When To File a Protective Order In a Business Dispute

How To Use a Protective Order To Protect Your Business In a Lawsuit

If you’re facing a business dispute with an individual or another corporation, you’ll want to do whatever you can to protect yourself and your business. One element of protection that may be available to you is a protective order.

There are two types of protective orders. One you may be familiar with is a restraining order that prohibits a specified individual from certain behavior. The other type of protective order, which is less commonly known, relates to the discovery process. Your Avondale business attorney will work closely with you to protect your business as you go through the court process. One way to do so is by filing a protective order.

Business attorney in AZ

What Is Discovery In a Lawsuit?

Discovery is an important part of any lawsuit. Once the suit has been filed, discovery begins. Discovery is a process in which all involved attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant can examine applicable documentation, records, data, phone records, and similar relevant information. The attorneys can also question witnesses and lead depositions to find or discover information that may be used as each attorney builds their case for their client. Discovery can include questions, called interrogatories, that are filed by each party to the lawsuit. 

When your Chandler business attorney obtains a protective order on your behalf in a discovery dispute, your business will receive protection against overzealous discovery tactics that may be used by the opposing attorney to obtain information from potential witnesses. The protection order can also help protect the confidentiality and privacy of document searches that may take place as part of the lawsuit.

If you’re wondering whether your business could benefit from a protective order during litigation, ask your business attorney for their opinion on how to best protect your business during the discovery process.

How Does a Protective Order In Arizona Work?

If a lawsuit against your business has been filed, your business will have 20 days (if you are served in Arizona) or 30 days (if you are served outside Arizona) to respond to the lawsuit.  That means you’ll need to secure a business attorney and act quickly. Both you and your Gilbert business attorney will work to avoid allowing the opposing legal team to gain the upper hand in the lawsuit. One way to help achieve that goal is to respond in a timely fashion to the lawsuit that has been filed against you. Your attorney will work on your behalf to build a defense and promote the best outcome of the case. If you do not obtain representation and respond to the suit, a default judgment may occur, which generally has the same practical result as if you lost the lawsuit after a trial.

In some cases, an effective way to turn the lawsuit in your favor during the discovery process is by filing a protective order. A protective order can offer a variety of methods to protect the confidentiality and privacy of your business:

  • Prevents the plaintiff and their attorney from annoying, embarrassing, oppressing, or harassing any party or organization who may be related to the lawsuit
  • Protects your business and potential witnesses from undue burden or expense related to the lawsuit
  • Enables your business to request oral depositions
  • Enables your business to request that deposition or interrogatory responses be sealed and opened only with court orders

In other words, a protective order in Arizona can offer protection to your business by retaining the privacy of witness testimony, internal documentation, electronically stored information, databases, tangible items, and other information.

Additional Functions Of a Protective Order In a Business Dispute

In addition to requiring oral responses in deposition and sealing documents that were procured in the discovery process, a protective order can also include requests to:

  • Exclude specific items or categories from discovery
  • Extend or limit the discovery process time frame
  • Change location of discovery
  • Specify terms or conditions for inspecting, examining, copying, or testing items in discovery
  • Limit the sharing or exclude trade secrets and other proprietary information that belongs to your business

Your Avondale business attorney will discuss the proposed limits and boundaries of a protective order to promote the privacy of your business during the lawsuit.

What If The Court Denies The Protective Order?

The court has the right to deny the protective order, but must still ensure that the entire discovery process is just and ethical. You may have recourse if information that was found in discovery is used in an inappropriate manner.

Seek Trusted Legal Guidance For Your Business Lawsuit

If you’ve been served papers or are facing a business lawsuit, don’t delay. You need immediate legal help from the trusted business attorneys at Denton Peterson Dunn. Our team is ready to represent you throughout the entire process and will work to protect your business, documentation, internal processes, trade secrets, and other crucial information. We bring our collective decades of experience, comprehensive understanding of Arizona business law, and knowledge of legal procedures to promote a successful outcome for your business. Contact us today  to schedule your confidential consultation!

Brad Denton, Business Lawyer
 – Denton Peterson Dunn

1930 N Arboleda #200
Mesa, AZ 85213

Office: 480-660-3249
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://arizonabusinesslawyeraz.com

7272 E Indian School Rd #540-132
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Phone: 480-690-3283
Email: [email protected]