Preventive Strategies

“Pain is the best teacher
but nobody wants to go to his class.”

If you find yourself in a legal scrap, you can bet I will be your staunchest ally in court and at the settlement table. And I’ve learned a lesson or three litigating scores of business and employment cases.

Lesson number one: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you position your pieces properly and stack the chips in your favor—before a lawsuit— the risk of litigation drastically drops. And even if litigation does break out, you hold the better hand and possess better chances in winning the lawsuit.

To this end, I offer a number of services that complement my litigation practice, specifically designed to protect your interests.

  • Drafting Solid Contracts
  • Evaluating Contracts
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Workplace Terminations
  • Computer Misconduct Investigations
  • Arbitration and Mediation

Drafting Solid Contracts

A contract is only as good as its written. Non-competes, non-solicitation, non-disclosure confidentiality, and trade secret provisions rise and fall on how well you (or your attorney) drafts them.

When you tap me on the shoulder to go into a battle, my primary weapon is often the contract between the parties. I will, and frequently do, take the proverbial knife into a gun fight; skillfully wielding a weak contract can yield results. But all things being equal, you want to equip me with the strongest contract possible to hedge your bets.

I will help you draft or revise important contracts to ensure you have the edge in worst case scenarios, including litigation.

Evaluating Contracts

You often do not realize how weakor unfairly slanted a contract is until a dispute breaks out. This often results in a shock. And it is too late at that point to fix the ship.

I review and fix existing contracts before you enter the storm.

I can assess a contract’s enforceability and legality. I will also identify gaps in protection and recommend improvements.

Workplace Investigations, Discipline, and Terminations

Employee investigations and firings are one of the most common causes of litigation. Emotions are high. Stakes are raised. And there are a host of legal claims parties can make afterward, whether it involves a contract or a discrimination claim.

There is an art to handling investigations, discipline, and terminations so that both your business and the employee can move forward with grace and minimal friction, let alone a lawsuit.

But I will tell you that, even if you handle everything correctly, some employees cannot be satisfied—that type will often file a claim no matter what you do. In those circumstances, it is particularly important that you properly investigated, documented, and handled the discipline or termination. That way you are in the best possible position when the employee attempts to claim wrongdoing.

Computer Misconduct Investigations

Computers present a particular problem with workplace misconduct. The ability of an individual to transfer, transport, and steal literally thousands of documents within a minute can cause disaster.

I have extensive experience investigating computer misconduct and fraud, whether from an internal employee or business partner, or from an external threat. Over the years, I have created strategic partnerships with computer forensic specialists who can quickly discern what happened and who did it. This process empowers me to effectively pursue the best legal relief, whether it is an order requiring return the information, monetary damages, or both.

Arbitration and Mediation

Arbitration and mediation are private alternatives to conventional, public lawsuits. Each offers certain advantages that should be considered and weighed.

I have participated in dozens of arbitrations and mediations. I am familiar with the process, pros, and cons of both.

For example, arbitration is statistically-slanted toward employers, with approximately 70% of arbitrations conducted by the American Arbitration Association ending in a win for the employer. Mediation also can present a valuable opportunity to cheaply resolve a dispute without litigation.

Read more about preventive tactics.

R. J. Cronkhite

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