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Business owners at CENTERFUSE get earful on litigation

MANASSAS — For small business owners, litigation is time-consuming and expensive.

But in today’s world, anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. That’s the message delivered at the CENTERFUSE coworking space in Downtown Manassas on Tuesday by Randolph Frosttick, of Vanderpool, Frostick, and Nishanian, P.C.

The attorney provided business owners with information and tips on how to deal with litigation, and how to protect themselves and their businesses.

If served with a lawsuit, don’t ignore it because it’s not going away, said Frostick. Consult an attorney immediately, don’t rely solely on internet sources for legal information, retain business documents, and have the proper business insurance.

“So many businesses don’t have the appropriate liability insurance,” he said.

If offered a settlement for a lawsuit that is too good to be true, it probably is.

“People ignore common sense and tend to settle for a ‘good deal,” explained Frostick.

Small business owners were also told to protect their intellectual property, which includes data on company servers and computers.

Frostick also encouraged owners to stop working with clients who do not pay their bills after 60 days, warning that waiting to collect from a late, or non-paying client provides more opportunity for other bill collectors to collect their debts.

He also noted Virginia courts during litigation cases rely heavily on written contracts. He encouraged business owners to read contracts carefully before signing.

“If you didn’t read it, too bad. If you read it and didn’t understand it, too bad,” he said.

Despite the amount of business litigation, it is the legal system that allows business to work.

“As bad as litigation is, what is the alternative? Organized crime…trial by battle?” he asked.

Tuesday’s session was the first of two scheduled “Java Juice Up” sessions, designed to educate business owners at CENTERFUSE about topics that may not come up in their daily work life, but are nonetheless important to their companies. Another presentation scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 29 featuring Manassas Police Chief Douglas Keen will tackle parking issues in the city’s downtown area.

This fall, evening sessions featuring Shining Sol Candle Company, and a “techie” meet-up are also planned.

CENTERFUSE is located at 9071 Center Street in Manassas.

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