Think about the consequences of your actions

The shocking events of this week involving the death of a Cyclist allegedly at the hands of lawyer and former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant are to say the least horrific.  The actions that took place in the span of a few minutes have permanently altered the lives of many people and this is something that everyone can learn from, including those engaged in running businesses.
 
As a litigator I am generally approached to handle a situation that has gone wrong.  The work of our solicitor, Scott R. Young, tends to focus more on preventing those wrongs from taking place.
 
 Here are a few examples of situations in the corporate/commercial realm that could benefit from a few moments of calm reflection before acting:
 
1.    A valued employee quits unexpectedly.  As the employer, do not immediately react with the shock you are feeling and say something you will regret: this isn’t going to make the person reconsider and you may end up in a law suit.  Better to reflect quietly, then respond.
 
2.    An employee needs to be terminated for what you believe is cause, but you do not want to go through the three month procedure your lawyer has suggested.  As the employer, do not lose your cool and fire the employee on the spot with yelling, etc.  Contact our firm, discuss the options and calmly, privately, address the issue – if you don’t you may end up in a law suit.
 
3.    In a lawsuit the other side has made a “take it or leave it offer” that is very low.   As the party to a law suit, do not let emotion factor into your decision and demand to counter back with an unreasonable offer. Listen to your lawyer’s advice, we are paid to analyze the situation without emotion.
 
In all aspects of business, it is better to take a few minutes to think before reacting – I’m sure everyone involved in the incident that is in the news wishes cooler heads had prevailed: when they don’t the results can be a disaster.
 
 
Inga B. Andriessen iandriessen@staging.andriessen.ca   
Senior Lawyer
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