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The Pros and Cons of Settling vs. Going to Trial in Business Litigation Cases

By: LS Carlson Law April 26th, 2023


Business litigation cases can be complex and time-consuming, leaving business owners with the difficult decision of whether to settle or go to trial. While every case is unique, understanding the pros and cons of each option can help business owners make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of settling vs. going to trial in business litigation cases.

Pros of Settling:

Certainty: One of the biggest advantages of settling a business litigation case is the certainty it provides. When parties settle, they agree to resolve their dispute without the need for a trial. This can give business owners peace of mind, as they can avoid the risk of an unpredictable outcome.

Cost savings:

Trials can be costly, especially when expert witnesses are involved. Settling a case can save business owners significant amounts of money in legal fees, expert witness fees, and other trial-related expenses.

Time savings:

Settling a case can also save business owners significant amounts of time. Trials can take months, if not years, to complete. By settling, business owners can avoid the time-consuming and stressful process of trial preparation and attendance.

Cons of Settling:

Settlement terms: While settlements can provide certainty and cost savings, the terms of the settlement may not be favorable to one or both parties. In some cases, parties may feel forced to settle due to the pressure of time or financial constraints.


ettlement agreements can include confidentiality clauses that prevent parties from discussing the details of the dispute. While this may be beneficial for some parties, it can limit transparency and accountability.

Limited remedies:

ettlement agreements may not provide the same level of relief as a court judgment. In some cases, parties may have to settle for less than what they would have received if they had gone to trial.

Pros of Going to Trial:

Stronger remedies: When a case goes to trial, the court has the power to award remedies that may not be available through a settlement. For example, a court may award punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for their behavior.

Public record:

Trials are public, which can provide transparency and accountability. Parties can use the trial record to hold the other party accountable for their actions.

Opportunity to clear your name:

In some cases, going to trial may be necessary to clear a business’s name or reputation. A trial can provide an opportunity to tell your side of the story and defend your business’s reputation.

Cons of Going to Trial:

Uncertainty: Trials are unpredictable. Even with a strong case, there is no guarantee of success. A judge or jury may rule against your business, resulting in significant financial and reputational damage.


As mentioned earlier, trials can be expensive. Business owners must be prepared to pay for legal fees, expert witness fees, and other trial-related expenses.


Trials can take months, if not years, to complete. Business owners must be prepared to commit significant amounts of time to trial preparation and attendance.


Deciding whether to settle or go to trial is a difficult decision that requires careful consideration. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the decision will depend on the unique circumstances of the case. Business owners should work with an experienced business litigation attorney to help them make an informed decision and navigate the complexities of the legal system.

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