It was like one of those nature shows. Manufacturer and Number One Dealer had been friends for years, but their business relations soured when Dealer perceived that Manufacturer’s quality had sunk. Dealer left Manufacturer and became Number One Dealer for Manufacturer’s competitor. Both sides had unkind things to say about one another on industry blogs and social media. So they lawyered up and started butting heads in federal court, ramming claims and counterclaims against each others crania. When Manufacturer’s mega-firm litigator ignited a discovery war with the usual sanctions threats, posturing letters and pleadings full of bold-faced fonts and exclamation marks, Number One Dealer’s original lawyer asked us to drop in and help out. We did. We fended off the discovery motions, seized the initiative with some timely and pointed deposition notices and found some outstanding evidence from a document sweep and a few phone calls to customers.
Midway through the deposition of Manufacturer’s president, just after he’d admitted that mega-firm’s theory on one count was “utterly ridiculous,” we were asked if we wouldn’t mind suspending the deposition to explore settlement. Of course we were. It took some hours and a night for the other side to sleep on its alternatives, but we got it done. The parties signed a fair peace, shook hands and moved on. We heard not long after that Manufacturer’s and Dealer’s presidents went out to lunch, Manufacturer acknowledged its problems, promised to fix them and told Dealer he would be asking for its business back some day soon. So instead of butting heads, these fine businesses are putting them together the right way again. Case closed.