My Dealership Lost a Lawsuit. What Should I Do?

Losing a lawsuit can be difficult to deal with, especially from a financial perspective. There are a lot of financial burdens that come with losing a lawsuit, which you have to somehow work into your normal car dealership business expenses. Developing a plan is crucial for successfully moving forward.

Paying Fees

Paying off lawyer fees is one of the first things you need to figure out after losing a suit. The payment of your attorney is usually detailed in the contract at the time of retaining them. If they were hired at an hourly rate on a retainer if there is anything remaining in the retainer fee you provided it gets returned to you. This helps give you a little more capital to help pay off the remaining hourly fees. While most personal attorneys can be reluctant to work out payment plans, business attorneys may be more willing to work out a payment plan for more exorbitant fees that occur as the result of a long, drawn-out case. This will allow you to pay off your attorney over an extended period of time without risking bankruptcy due to crushing legal fees. Another possibility is to take out a business loan to assist with the costs, although that isn’t highly recommended if you can avoid it.


The appeals process is a great way to recover from the damage a lawsuit can have on your company’s image. An appeal is essentially a plea to the court for a second opinion on the hearing result. With the help of your lawyer, you prepare a statement of appeals that details the reasons you want the decision appealed. This includes legal principles that should have upheld your side of the case, as well as issues with the trial and lawsuit itself. The appeal will be reviewed by a team of judges, and a final decision will be made. Appeals may take up to two years to fully process. Just make sure your statement of appeals is well-written, and try to have patience.

Moving Forward

The most important thing to keep in mind after losing a lawsuit is that you still have a business to run. While dealing with the problems brought up by the lost lawsuit, try to focus on profitability and ways to improve your business. The more profitable your dealership can be, the more you’ll have to work with for dealing with the extra expenses. The most important part is not to let your business stagnate while you deal with the fees and legal headache because of the suit. If you retain an attorney for general services, like collections or other business-related matters, the attorney fees might be tax deductible.

Overall, the key to keeping your business afloat is to work with your attorney to develop a plan moving forward, both regarding payment for their services on the case as well as the appeals process. Keep your eyes ahead, and focus on keeping your business profitable, despite the lawsuit’s effect on your public image. Try to mitigate or combat negative press and public opinion as best you can. While many high-profile cases can stick to your reputation, in most cases, things go back to normal relatively quickly as time moves on and people’s attention drifts to the next big story.

Getting your business off the ground, or into a higher orbit, can be overwhelming at times. Join the Framework 4 Freedom community today to start fresh!

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