Everybody makes mistakes, but mistakes on behalf of your business can destroy your business. In his latest Huffington Post article called “Accidental Crook: A Guide to Handling Almost Any Legal Snafu,” attorney and author Jack Garson advises business owners and executives what to do when your company breaks the law. Coming out on top after a legal snafu is not easy, but it is feasible with a sound course of action.
Garson warns business owners that panic and denial will not resolve your legal snafu. Ignoring the problem will add to the problem short-term and long-term. In most cases, your snafu is not as bad and irreparable as you initially perceived.
Your game plan to tackle the situation at hand requires the following seven steps:
1. Get all the facts. Fully investigate the situation and limit knowledge to people who need to know.
2. Get good legal guidance. Consult with an attorney that has a lot of experience with your situation.
3. It’s not just what you know. Speaking of attorneys, if your company is facing criminal prosecution, hire an attorney that used to prosecute the very crimes involved.
4. Throw ‘em to the wolves? If a lone employee has caused all of the trouble, you may have to decide whether or not you stand by him or her.
5. Manage information. You have to be the gatekeeper of information in any crisis. Consult with your lawyer and/or PR representative before you discuss the situation with anyone, especially media.
6. Contain the problem and put it past you. It is human nature to go on the defensive in situations like this, but it may be best to put aside your pride, admit your mistakes and face the consequences. As long as it never happens again, all is not lost.
7. Prevention is the best cure. Moving forward, avoid breaking the law in the first place. Evaluate your company’s current legal compliance and stay on top of new laws affecting your industry.
You can read Jack Garson’s entire article “Accidental Crook: A Guide to Handling Almost Any Legal Snafu” in the Huffington Post. To learn more about Garson, please visit http://garsonlaw.com.