In this video, you will get answers to these questions:
- How can you avoid getting sued?
- Why is it that wealthy people get sued?
- What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Sued As You Become More Successful?
How to avoid getting sued as you get successful? Have you ever noticed that wealthy people tend to have a lot of lawsuits? It’s amazing how when a person becomes wealthy or popular, they get some fame; they start achieving significant success. They often find themselves in lawsuits, and people who aren’t high profile, don’t have much money, average middle class people, they rarely find themselves in lawsuits. Why is that? And what can you do about it if you start making money and you want to avoid lawsuits? That’s the question I’m answering today.
I’m Aaron Hall, an attorney for business owners and entrepreneurial companies. To avoid common legal problems for new businesses, I give out a free cheat sheet. It’s called Seven Legal Mistakes Made by New Businesses. You can download it aaronhall.com/free/. And when you sign up to get that for free, you’ll also get some videos from me explaining some of the concepts on that PDF.
So, how can you avoid getting sued, and why is it that wealthy people get sued? Well, first off, people who don’t have any money often don’t get sued because if the person suing them wins, they may not recover anything. Look at it this way, if you sue somebody and they have no money, you are not going to be able to recover. You might have a piece of paper from the court called a judgment that says they owe you money, but if they don’t have money, what are you going to do? How are you going to get it? No, sure. You can garnish bank accounts, you can garnish wages, you can go after assets that they have, but that costs money. And again, if they don’t have it, you are not going to be able to get it from them. So just as a general premise, people who don’t have anything often don’t get sued because it’s not worth the time and money to initiate a lawsuit against them. But as you have more money, there is now a financial incentive to sue you if you have wronged somebody. Sometimes people say you have deeper pockets. In other words, you have more money in your pockets, and you are thus a higher priority for a lawsuit.
When clients come to me, and they talk to me about trying to sue somebody, one of the initial considerations is, does that person even have money? Because if they don’t, you are going to spend money winning a lawsuit. And then you just have a sheet of paper from the court called a judgment that says they owe you the money, but how are you actually going to get it if they don’t have it? Now, there might be other relief that you request from the court. Maybe you ask for an injunction or a restraining order against the other party. That doesn’t take money. It’s just restraining them from doing something. Lawsuits for money are only effective if the defendant in the lawsuit has money. So that’s one reason why people are more likely to get sued the wealthier they get. Likewise, the more high profile they get, the more famous they get, the more likely somebody is to assume that they have money, and thus, it’s more likely that person will get sued.
Another reason you may be more likely to get sued as you get more money is you just have more things going on. You have more contracts. You have more transactions. You are hiring people; you are firing people; you are setting up deals. Sometimes You are walking away from deals. So you will find that because there’s a lot more legal activity occurring, business relationships, contracts, transactions, payments. There is simply more opportunity for somebody to not be happy or somebody’s rights to be violated. Maybe it’s your rights. Maybe it’s their rights. Maybe you are not happy about what somebody did to you. Maybe they are not happy about what they did or what you did to them. So that’s why as companies grow and as individuals become successful and have companies around them, LLCs or corporations, they are much more likely to get involved in legal matters.
Look at it this way, if you start a little lawn mowing business where you are making $500 a summer, and you are getting paid each day when you finish mowing the lawn, the chance of you getting sued is really small. I once had somebody come to me who was setting up a lawn mowing business, and they wanted my help as an attorney. I said, “You know what? The odds of you getting sued are so little that I wouldn’t worry about it. I wouldn’t spend the money on an attorney’s fees on that. But if this becomes a larger organization and you have significant profits, that’s when it makes sense to get an attorney to make sure you have a solid contract, to make sure you are avoiding taxes, avoiding legal problems, making sure you get paid and limiting any legal exposure that you have.”
All right. What can you do to avoid getting sued as you become more successful as your company grows, as you make more money, as you grow in popularity, or you are getting more attention? Well, step number one is having an attorney, somebody trained at looking at potential risk, and have a conversation with that attorney about how can you avoid those specific risks. For example, if you are a YouTuber, I would talk with you about the specific risks associated with your channel. Maybe it’s contracts with sponsors, and we need to take a careful look at the terms of those. Maybe the content you are talking about, maybe you are covering issues, and in doing so, there’s a question of could you misstate something? Could you say something that’s improper or make somebody upset? How do we insert an oral disclaimer or a written disclaimer on that channel or on that video that might provide some sort of protection for you? Maybe you are using other people’s trademarked brand names, logos, or images, or maybe you are using other people’s copyrighted works like music, images, videos. Let’s make sure that we have the proper contracts and authorization in place for that. Those are just a few of the simple ways that you can work to make sure your risk is minimized as your company grows.
Now, the whole purpose of this YouTube channel is to help educate you to spot issues, to talk with your attorney about avoiding risk, empowering you with education, and helping you avoid risky behavior yourself. If you haven’t already, you downloaded the free cheat sheet that I give out Seven Common Legal Mistakes Made by New Businesses and how to avoid those. That’s just a real free, practical tool that you can use to equip yourself to better grow as a business owner or an entrepreneur.
Now, if you are interested in more videos like this and avoiding other risks in your company, you are welcome to subscribe to the channel. If you like this, you can thumbs up. If you don’t like it, click the thumbs down. And if you have questions, feel free to put those in the questions section or the comments section below. I do my best to review those and use the questions there as future video topics. Thanks for joining me today. If you want to learn more about me, you can go to aaronhall.com and please join me for the next video.