Juice worth the squeeze

Litigation is expensive and takes time away from running your business. It is my firm belief that any decision to embark on a lawsuit should be thoroughly vetted and the economic benefits should outweigh the principle on which the fight is based. The juice must be worth the squeeze.

Every once in while I read about some litigation that makes me scratch my head and wonder if it’s really worth it. I came across just such a case in Engineering News-Records’ recent publication.

One of the articles discussed the criminal charges brought against Charles Malouff, alleging that he secured the execution of a document by deception when he convinced the City of Jonestown to submit a grant application for a wind-energy project. I have no qualms with the criminal prosecution—aside from finding it a bit odd that the grant application was approved by a committee and the city signed the grant application, not Mr. Malouff.

The article later mentioned that the City of Jonestown also filed lawsuits against Mr. Malouff and his company for breach of contract to provide a wind energy project. It’s these two lawsuits that I question.

The article notes that Mr. Malouff, a retired police officer, is also a convicted felon, and is incarcerated for possession of a firearm and destructive devices, including hand grenades, in violation of his probation. He pled guilty to the possession charge and will be in prison through 2014. So, what’s the end game of these two civil lawsuits? Will there be any assets from which the City of Jonestown can recover any damages?

As with this case and any litigation you embark on–Is the juice worth the squeeze?