Business litigation arises from a wide spectrum of legal issues. Business law is not limited to businesses suing each other, it also involves commercial law focused on sale and distribution of goods including financing of certain transactions. Business litigation attorneys are a must for the many companies that operate in our county because Los Angeles business litigation is far too common for business both big and small.
What is Business or Commercial Litigation?
Business litigation, also known as commercial litigation, is a law practice focused on defending a person or entity accused of wrongdoing in the line of business. Litigation is the process by which a case is resolved by a trial in a court of law or alternative dispute resolution. Commercial litigation is often more complex business litigation which overlaps in similar areas. Business law will focus on the day to day facets of running a business concentrating on state and federal laws. While commercial law relies on the 1958 Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which has been adopted within all fifty states, District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. The UCC facilitates commerce among the States providing uniform. It directs all sales and commercial business in these areas. It is designed to protect consumers of unlawful business practice in the United States. Where business and commercial intermix is during the negotiating and litigating with business contracts; employment agreements and intellectual property.
Types of Commercial/Business Litigation
Contract Disputes: A contract is nothing more than an agreement, oral or written, that can be enforced in a court of law.
Breach of Contract: A breach occurs when a party to a contract fails to fulfill its obligation/s as established in the contract.
Employment Discrimination: Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against race, color, religion, sex or national origin, specifically with employment.
Negligence Torts: Torts can occur when someone injures you, slanders your reputation, or damages your property. A tort is defined as a private wrong, as opposed to criminal acts which are considered public wrongs.
Employment Laws: The current employment laws of 2020 effect business which include; AB5 independent contractors; AB25 on data privacy personal information held by businesses; SB142 employee accommodation for lactation; and 12964.5 can’t waive a claim, under FEHA ( Fair Employment and Housing Act) unless agreement is negotiated as defined by statute.
Non-Compete Agreements: A non-compete clause usually in an employment agreement, (contract law) where an employee (one party) consents not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against their employer (another party).
Partnership Disputes: Majority ownership vs. minority ownership, partnership disagreements, violation of unauthorized disclosure, or monetary disputes.
Intellectual Property Infringement: Intellectual property (IP) is protected by law and refers to the creative process. It is property resulting from the intellectual creations of the creative mind, for instance inventions, literary, artistic designs and ideas.
Antitrust Laws: Antitrust laws are meant to regulate business corporations, called trusts, from becoming monopolies to restrict competition.
Aviation Disputes: Aviation Disputes includes aircraft trading, finance and leasing.
Bad Faith: Bad faith handling claims, refusal to defend lawsuit, threats against insured, reasonable settlement offer, unreasonable interpretations of an insurance policy.
Class Action: Class actions are more complex business litigation cases, usually involving a group of people represented by a single member.
How to Avoid Business Litigation in Los Angeles
Making sure you cross your T’S and dot your I’S while running a business is being legally savvy. Having a legal professional can save time, money, and stress. Hiring a skilled attorney allows a business to eliminate future litigation by minimizing risk sooner rather than later. Employment agreements are essential when hiring people for your company. It can be difficult navigating all the state and federal laws and regulations. Staying updated on legal issues when running a business is important to prevent litigation. Hiring a knowledgeable business attorney to assist can eliminate unnecessary contractual disagreements, employee lawsuits or fines caused by compliance negligence. To help avoid business litigation, be mindful of these variables often at the center of a dispute:
- Contracting with your vendors being specific to everyone’s duties under it.
- Signing agreements with other businesses make sure you understand what was agreed upon before you sign.
- Choosing the correct entity for your business.
- Trademark your business it identifies your business and prevents another person from offering a similar product or service confusingly like yours.
Business Litigation Terms to Know FAQS
How long does litigation take?
Usually, one or more years, but most cases don’t go to trial. They settle out of court.
Who is a plaintiff?
Plaintiff is the person who filed a complaint. The plaintiff must show cause of action for the lawsuit and the plaintiff has the burden to prove the case.
Who is the defendant?
Defendant is the person the lawsuit is against. The Complaint is prepared by the plaintiff, it’s filed with the courts, and then the defendant will receive it. Parties will bring their expert witness, depositions are made, and a trial date is set (usually) a year.
What is ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution?
More than likely, before the trial date, the Judge could ask for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), not a trial, a method to bring parties together through arbitration or mediation. In this effort, a mediator or arbitrator can be asked to assist the case. An effort made by the court which tries to have the parties settle instead of going to trial. The difference is litigation can be appealed, but the decision by the arbitrator can’t. The mediator’s decision is not binding by the parties.
Protecting LA Businesses in Litigation
It’s important that the attorney you hire is polished in business litigation. He/she will come up with a strategy to meet your business goals. Finding an attorney who works well with you and communicates effectively can minimize cost and maximize profits. When hiring an attorney be sure to:
- Ask and prepare a list of questions for the consultation.
- Interview a few attorneys.
- View credentials from an attorney that has experience in the type of business your company conducts. How long has he/she been practicing? Investigate the attorneys background.
- Is their office conveniently located?
- Read any retainer agreement, review it and ask about how other costs will be determined. Understand what is covered.
Every state has a disciplinary organization which monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. Be prepared by hiring an accomplished attorney to inform and guide your business needs.
Remember that attorneys help prevent disputes, lawyers can protect all parties in various business transactions. The importance in knowing the legality of routine business matters and that’s where our business dispute attorneys at Stone and Sallus can help. All businesses should be prepared with legal representation. Business litigation and commercial litigation involve difficult situations that deal with employees, contracts, trademarks, business torts, class action lawsuits and so many other business related challenges.
At Stone and Sallus, our business litigation attorneys have won many cases related to business disputes and our team is ready to answer questions.