Working to Protect Your Hard-Earned Assets
Are you or someone you know being sued and need legal representation to protect your assets? Contact Needham’s Top-Rated local® business lawyer today for comprehensive and expert representation.
It has been estimated that 50,000 lawsuits are filed in this country every day of the week.
Litigation cripples business. When patients sue doctors, the cost of health care rises. To compensate for products liability claims, manufacturers add a premium to the price of their products. It is time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally charged. It detracts from our ability to focus on productive matters, as attention is directed away from matters of efficiency and innovation. Parties in a lawsuit spend so much time meeting with lawyers and fighting with the other side that nothing gets accomplished. As businesses are dragged under by the burdens of litigation, our whole society suffers.
What happens if I get sued?
If you are engaged in any business activity or if you have a professional practice, chances are that sooner or later you will be sued. And if you are sued, everything that you have worked hard to create will be in jeopardy. The costs of defending even a frivolous suit can easily reach $50,000 to $100,000. Once you get to court, you will find that the system is heavily weighted toward the plaintiff; as judges and juries often play Robin Hood with your money. These judges and juries are continually expanding theories of liability, and stratospheric punitive damage awards are now routine. It is no longer uncommon for awards in negligence cases to exceed $1,000,000.
Our legal system should hold people responsible for their acts. If someone causes injury that person should be required to fairly compensate the victim for his loss. Not many people would seriously object to this principle. The problem is that this general principle bears no relationship to what is actually occurring in the legal system today.
The Deep Pocket Defendant
The reality of our legal system is that people are named as defendants in lawsuits not because of their degree of fault but because of their ability to pay. When an attorney is approached by a potential client who is claiming injury or economic loss, the attorney will consider whether a theory of liability can be developed against a party who can pay a judgment. This is called the search for the “Deep Pocket Defendant.”
The Deep Pocket Defendant will have substantial insurance coverage or significant personal assets. The measure of an attorney’s skill is his ability to create a theory of liability which will connect a Deep Pocket Defendant to the facts of a particular case.
The point of all this is that the foundation of every lawsuit is a defendant who can pay. Once such a defendant is located, it is easy enough to construct a theory of why that defendant should be responsible. Judges and juries act on their emotions – not on the law. And when the contest is between an injured or a sympathetic plaintiff against a wealthy or comparatively wealthy defendant, the plaintiff will win virtually every time, regardless of the defendant’s actual degree of fault.
As a result, the plaintiff’s attorney will search for a party who can pay a hefty judgment. In the old days it was said that “He who has the gold makes the rules.” Now the saying goes “He who has the gold pays the plaintiff.” The fact is that no matter how remote your connection to an injury, if you have even modest assets, an attorney for the injured party will attempt to show that you are somehow legally at fault, and you will be named as a defendant in the case.
Do you or someone you know need legal representation to protect your assets? If so, contact our Massachusetts asset protection lawyers today!