So you manufacture the conveyor belt and you and ship it to California. After a few days, the customer tells you he doesn’t think the conveyor belt works right, and decides to sue you. He might sue you in Wisconsin or in California.
I have clients on both end of this equation: that is, people who are being sued over state lines, and people looking to sue people over state lines. I could be representing the Wisconsin company getting sued or the California company doing the suing. A lot of my clients are people who either need to sue somebody locally in the Wisconsin courts or they’ve been sued by somebody locally in the Wisconsin courts, but they’re in another state and are unfamiliar with how the Wisconsin courts work.
For those in other states being sued within the Wisconsin courts, they might simply be served with a summons and a complaint that says they have a certain number of days (be it 20, 21, or 45) to respond. Understandably, they start freaking out and looking for a lawyer who can handle this for them. The lawyers in their state that they may have depended on previously are usually local lawyers and do not know how the Wisconsin courts work. That’s where a business attorney like me can come in very handy. I can be the lawyer on the ground for out of state companies being sued in Wisconsin courts, and vice versa.
Early in my career, I was a law clerk in the federal district court in Green Bay, which is where a lot of business disputes between people in different states end up. I am very comfortable in federal court. Frankly, I prefer to be in Federal Court, which is not something that many lawyers in this area can say—especially outside of the big, expensive firms.
Beyond business disputes over state lines, I also handle other civil cases that frequently wind up in federal court. These include federal civil rights cases, many intellectual property cases, and business disputes over more than $75,000. Those are all good examples of the type of cases we cover and the areas in which we can offer clients a unique advantage.
What Are Some Common Misconceptions You Find That People Or Business Owners Have When It Comes To Business Litigation?
One major misconception lots of people tend to have when it comes to business litigation has to do with fees.
Everybody knows that the car accident attorneys and the medical malpractice attorneys work on a one-third contingency. So, if some guy runs you over with their car and you want to sue him, you can call an attorney who is going to tell you that they don’t take a fee unless they win the case. That is the industry standard for that kind of law.
It is much less common for an attorney to work on contingency for the plaintiff’s side of business litigation. People assume that all business litigation attorneys representing the plaintiff are wildly expensive and require huge retainers, that you’re going to have to pay them $10,000 the first day you meet them and then $400 an hour for every hour of work.
I, on the other hand, try to practice on contingency as much as possible for the benefit of my clients. Of course, this does limit the type of cases I can take. If the case is terrible and I know the chances are very slim no matter how hard I work, it will be difficult for me to justify taking it on contingency. However, if the case has merit and there’s a reasonable chance of a good outcome, then I’d be more than happy to work on a contingency.
For more information on Business Litigation in Wisconsin, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (920) 759-8114 today.
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