Negotiation and Litigation

On Your Side

When conversations break down, when you don’t know the right words to say, or if you think you may need to go to court, get an expert on your side.

Sometimes, a short call from a lawyer is all it takes

What to Expect

Every problem is a little different. When you schedule an appointment, we’ll talk through the challenge you’re facing, what your goals are, and what strategies we can use to achieve them.

We’ll decide

  • How much is at stake?
  • Are there important dates to consider?
  • How much is it worth to solve this?
  • Who are the other people involved and what are their goals?

Once we do this, we can create a plan. In most cases it is worth starting with negotiation, which can include:

  • A phone call from an attorney
  • A demand letter
  • A scheduled in-person or virtual meeting with everyone

Often, when a lawyer helps everyone communicate like grown ups and gives everyone a chance to be heard, the group can successfully negotiate a solution.

Negotiation is highly successful and very affordable.


Hourly Legal Billing

You only pay for the actual time your matter takes. If it takes 42 minutes, that’s all you’ll pay for. Our hourly fee is $300/hr. Below are some examples of how much time you may need.

Example: Stalled Contract Negotiation

A client had a contract to purchase property. After a year the seller insisted on speeding up the plan. Matt reviewed the options and drafted two legal documents, one with strategies for the client and a second one the client could share with the seller. After the seller reviewed the document with a lawyer they agreed to stick to the original terms.

~3 hours

Example: Small Claims Court

Small claims court is for quick solutions to smaller issues, but sometimes the principle is more important than the money. You do not need a lawyer, but it helps. A client had an issue that required a court hearing, which required preparation, sending official notice to everyone, an appearance in court, and then completing the judgment.

~8 hours

Common Questions

I received notice of a lawsuit, what should I do?

You need to schedule a call with an attorney promptly. Do not wait, because a delay could cause you to automatically lose your case or your chance to be heard.

I want to sue, what should I do?

Schedule an appointment with an attorney promptly. Waiting too long may cause you to lose your chance to bring a lawsuit. Different kinds of cases have different deadlines. Sometimes, one legal issue may have multiple ways to win, and each way has a different deadline. Talking to a lawyer promptly gives you the most options.

How much does it cost to go to court?

A small claims matter may cost about $2,000 or less to have an attorney help. A simple probate or real estate appearance may cost as little as $800. A lawsuit in Iowa court at a county courthouse may cost as little as $7,000. A jury trial costs more. In each of these situations, there are many ways for the costs to change. Sometimes, filing a lawsuit causing everyone to take negotiations more seriously and the suit is dismissed, which saves a lot of money and time.

How much does it cost to negotiate?

Negotiation is almost always cheaper, faster, and simpler than a court case. It is always worth starting with negotiations—in fact, many judges demand negotiation before a hearing. There are three kinds of negotiations: informal negotiations, which are common, every day negotiations; mediation, which is when a paid expert who is neutral guides the negotiation process; and arbitration, which is much more formal, with a person acting as a judge who makes a final decision. Informal negotiations are cheapest and fastest and an excellent way to start. Lawyers are trained in negotiation and can help make this process smooth and productive.

How long will it take?

Informal negotiations are sometimes resolved in one day. Small claims court cases and mediations may take about a month. District court cases likely take a year or more to resolve. Big cases often takes years to finish.

Can I hire a lawyer for someone else?

In some cases, businesses have an employee with a legal issue related to their employment. It is OK and good for the business to hire a lawyer to help out. However, the employee in this case is the client and directs the conversation. Even if the business is paying for the attorney, they do not have the authority to decide the process or outcome. Some companies may put a cap on how much they will pay, or negotiate a limited representation to manage costs, which is OK.

My employee got arrested while working, what do I do?

Please call right away. Often, cases like this may involve multiple court hearings. There is a criminal case, where the person faces punishment, such as jail time or a fine, and there is a civil case, where the person faces a lawsuit. Evidence from the criminal case may be used in the civil case, and usually, if there’s a lawsuit relating to an employee who was on the job, the employer gets dragged into it as well. Why? Because the employer usually has more money than the employee. Therefore the employer usually cares about both the criminal and civil case.

Whatever Your Business, I Can Help

My dream is to help small businesses, startups, shopkeepers, and entrepreneurs just like you. Let’s work together to answer your business & legal questions.

Matthew Nuzum Business Attorney

Why I Love Helping Small Businesses

Small businesses make up 99% of US businesses, according to JP Morgan & Chase, and half of all US workers work for these small businesses. Nothing gives a sense of empowerment and accomplishment like running your own business and being your own boss. Also, small businesses tend to have strong connections with their communities and the money they generate tends to stay in these communities.

I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and started working for my dad’s family business at age 13. I started my own business in high school and another in my 20’s. After a few years working in the high-tech startup world, I decided to go to business school and then law school so that I could help others experience the dream and excitement of launching their big idea.

I want to help you succeed. Schedule a time to meet with me so that we can work together.