Tips to Avoid a Lawsuit

  1. Overview
    • In general, there are two basic principals:
      • Get it in writing (it’s the friendliest way to do business!)
      • Communicate
    • Sources of liability
      • Employees
      • Customers
      • General Public
  2. Avoiding Lawsuits from Employees
    • Adopt/Establish internal WRITTEN policies and procedures
      • Have a written job description and check to make sure it’s being followed
      • These can be as broad or narrowly focused as necessary to meet the situation
      • there are third party vendors who do a nice job preparing manuals. For example: Merit Resources
      • Follow the manual:
        • Even if you don’t want to. Policies which are either not enforced or enforced selectively may not be policies at all
        • If you have to terminate an employee for “cause” document the reasons for termination as well as the steps PRIOR to the termination
    • Treat employees properly
      • Don’t be a jerk-Remember the Golden Rule
      • Be careful with humor: “politically correct” should be reduced to “correct”
      • Be careful when you’re in social situations INCLUDING social media
  3. Avoiding lawsuits from Customers:
    • Use written contracts
      • The greater the specificity the better
      • If you use a “form” agreement, make sure you understand the form
      • Be aware that the length of the document is NOTHING compared to the contents of the document
    • Communicate with your customers
      • MOST customers will try to work with you
      • People don’t sue people they like
  4. Avoiding lawsuits from the General Public
    • The key here is avoiding lawsuits against the owners PERSONALLY
    • Pay attention to your business infrastructure
      • The more you treat you business as a business the less likely that you will be sued personally for a business problem
      • You business should have a written operating agreement, Bylaws, Annual Minutes, and other internal written documents (like certificates, leases, and contracts)

Contact the Kreamer Law Firm, P.C. at 515-727-0900 or info@kreamerlaw.com for assistance with establishing internal policies and/or procedures, contracts, and other business documents.

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