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MYTH: If I do everything legally, I cannot be sued

An audience member at a talk I was giving once remarked that you can be sued by a ham sandwich. Well this is not necessarily true, but you can be sued anytime, anywhere, by anyone, even if you have done everything “right.” The upside to this is that you have an opportunity to protect your rights against wrongdoers, but if the answer to every legal question is “it depends” and justice is a myth, a plaintiff, the party bringing the lawsuit, may have a very different idea of who is in the right than does a defendant, the party being sued. Even if all of the facts are in the favor of the defendant, it can take months and cost thousands of dollars to bring those facts to light and disengage from litigation. There is a remedy for vexatious or frivolous litigation, that is, suing someone without grounds, but these are very difficult cases to bring and there is an element of “rolling the dice” in these cases as well. So what is the answer? Make sure business decisions and operations are properly vetted by a team of advisors, including an attorney, and make sure you have everything you sign reviewed by an attorney. Even if you have read a contract and believe you completely understand it, there may be hidden set ups for litigation of which you are unaware.

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