Los Angeles is a vibrant destination for starting a business. The population is high and it has a high purchasing power. For example, if you decide to start a pet store, you are going to see a high return on investment. This is because of the population’s affinity to pets for health and recreational purposes.
Like any other business, pet stores have their fair share of challenges that could interrupt the flow of business or lead to a low bottom-line. The business landscape can face a plethora of challenges as well as unforeseen circumstances. In such a case then, a pet store owner can be pushed out of business or could realize a low bottom-line.
Businesses in California have been threatened with litigation. In such a case then the issue becomes preparing for such a rigorous, expensive, and draining process. With the court process, one cannot plan for the future in a comfortable way. In other words, it is very difficult to think about expanding your business when you have a court case looming over the horizon.
Legal Problems Facing Pet Stores
One of the accusations that pet stores face is when they are accused of selling a pet which is not healthy. There are instances where the pet is infested with parasites. In other cases, the pet could be having a congenital defect. Such accusations can tarnish your established name as a reputable pet store. This is despite the fact that there is a possibility that the pet store owner did not know about the disease. The matter could be worse in the case the pet dies.
The government, under the Uniform Commercial Code, considers the pets as goods. Under these laws, customers who are dissatisfied have certain rights, and they can seek legal redress. The law requires buy the time you sell something, it should be fit for use. In other words, it is the responsibility of the merchant to ensure that anything he or she sells is of high quality.
There are American laws generally regarded as “lemon laws .” These are laws which are aimed at protecting the consumers in the case they buy a defective vehicle, product, or service. In other words, they are laws which are applied when the buyer feels that a certain product or service has not met its usefulness and purpose. The seller should evaluate the quality of the product he or she is dealing with, and make sure that it is of use to the client. If a product is with defects it should be withdrawn from the market.
Though the law does not clearly state that lemon laws extend to pets, buyers who have felt aggrieved have, as a matter of fact, taken the pet stores to court seeking compensation. There are other clear laws regarding the cats and dogs, and what one can do if one feels short-changed. The law may require the pet store owner to do any of the following:
-Seeking a refund
-Seeking to be given another pet of the some kind
-Keeping the pet, but seek compensation on the cost of treatment
If a pet has an illness or a disease, the owner can make a claim in 7 to 21 days. If the pet has a congenital disease or a hereditary disease, one has ten days to two years to file a claim. In very rare circumstances can one be given more time to file a claim.
Another issue that has made pet store owners face legal challenges is when the pet store owner promises that the pet is able to do a certain thing, and it does not. For example, you could promise the client that the pet is not going to harm the elderly, but it fails on the expectation. Then in that case, the client may feel aggrieved, and may seek help from the court on how to seek compensation.
When the pet store owner is informed of a possible court case, the best thing to do is to make a decision early enough on what to do or what not to do. When a decision is made early, then, you are going to manage the problem in the best way possible and you are going to have enough time. In addition to that, you are going to reach out to all the parties involved before it is too late.
Why a Los Angeles pet store should hire an ADR attorney if they get into legal trouble
When you have a Los Angeles store, and a pet owner you did business with prefers to go to court, you can instead seek the help of ADR. To start with, the ADR will help you manage the high cost of litigation that comes with the conventional court process. In the US, the cost of litigation and the spill-over effect is very high. It includes the stage of the preparation of the court case.
The attorney’s fees represent the highest cost of litigation. The lawyers take time, and do research, and they are reimbursed for the same. Other court expenses include documentation, court filing, processing fees, cost of collecting evidence, cost of hiring witnesses, and the travel expenses. Los Angeles is an expensive city. It was reported that in the year 2016, the city spent $150 million settling lawsuits.
It is the time taken in a court process that can push you to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Remember, when you are going through the court process, you may not be going to work, at least in some days. In addition to that, a court process can have a heavy mental toll on the mind of the defendant. Some defendants have reported having a mental breakdown at the time when they are attending court sessions.
