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Do complex legal issues hold you back? Let's get energized and bring clarity to your top legal questions. This is Law Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm.Jeana Goosmann:
Hello, I'm Jeana Goosmann, your host for Law Talk with the Flock. I'm a CEO, lawyer, author, and woman business owner here to help you navigate your way through the lot and business. And for today's episode, I'm excited to have with me, attorney Anna Limoges, Anna is a Sioux Falls, trial, lawyer, and litigation attorney. And today we're going to be talking about the importance of knowing your case is worth before you file suit. Welcome Anna .Anna Limoges :
Hi, Gina. Nice to be here.Jeana Goosmann:
You bet. Before we jump into the topic, do you want to introduce yourself to everyone?Anna Limoges :
Yeah, like you said, I practice mostly trial law here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I represent many different kinds of businesses and help them protect their wealth and win disputes doing and today , talking mostly about the winning part and protecting that wealth and we're going to be looking, I think, a little bit closer at damages. Is that what you said Jeana?Jeana Goosmann:
Absolutely. So Anna , when you're getting ready to file a case or a client is thinking about filing a case, how do they know when they should actually file suit? Well,Anna Limoges :
First of all, something that you have to have in order to file a lawsuit is damages. Now damages are different. And what it means is what can you get if you won the lawsuit or if you wanted to settle a lawsuit, what have you been injured? And what can you prove at, in the amount of that injury? And there's a lot of different buckets involved in damages. So what we try to do as attorneys is put a worth on each one of those buckets and try to evaluate what it may potentially cost to get to the home plate. So you say, so you could say and that costs would take away from damages and is it really worth it to go after , pursuing those buckets of damages? If you're going to end up paying so much for a lawsuit or trying to get to the home base , wherever, however that may come about.Jeana Goosmann:
I love it, Anna. So our , for mission is worth it. And that really means driving value to the clients and some clients, you know, they might come in and say they want to fight about the principle of the matter, but then if it costs them a hundred thousand dollars to do so they might regret that decision. So it's really important that we talk about those things up front. Isn't it?Anna Limoges :
That's exactly right. And I mean, just getting a little deeper into the damages. There's different buckets, like I said, so there's compensatory damages, those are actual damages. So let's say somebody , for example took your client and they weren't supposed to because they were a former employee and they had a non-compete and non-solicitation clause, et cetera, et cetera. And they took one of your clients and, or one of your employees and there's some actual damage there. And let's say they tortuously interfered with the contract. Like those are some actual numbers that we could maybe come up with, including lost profits. Um, if there's actually numbers involving medical care with regards to , you know, emotional distress damages , you know, those are all kinds of actual numbered , identifiable damages.Jeana Goosmann:
Just being mad. I'm just, I'm just mad. So how , how does that factor in?Anna Limoges :
Well , yeah, because, you know, it's not against the law to make somebody mad or to be a jerk, so to speak. You can be a jerk and whatever, and you can do some things and do some things that are wrong. And it stinks and we can sit there and talk about it with our clients and try to figure out if there's some kind of damages. But a lot of times, if you're just angry about something that happened and we don't have damages, then we don't have a much worth to go after and to pursue a lawsuit , really gonna cost more than it would be , um, that you would get in at home base basically.Jeana Goosmann:
So really You're, you're kind of looking for what in their financials can help support your claims or are there certain expenses that the person had that could help support your claims? Is that right?Anna Limoges :
Yeah. For compensatory identifiable damages and some of these, and you know, some of these details can be found in the general buckets , general damages buckets category too . So , that is where you have , you know, future losses. So let's say we look at your current profits for your compensatory actual damages, but then we can look at, okay, well this customer that, that former employee stole , we could have made, you know, $2.5 million in the next five years if they hadn't have stolen that customer. So at the same time, there's also that bucket of damages as well. And that has to be looked at when you're evaluating the worth of a lawsuit.Jeana Goosmann:
You bet. And how about punitive damages Anna? What can you share with our listeners about punitive? Because clients are always very interested in punitive.Anna Limoges :
So speaking of if you're mad at somebody, the law gets mad at people too. So if you have certain actions that the law would consider to be malicious and especially nasty and wrong, and we can reach out and try to get what's called punitive damages, these damages are meant to punish the other party. So , it's a big burden sometimes to go after these punitive damages, but a lot of times it's good and it's a good bucket to add to your lawsuit as long as you know, that there's a higher burden to meet.Jeana Goosmann:
You bet. So really proving usually it's that they knew that it was wrong and they did it anyway.Anna Limoges :
Yes, yes. Agregious.Jeana Goosmann:
How can Goosmann Law Firm help evaluate a case and let a client know if they have damages?Anna Limoges :
A lot of times what we do is we speak to the client, try and figure out all different parts and pieces of what happened. And then really what we do is that we ask the client to share with us their private information, which is then protected by the attorney client privilege. And we look at those profit and losses. We can reach out even before we even take a case. A lot of times we'll reach out and talk to some financial experts and then kind of give a general overview of, you know potentially what we have going on. And, you know, kind of evaluate whether or not we're going to have to hire an expert such as that in the lawsuit. Um, but yeah, most of the time what it is, is communicating with the client and trying to find those different buckets and working with the client , to protect all those different buckets and try to get to Homebase for them . SoJeana Goosmann:
You bet. And one other thing I just wanted to bring up is a lot of times we hear from clients , the lost time that they're going to have to spend in and fighting a lawsuit. Uh, and how really the law doesn't usually allow you to recoup your loss time. Does it Anna ?Anna Limoges :
No, not unless we can put a number on it. I mean, it would be nice, you know , but unfortunately that kind of falls into the same category as if you're just mad at somebody. Um, and you know, but if we can put a number on that last time, that's another story, but yeah, usually last time does not have a specific number on it. Um, and that's not technically in any of the buckets to pursue.Jeana Goosmann:
And if it's too speculative that can have a court kick it out as well to can't it. So even if we have some logic for what we'd value something at a , it can't be too speculative.Anna Limoges :
Exactly. Exactly. We have to be able to show something, especially towards the very end when they're coming up with a number they're not just going to come up with some random number. We have to prove that those are the losses that actually occurredJeana Goosmann:
Outstanding. Well, Anna, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today and sharing your knowledge with everyone.Anna Limoges :
Yeah. Thank you so much, Jeana.Jeana Goosmann:
Go make it worth it.Goosmann Law Firm :
Thanks for joining us for Law Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm. We hope you feel energized and ready to soar past your goals. Become a flock fan and subscribe to our podcast for weekly episodes. Learn more at goosmannlaw .com .