What Types Of Business Litigation Cases Does Your Firm Typically Handle?
We handle a wide variety of disputes. Prior to litigation, we always determine in consultation with our clients whether it makes economic sense to file suit. This determination will be based on whether the adverse parties have done something serious enough to merit filing suit and incurring the costs for litigation, and whether the adverse parties are collectible. If the wrongdoer is without financial means, then incurring the cost to sue them and get a judgement may not make economic sense. This is something I will address with the client at the earliest possible opportunity, because business litigation involves paying attorneys, accruing court and deposition-related costs, as well as a sacrifice of time and resources to prepare for litigation.
If the dispute involves an employee who is leaving the business and has taken resources, intellectual property, trade secrets, or customer lists, then it may be necessary to determine whether it makes sense to seek injunctive relief to prevent the employee from using those resources, and obtain a court order to force the employee to return those resources.
If a competitor did something that falls in the area of interference with contract or prospective business advantage, committed a business tort such as trade libel, or otherwise acted unfairly or violated civil law, then it may be necessary to bring a suit against that competitor.
We also get involved in all kinds of commercial litigation disputes. For example, a manufacturer may claim that since their vendor delivered defective component parts, the manufacturer could not fulfill a contract with a third party and provide finished goods. A number of commercial disputes can arise with vendors.
We handle breach of contract lawsuits and lawsuits arising with regard to the interpretation of contracts. For example, a client may believe that they are being unjustly sued for rightfully terminating a contract, while the other party may believe that the contract was terminated without cause or in a manner inconsistent with the contract’s stated method for termination.
What Are Common Sources Of Dispute Between Shareholders, Partners, Or Members Of LLCs?
The more valuable a company or its assets, the more likely it is that people will fight over their share of the profits. Unfortunately, we live in a world where greed often motivates people to do unscrupulous or unfair things. In some scenarios, a company will grow to a certain size and some of the partners or significant shareholders will stop carrying their share of the load and basically say that they don’t intend to do any work, but expect to equally share in the profits. In these cases, people are committing two deadly sins: greed and sloth, that can lead to disputes and even lawsuits.
Noncompliance with contractual obligations and efforts to take advantage of a situation for one’s own gain are always sources of friction. I’ve known of business cases where one of the significant shareholders developed a drug and alcohol problem and stopped performing their duties. Having contracts or agreements that address how to go about buying out a shareholder or a member of an LLC would allow for resolution of these types of problems without litigation. In cases where such documents are not in place, it can be difficult for parties to reach an agreement or resolution without litigation.
What Rights Do I Have If I Cannot Work Out Disagreements With Other Partners, Shareholders, Or LLC Members In Our Company?
The first step is to obtain copies of all of the important documents that deal with or govern the rights of the stakeholders in the company. This should include shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, bylaws, minutes of the company, job descriptions, and any documents containing information about significant events that have occurred that bear on the disputes.
At the earliest possible opportunity, a stakeholder who believes that things are about to go south should consult with experienced counsel who can advise them of their rights. Those rights may be covered by written agreements or contracts, and may be impacted by sections of the California Corporations Code or other statutes that govern the business.
Is Litigation The Best Way To Handle A Business Dispute?
Whether litigation is the best way to handle a business dispute depends on many variables, such as the rights that are set out in the contracts and documents, the costs of litigation, and the possible impact on the business or customer relationships. The more time spent in litigation, the greater the costs incurred. Some parties will decide to resolve their issues in a mediation, or there will be contracts calling for an early mediation or settlement conference. Often, these are good avenues to pursue when trying to reach a resolution.
The company may be deadlocked and require a process to appoint an independent director or other independent decision-maker to assist in trying to prevent expensive litigation. If a significant customer of the company finds out about litigation, they may get scared and want to terminate their relationship. By all means, everyone needs to try to avoid litigation and the complexities of what a court may order, if possible. This is a situation that calls for experienced and capable counsel who can evaluate all of the important variables, and develop strategic options.
For more information on Business Litigation Cases In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 477-7767 today.
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