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Business Legal Advice: Can I Sue

Bradley I. Kramer is a M.D, Esquire. at The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer (http://www.biklaw.com/). In this video he shares Business Legal Advice on a proper standing to sue.

  1. Proper standing to sue
  2. Statute of limitations: defines the length of time to bring forth a lawsuit
  3. Contract provisions determine eligibility for a lawsuit
  4. Lawsuits involving multiple parties are handled differently from single party suits
  5. Class action: large parties Joinder: smaller groups
  6. Venue issues: relevant court jurisdictions

When I’m advising business owners on whether or not they can sue another party, there’s a couple of key factors that need to go into that consideration.

The first is whether or not they have what’s called proper standing to sue. So in essence, what that means is are they the proper party to bring a lawsuit? Have they been the party that was injured? If they are the party that is injured, then certainly they are going to be the ones that have the proper ability to bring a lawsuit.

On the other hand, if there is a third party for example that was injured, then the first party is usually not going to be able to bring a lawsuit based upon the injuries to that third party.

The second issue that is very important is what’s called the statute of limitations and the statute of limitations tells you or tells a party when they can bring a lawsuit. There is an expiration date so to speak for when you can bring a lawsuit. And different claims have different statutes of limitations. For example, if you would to bring a claim for a breach of a contract, that’s statute of limitations depends in end of itself on whether or not there is a written contract or an oral contract. Similarly, if you are going to bring an action for fraud, there is a different statute of limitations that applies. So depending on what your claim is, you are going to have different expiration dates for those claims.

The third issue to be aware of is what the actual contract say is if in fact you are suing on a contract. If there are provisions that are explicit within the contract, then if – the party that you are considering suing has violated that provision, then that’s going to be a very important consideration in when you bring the lawsuit and what claims you bring against that party.

Another important issue is going to be whether or not other parties have been affected. In certain lawsuits, there is only a single party for example, your small business that has been affected by the conduct of a third party. In other lawsuits, there are multiple parties that are involved and there are certain ways within lawsuits to deal with those other third parties. One is called a joinder, another is called a class action.

Class actions generally affect a large number of parties whereas a joinder action usually involves 3, 4, 10, 20, 50 parties but certainly not above that number.

The final consideration in assessing whether or not you can sue is what type of venue issues are involved and a venue is a consideration of which court you can bring the action in if you can bring the action in court at all. Often times within a contract there is for example, an arbitration provision which says that you can only arbitrate matters, and not go to court to address problems that you have with the third party.

So in general, there is a lot of factors that go into whether or not someone can sue and it’s intelligent to discuss all of those issues with your attorney before you decide whether or not you want to go forward with an action.