Another factor that saves time in ADR is that there are few allowances for making an appeal. The appeal process dominates the court process, and in fact, it has been abused. It leads to a long court process, with some cases taking as long as 5 years or more. Generally, ADR does not encourage the appeal process. Instead, it makes a more careful deliberation in order to ensure that any person has a right to be heard. This leads to less tension as well as better process outcomes.
The court process can be an adversarial process. For instance, either the pet owner or the client, or both, could incur hefty legal fees. However, when you choose ADR, you will be surprised that your “enemy” could still be your friend. Remember that you need to retain your client base, and you are not going to solve this through alienating your current customers. Again, some of the pet stores serve the community and the neighborhood, and you will need to be in a good relationship with your neighborhood.
Being hauled to the court could compromise your confidentiality and privacy. This is more so if the court case is a matter of public interest. In such a case, members of the public could be allowed to the courtroom, and so is the media. Even if you win such a case, you may find that your personal information has leaked to the public. There is a reason why high profile personalities do not want to go to court but choose alternative solutions- this is because they want to keep their personal information private.
One of the worst mistakes many litigants take when going to court is thinking they odds are in their favor, and that they are going to win. The fact is the court process can go in either way, even when you think that you must win. Again, lawyers are going to look for loopholes which they do use successfully. In addition to that, there could be a small thing that you over-looked and it is a big thing in the eyes of the judge.
Your ADR professional can help you to prevent the next court process. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through developing a strong, transparent, and fair sales agreement. One of the reasons why one could go to court is due to a misunderstanding in one way or another. Encourage your clients to officially communicate to you and do not turn them away when they do so. Again, if you are wrong, admit liability, and proceed to solving your problems in an amicable way.
Your arbitrator, after the case is determined, could advise you on the best ways of preventing such a case. For example, as a pet store owner, you should ensure that all the pets are in good health. A vet will play a critical role in this. You could also encourage the clients to check the health of the pet as soon as possible. Should they find that the pet is wanting in any way, they should report back to you, and you shall assist them in the best way possible.
The Question on Legitimacy
The legitimacy of the court process starts with the fact that both parties have accepted the ADR process. Nobody can be coerced to accept it making it acceptable. Moreover, before the process starts, the arbitrator must be acceptable to both parties, and this adds to the legitimacy. The Federal Arbitration Process, 1925, stated that the decisions made in the ADR process are enforceable, recognized, and valid.
Many people find that the outcomes of ADR are better, fair, and take a short time to be realized. ADR can enhance relationships between two parties and it can lead to a win-win situation. A good example where ADR has worked is in the Toyota and Chevron. It has been observed that the two companies have a lot of commitment to ADR. They set a culture of ADR, and that culture has seen its way through the present day.
With such a solid example, then, more people in the US are appreciating the use of ADR, and they are shying away from the court process. If the current statistics are anything to go by, more people are going to make use of ADR in dispute resolution and conflict management. There is no reason why pet stores in Los Angeles should not follow such a successful model.
Where to Get ADR Opportunities in Los Angeles
California is at the forefront in alternative options in the court process, and there is no shortage of ADR opportunities in the state. Similarly, Los Angeles, being such a busy city, is a beehive of economic activities. When you are dealing with such a busy environment, then, there is all the likelihood of conflict. Conflict is an inherent characteristic of a society. What matters is how you handle the conflict after it occurs.
You should start your search with asking a friend or a relative about a referral. This is the most trustworthy way of seeking any professional. This is because the friends and relatives cannot mislead you. It is assumed beforehand that the friends and relatives have some experience and exposure with the professional in question.
The second option is to make an internet search. You have to be careful in this because the internet can give you anything. The best of separating wheat from the chaff is by going through the commentary section and see the evaluations that past clients have made. With that, you are going to make an informed decision.
Factors to consider when choosing the arbitrator include impartiality, experience, certification, and past records. You need to ensure that the ADR process is within your budget. The most important thing is to make sure that the arbitrator is accepted by both parties.
The court process can devastate both the winner and the loser. An ADR Attorney Los Angeles is an ideal opportunity in creating a win-win situation. The use of ADR is going to gain more prominence as the Americans reap its benefits. Overall, ADR can lead to optimal outcomes in dispute resolution.