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  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

The Perils of Suing on Principle: Why Decisions to Sue Should Be Grounded in Practicality, Not Revenge

Lawsuit on Principle

Suing on Principle

When someone wrongs you, the urge to get back at them can be overwhelming. You might feel like taking them to court is the only way to make things right. But before you rush to file a lawsuit, it's important to step back and think about what you really want to achieve. Suing someone on principle – because you're angry or want revenge – is rarely a good idea. Instead, your decision to sue should be based on practical considerations, not emotions.

The High Cost of Letting Emotions Drive Your Lawsuit

Emotional Cost. Litigation is stressful, no matter how you slice it. But when you're suing someone because you're mad at them, that stress can be amplified tenfold. You'll be consumed by negative emotions like anger, frustration, and resentment – feelings that can linger long after the case is over. This emotional toll can affect every aspect of your life, from your personal relationships to your work performance.

Financial Cost. Then there's the financial cost. Lawsuits are expensive, plain and simple. You'll have to pay for legal fees, court costs, and maybe even expert witnesses. If you're suing on principle without a clear financial justification, those costs can quickly add up and leave you in the red. Even if you win your case, the money you get might not cover what you've spent.

Time Cost. Lawsuits also take a lot of time – often months or even years. That's time you could be spending on your personal life, your career, or your business. Instead, you'll be tied up in a lengthy legal battle that might not even go your way in the end.

The Risks of Relying on the Legal System for "Justice"

The legal system is unpredictable. Just because you believe strongly in your case doesn't mean the court will see it the same way. Judges and juries make decisions based on evidence and legal principles, not on your personal feelings about what's right or wrong. So even if you feel completely justified in your lawsuit, there's always a chance you could lose.

Suing someone can also have serious consequences for your relationships, especially in a business context. If you're taking a business partner, supplier, or even a friend to court, that relationship may never recover. You could be burning bridges that you'll need in the future.

Additionally, court proceedings are usually public. That means that any dirty laundry you air in court could become part of the public record. If there's sensitive information involved in your case, or allegations that could damage your reputation, you might want to think twice about whether it's worth it to hash it all out in front of a judge.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time. - Abraham Lincoln

When Suing Is the Right Call

Now, all of this isn't to say that you should never sue anyone. There are definitely situations where litigation is necessary and justified. The key is to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.

Before you decide to sue, sit down with a lawyer and really assess the legal merits of your case. Do you have a strong claim that's likely to hold up in court? Is there enough evidence to support your position? If the answer is yes, then you might have a good reason to move forward.

Lawsuits can also make sense when there's a lot of money at stake. If you've suffered substantial financial harm, or if there's a big potential payout on the line, then the costs of litigation might be worth it. The same goes for cases where your legal rights have been clearly violated – if you need to set a legal precedent or prevent future harm, then a lawsuit could be the way to go.

But even in these situations, it's always a good idea to explore other options first. Mediation can often resolve disputes faster and more cheaply than going to court. If you can find a way to work things out through negotiation and compromise, you may be able to avoid the headaches of litigation altogether.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the decision to sue someone should be based on careful consideration and a realistic assessment of your goals. Suing on principle might feel good in the moment, but it rarely pays off in the long run. Instead, focus on the practical realities of your situation. What do you really want to achieve, and what's the best way to get there?

If you approach the decision to sue with a level head and a clear sense of purpose, you'll be much more likely to come out ahead. You might have to make some difficult choices and let go of your desire for revenge. By prioritizing practicality over principle, you can find a resolution that serves your interests without dragging you through the muck of a nasty legal battle.


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For detailed insights and legal assistance on topics discussed in this post, including litigation, contact the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont at our Bergen County Office. We're here to answer your questions and provide legal advice. Contact us at (201) 904-2211 or email us at

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Litigation Attorney Peter Lamont

About Peter J. Lamont, Esq.

Peter J. Lamont is a nationally recognized attorney with significant experience in business, contract, litigation, and real estate law. With over two decades of legal practice, he has represented a wide array of businesses, including large international corporations. Peter is known for his practical legal and business advice, prioritizing efficient and cost-effective solutions for his clients.

Peter has an Avvo 10.0 Rating and has been acknowledged as one of America's Most Honored Lawyers since 2011. 201 Magainze and Lawyers of Distinction have also recognized him for being one of the top business and litigation attorneys in New Jersey. His commitment to his clients and the legal community is further evidenced by his active role as a speaker, lecturer, and published author in various legal and business publications.

As the founder of the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont, Peter brings his Wall Street experience and client-focused approach to New Jersey, offering personalized legal services that align with each client's unique needs and goals​.


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