Litigation law is a series of rules and practices used to resolve disputes that arise through the court system. Oftentimes, the term is associated with different tort cases, but litigation is involved in a number of different cases. Eviction proceedings, contested divorces, breach of contract lawsuits, and any other civil complaint can be dealt with through litigation.
Most people believe that litigation is the same as working for a trial, but the process of litigation starts a long time before a case reaches the courtroom. In the majority of cases, litigated disputes don’t proceed to trial. Instead, they have settlements negotiated.
Business litigation lawyers will take care of any disputes that concern a particular business or corporation. There are a number of different types of lawsuits that a business litigation lawyer might represent. Most commonly, they’ll be called on to mediate contract disputes for businesses, or to litigate a dispute between a business and consumer.
If you’re not sure whether a legal matter would count as a “business litigation matter,” consider whether there are grounds for a lawsuit. Would a lawsuit solve the problem? If so, this is a litigation case. Is one or more of the parties a business or business owner? If so, this is a business litigation case.
If all parties are in agreement, or there aren’t any controversial disputes, the negotiation is not considered litigation. Non-litigation matters include things like estate planning, property sales, and business formations. The attorneys who handle these contracts practice a different branch of law called “transactional” law.
To familiarize yourself with the litigation process, you should understand each basic stage of a lawsuit. Each jurisdiction has a set of Civil Rules of Procedure that governs the behavior that can occur during litigation. These rules outline legal requirements with which all involved parties must comply during each part of the process. Different case types will be subject to different procedural rules, but the general principle remains the same.
When an average legal dispute arises, the involved parties will typically discuss said dispute with each other. If one of the parties is a business, oftentimes the business owner or a public relations representative will act as the spokesperson. Polite negotiations will continue until it’s clear that the parties cannot reach a common understanding without legal intervention. At this point, it’s time for the parties to retain a litigation attorney.
The attorney’s first job is to investigate the facts of the case. They’ll understand their client’s perspective, the other party’s perspective, and potential strategies for a defense. At this point, they will generally send a “demand letter” to the other party. A demand letter is exactly what it sounds like: a letter that lists demands with which the party must comply to avoid legal action. This letter might demand that a certain sum of money is paid, or that a particular activity is stopped.
If a party receives a demand letter from their opposing side, they have a number of options to respond. They might offer to pay less than the demand entails, or they might send a counter-letter with their own demands. They might also do nothing. At this point in time, the parties are forced to attempt to reach an agreement with each other. If the parties want to involve the court system, this is the point at which a formal litigation would be enacted. However, a good number of parties will come to an informal settlement agreement in order to avoid a lawsuit.
If the initial negotiations are unsuccessful, and the demand letter has no effect, the dispute will move forward through the filing of a formal lawsuit. At this point, if any involved parties haven’t hired their attorney, they should do so. Lawsuits are surrounded by a great deal of complicated legal information. People need to follow complex rules regarding the initial filing and the response to the lawsuit, and small mistakes can cause disastrous consequences for the negotiation.
After the official filing, each party will take part in discovery. This is the mandatory exchange of information and documents between the involved parties. Discovery reflects the bulk of the research and case compiling work done for the whole case. It’s difficult to prepare and respond to discovery requests, and the tedious nature of discovery means that your expenses will mount. After physical evidence is exchanged, any witnesses for the lawsuit will be formally interviewed.
After discovery is complete, all involved parties must review the information they’ve learned. The defendant, at this point, is likely to file a request for summary judgment. This means that the defendant argues that the law should not hold them responsible, even if the plaintiff’s contentions are factual. If the judge agrees, the case ends. The plaintiff loses. If the judge denies this motion, the case proceeds to trial.
The trial is the point at which the case will be tried in front of a judge and jury. Witnesses will be required to bear testimony, evidence will be submitted and examined, and both attorneys will present arguments for their clients. After the trial is over, the losing party will have a right to appeal, which can drag the process out even longer.
If you’re involved in any business litigation, you should have an experienced attorney on retainer to deal with these potential disputes. That way, you can focus on your work without worrying.
Every one of us interacts with certain companies from time to time. We expect that our interactions with those companies will be positive, but that is not always the case. There is fraud that creeps into the system from time to time. It is something that is illegal, and it may require a lawyer getting involved if there are significant damages. Today, we want to take a look at some of the areas of business fraud that could potentially occur.
Trade Secret Theft
Companies often have trade secrets that make them unique in their own area of business. They need to have that secret sauce so to speak in order to keep them interesting and keep customers coming back to them time and time again. That is valuable information that a competitor may want to steal from them. If they do actually go about taking the trade secrets from the rivals, then there is a violation of the law right there.
It is quite common for a company that has stolen the secrets of another to deny it entirely. They will make the claim that the information that they somehow have come up with was something that they had all along. It is up to the court to determine if this is the truth or not. An attorney will have to help their client make the case that their secrets have been stolen.
Advertising needs to be truthful and honest to remain within the law. There are real life laws that are set up to protect people against having products pitched to them in a misleading way. As a society we decided that this was an important thing that we wanted to have in our society a long time ago.
A company that falsely advertises something may be in violation of the law. They cannot sell you a product based on false promises. This could be potentially harmful to the customer, and it is definitely something that would have them spending their hard-earned money on something that was not what they expected.
An attorney can help a client sue a company that has pitched a product to them based on a false pretext. They can actually win some monetary damages from the court if they get a ruling in their favor. That is something that a lot of people want to have the ability to do.
Breach Of Fiduciary Responsibility
There is a fiduciary responsibility of any public company to work towards building up the profits of the company. They have to put the interests of their shareholders ahead of all else. They are literally legally held to this standard, and it means that they are going to have all eyes on them. If they make choices that do not benefit the company that they have been working for, then they are going to end up before a court somewhere.
Most of the time a breach of fiduciary responsibility lawsuit will be a class action lawsuit. This is because when something like this happens, it is going to impact a lot of shareholders all at the same time. Thus, everyone is going to want to get on the bandwagon so to speak of a lawsuit. They all deserve to find their justice in the courts. The best way to do that is to sign on when a lawsuit comes around the corner.
This is one of the most common areas of business law that is seen before the courts on a regular basis. The fact of the matter is that many business owners believe that they can trust other business owners, but they may be making a deal with someone that is just trying to take advantage of them. It happens all the time. It is something that leads to a breach of contract situation in many cases.
Another reality is that a breach of contract can happen when one or more partners to the contract simply does not read that contract closely enough. They may be unintentionally in breach of the contract as a result. Either way, this is a situation that needs to be brought before a court as soon as possible. The court can remedy the situation faster than just about any other remedy that is available to you. They will be the final say when it comes to exactly how this is going to work out.
A lot of emotions can get tied up in a breach of contract situation, so the best thing to do is to is hire a lawyer and bring a lawsuit that works to fix up the situation.
Some companies require their employees to sign a noncompete contract before they hire them for the job. This is important to the employer because it means that their employee cannot legally go work for a competing company during a certain period of time. It is vital that these contracts be adhered to and the only way to make sure they hold up is to have a court enforce them. You can bring a lawsuit against someone who is trying to violate the noncompete contract.
These are just a few of the types of areas of business law that could be brought before a court. These are among the most common, but the courts handle all kinds of different situations on a daily basis.
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