Archive for March, 2010
Shareholder dispute litigation can arise at any time. When you consider that these types of cases almost always arise among business partners who once trusted one another – whether they are family members, or simply people who worked together to build a company – it highlights the fact that no one is immune from such a suit. And whether the litigation arises over a shareholder being terminated, a situation involving something as sinister as embezzlement, or simply results from an uncontrollable “power trip” by the majority shareholder, there is a common theme to all these cases: everyone attempts to re-create the past.
Sometimes the “re-creations” are founded in a genuinely-held view of how things transpired, albeit from one’s own biased point of view. For example, when the majority shareholder says he terminated the minority shareholder’s employment because the minority was lazy and useless, the majority shareholder’s own financial self-interest may actually cause him to believe this. Other times, of course, people just plain lie. Regardless of motivation, if you see a potential litigation coming down the road, it is never too early to start protecting yourself from revisionist history. Of course, it is obvious that things are easier to prove when in writing, so it goes without saying that you should, at the very least, start making a paper trail once you sense a showdown on the horizon. But many people don’t realize that it may not be too late to make a paper trail for things even in the distant past.