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Credit & Collections Kit For Dummies® by Aaron Larson, Steven A. Harms

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Chapter 15

Determining Your Litigation Strategy

In This Chapter

Figuring out how strong your case is

Considering alternative dispute resolution

Forming a winning strategy for litigation

Getting your witnesses and documents ready for court

Understanding the statute of limitations

If you can’t get paid any other way, it’s time to consider collecting through a lawsuit. But before you jump straight into court, get things right by considering the following:

The strengths and weaknesses of your claim, and whether you need to settle for less than you want or write off the debt

Whether you should file a lawsuit or instead consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Who you should name as a defendant in your collections case

What legal theories (causes of action) you should raise against the defendants

Your goal is to devise the best strategy, right from the start, to achieve the best possible result. In this chapter, we give you the help you need to create that strategy.

Assessing the Strength of Your Case

Every story has two sides. If you’re a parent, you know that to be a fact. Before you punish Johnny for hitting Susie, you have to hear from both kids so you can figure out exactly what happened. Even that may not be enough, but you’ll be closer to the truth than if you hear only one side of the story. Lawsuits (as well as alternative dispute resolution) work the same way — you state your side, the debtor states his side, and a judge or jury (or mediator or arbitrator) tries to sort ...

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