You Can’t Generally Stop Someone From Suing You.
In the years before the blockchain buzz, I often would sit in my mentor’s office for conference calls. Even on calls where there was not much for me to add, I always learned from listening to him counsel his clients. I continue to learn from him.
As finance and corporate deal lawyers, we help our clients to structure, negotiate and close their important transactions. We help them to identify and find ways to minimize risks. Some risks cannot be obviated.
In the deal context, when negotiating contracts, clients often are very concerned with finding ways to be certain that they will not be sued, that no claim or cause of action will be brought against them. In response to the inevitable, “Could we get sued?,” my mentor would remind clients that, yes, they could get sued.
Even with the perfect deal, the most compliant performance, the best intentions, it generally is very, very difficult to prevent someone who wants to bring a claim against you from bringing an initial claim. In some cases, of course, you may be successful in having an action dismissed for any one of a number of reasons – or you ultimately may win a case that is brought against you. But, at least in the United States, someone who wants to bring a civil case against you generally will not be prevented from doing so.
Litigation is to be expected. It is a risk of doing business, a risk that is unlikely to be reduced to zero. And, in our legal system, litigation often is necessary and critical to solve disputes, protect rights, hold potential wrongdoers accountable and interpret and clarify the law.
However, it is just as important to remember that bringing suit doesn’t mean that a given plaintiff will win or is right.