The Swier Law Firm Business Litigation FAQs

The Swier Law Firm Business Litigation FAQs


Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

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  • Can my South Dakota business be sued in another state?

    Under some circumstances, yes.

    When a business is sued, the lawsuit is usually filed in the state where the business is located. But sometimes a South Dakota business can find itself being sued in another state - and it may be in a state where you don’t even do business.

    How is this possible? 

    There are two primary reasons why your South Dakota business could find itself getting sued in another state:

    Reason #1 - You Do Business In Another State

    Even if your business is based in South Dakota, it may be considered to be doing business in other states. For example, if your business supplies products or services to customers or companies in other states, your customer may be able to file a lawsuit against you in the state where they live. Also, if you have an Internet-based business you likely ship products all over the nation. If you have a manufacturing business and sell through distributors based in other states, you may also be vulnerable to out-of-state lawsuits. Finally, if a customer is injured by one of your products, they can sue you if they believe the injury was caused by a design or manufacturing defect or error.

    Reasons #2 - You Agreed To A "Forum Selection Clause"

    Your business signed a contract with another company that allows for a lawsuit to be filed in another state. Many contracts contain a "forum selection clause" that allows a lawsuit to be filed in the home state of the company that created the contract. Out-of-state companies may decide to have claims against them litigated in the state where they are based or where they feel most comfortable litigating. The courts typically enforce forum selection clauses unless there is no substantial or reasonable relationship with the state named in the clause.

    If you receive notice that a lawsuit has been filed against your company in another state, you should contact a business litigation attorney before you do anything else. Your attorney can then decide whether or not it is proper for your business to be sued in that state. If your company does not have a sufficient connection to that state, you may be able to pursue a dismissal of the lawsuit.

    Do You Need To Speak With An Experienced Business Law Attorney?

    If you need to speak with an experienced business law attorney please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • How much will my South Dakota business lawsuit cost me?

    You’ve been served with notice of a lawsuit against your company. Now you are faced with fear of what will come next for your business. One of the biggest questions streaming through your mind is how much you will have to pay to help avoid this lawsuit and how your business will recover from this potentially large financial blow.

    It is difficult to anticipate how much a business lawsuit in South Dakota will cost. This is because there are a number of factors that go into the lawsuit that can increase or decrease the price tag. Here are just a few of the variables you can expect to have to pay:

    • Payment for expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are widely used to help resolve lawsuits involving major issues. For example, an environmental lawsuit against a business in South Dakota can be very high priced. Once your lawyer locates expert witnesses to defend your company or farm, you may have to pay out significant dollars to get them to testify.
    • Lawyer fees. Another fee that you can expect to have to pay is an attorney fee. This fee is necessary to ensure that you get the representation you need to win against your lawsuit in South Dakota.
    • Miscellaneous fees. There are a number of miscellaneous fees that you may not realize you will incur at first. Some of these include travel fees, filing fees, postage costs, etc.

    As you start preparing for your trial together with your South Dakota business litigation lawyer, let us know of your questions about the cost. We will look at your specific situation and determine what you can expect to pay, so that there are fewer surprises in the long run to your company budget.

  • In South Dakota, when does the statute of limitations for a fraud claim begin?

    Under South Dakota law, the statute of limitations for a claim of fraud does not begin to run until the aggrieved party discovers, or has actual or constructive notice of, the facts constituting the fraud.

  • What does South Dakota law require for a valid contract?

    In South Dakota, the essential requirements for a valid contract are:

      (1)  Parties capable of contracting;

      (2)  Their consent;

      (3)  A lawful object; and

      (4)  Sufficient cause or consideration.

  • In South Dakota, who can make a valid contract?

    Under South Dakota law, any person is capable of making a valid contract except minors, persons of unsound mind, and persons deprived of civil rights.

  • I live in Sioux Falls and believe that I may have a potential lawsuit against my real estate agent. In South Dakota, what is the statute of limitations for a lawsuit against a real estate agent?

    Under South Dakota law, no action may be brought against a licensed real estate broker, broker associate, or salesperson, or any agent or employee thereof, for malpractice, error, mistake, or omission, whether based upon contract or tort, unless it is commenced within three years of the occurrence of the alleged malpractice, error, mistake, or omission.

  • I own a business in Sioux Falls and have just been served with a lawsuit. The lawsuit includes a "Summons" and "Complaint." In South Dakota, how much time do I have to respond to this lawsuit?

    Under South Dakota law, a "Summons" requires you to answer the "Complaint" and serve a copy of your answer within thirty days after the service of the summons (not including the day of service). 

  • I am a business owner who has received a judgment in Iowa against a South Dakota resident. Is this considered a "foreign judgment"?

    Yes.  Under South Dakota law, a "foreign judgment" is any judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or any of the several states which is entitled to full faith and credit in South Dakota.