Recently, MSNBC’s Tucson, Arizona affiliate offered some tips on protecting one’s assets from “crazy lawsuits.” While the tips are nothing revolutionary, they are helpful. Obtaining insurance and converting a business into a limited liability company can protect protect personal assets in the event of litigation. However, there is much more to say on this issue. Accordingly, we here at Abnormal Use must step in at this point and offer these additional tips to those unfortunate souls facing a “crazy lawsuit.”
First, prepare yourself. While at first glance you may think a lawsuit is “crazy,” it may have more validity that you realized once you understand the applicable law. Even those with the best of intentions can find themselves facing a damaging lawsuit. It’s important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case from the outset. Find a good lawyer and allow him or her to prepare a good defense.
Second, don’t think of the lawsuit as “crazy.” The lexicon is, after all, everything. Rather, start thinking like a lawyer. It’s not a crazy case, but one in which you have no liability. Calling the plaintiff’s case “crazy” is no way to get a lawsuit thrown out on summary judgment. (Would that it were so.). By taking even the most marginal suits seriously, you can concentrate on forming the proper defense and addressing each element of the tort. Remember, even “crazy lawsuits” are very real in the eyes of the court and must be handled appropriately.
Finally, trust the court system. Our system is not perfect, but it’s the best thing going. If a lawsuit is truly “crazy,” have faith that a jury of your peers will see it the same way. If you and those on your behalf have prepared and handled the case properly, it will be evident at trial. While a jury is always a wild card, you have to trust them – it’s your only choice.
Thousands of lawsuits flow through our courts every year – some frivolous, some valid. In this day and age, most lawsuits settle before trial. But of those that do not, very few make national news due to an outrageous verdict. If you find yourself facing a potentially “crazy lawsuit,” don’t fret.
After all, only the craziest of the crazy lawsuits become the subject of award-winning HBO documentaries.