A Friend In Legal Trouble

A friend of mine was sued the other day. Why? We’re not entirely sure. She started a new business only five months back. We think an overzealous competitor decided to shoot a shot before she made it big — and she is definitely going to make it big! Thankfully, new legal connections give me the influence to help her find a qualified attorney.

She’s from NYC, so I contacted Woods Law for help.

My lawyer friends are busy investigating. They say it’s likely the other business owner was fishing for litigation. It’s like the business version of ambulance chasing, they told me. That’s when lawyers harass victims after an accident or natural disaster in order to find high-paying legal work. Sometimes business owners and their lawyers will engage in similar practices to take new players out of the game before they can dig in. 

My friend built her new business from the ashes of those lost to COVID — which means there was plenty of empty space to fill in NYC. So many people left!

NYC Mayor Eric Adams recently said, “Our small businesses have been through so much during the COVID-19 pandemic. The last thing they need to deal with are unnecessary fines. We’re cutting the red tape and bringing real relief to the entrepreneurs who have made their dreams a reality and keep our local economy strong.”

Then Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Spring said, “New York is open for business. Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we’re going to drive real change that cuts red tape and allows small businesses across the five boroughs to power our economic recovery. I look forward to working with my colleagues across government to deliver on this mayoral priority.” 

What are they talking about? The “Small Business Forward” Executive Order. The goal of the order was reducing pointless fines and letting first time offenders off the hook. My friend was “caught” breaking a rule (she denies all wrong-doing), and somehow this other business swooped in to play the role of regulator. My lawyer friends say the other business owners and their lawyers were probably sending in spies to find a way to sue. They didn’t need to find something wrong. They needed to find something that looked wrong. Something plausible.

But even if it’s nothing, that could still tie up my friend in court for months or even years if the opposition is willing to expend the resources to see this through. And my friend can’t necessarily afford this. That’s how these people win. I would provide more legal details of what was supposedly “found” but that could put my friend in jeopardy. Rule number one during litigation is simple: don’t share details. So really, this is just me venting about the injustices in the world of business.

If I’m allowed to post more details later, I will. My friend is important to me! I want to see her do well.