Few things in life are more disruptive than being involved in a lawsuit. But disputes from business and non-criminal commercial related transactions happen all too often. Whether your problem is a contract dispute, partnership problems, or employment lawsuit, we will fight for you in the courtroom and during negotiations.
The Impact of Business Litigation:
Financial losses. The cost of defending a lawsuit can be significant, even if you ultimately win. Legal fees, expert witness fees, and other costs can add up quickly. Small businesses, in particular, may struggle to bear the financial burden.
Reputational damage. Even with a positive outcome, the mere fact of being sued can damage your reputation. Negative media coverage, public scrutiny, and social media backlash can tarnish and erode customer trust and loyalty. Prospects may be less likely to do business with a company that is involved in litigation.
Disruption to operations. A lawsuit can take a significant amount of time and resources away from running a business. Employees may be called to testify in court, and the company may have to produce documents and other evidence. This diversion of resources can hinder productivity and impede the company’s growth and development. This can all take a toll on the bottom line.
Increased risk of bankruptcy. If found liable in a lawsuit and ordered to pay large damages, the firm may not be able to afford to pay. This could lead to bankruptcy. In some cases it can even lead to closure. If the case is particularly damaging to the company’s reputation or finances, it may be forced to shut down.
For these reasons, it is important to take steps to avoid litigation whenever possible. This may involve having clear contracts in place, following all applicable laws and regulations, and resolving disputes quickly and amicably.
We can assist your business in evaluating all possible legal options in developing a strategy to solve your problems, and avoid them where possible.
Business Litigation Services
Breach of Contract Disputes
When the legally binding agreements, including an offer and acceptance between the parties were not followed, this is called a breach, and the damaged party can seek compensation for actual losses caused by it. Some common types of contracts are maintenance agreements, employment agreements, and goods and services. Disputes may arise because the contract is poorly written, or they may arise when one party makes a conscious or unconscious decision to act to the contrary. Some will require a specific type of conflict resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. It is often the tip of the iceberg when a dispute arises, and there are often many other problems that will need to be solved to move forward.
This refers to the unauthorized use or imitation of a registered mark in connection with goods or services that are similar or identical. It occurs when a person or business uses a design or item that is confusingly similar to an existing registered trademark without obtaining permission from the owner.
To establish the infringement, certain elements need to be proven, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Generally, these elements include:
- Ownership of a valid and enforceable trademark: The plaintiff must demonstrate that they own it or have acquired common law rights through prior use.
- Likelihood of confusion: The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s use of a similar or identical mark is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of the goods or services, or create a false association with the original owner.
- Use in commerce: The defendant must have used the infringing mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods or services.
This can be a serious problem. It can damage the reputation of the business, confuse consumers, and lead to lost sales. People who believe that their trademarks are being infringed can take legal action to protect their rights.
Owners have the right to take legal action against infringers to protect their intellectual property. Remedies may include injunctive relief (to stop the infringing activity), monetary damages, and in some cases, the destruction of infringing goods.
It’s important to consult with a qualified intellectual property attorney to understand the specific laws and procedures in your jurisdiction, as they can vary amongst states.
One of the most internal business conflicts, it deals with the issues the company is facing with its employees. These disputes often require a specialized business lawyer because this area of law can be further divided into smaller categories. These can include wage disputes, wrongful termination, Family and Medical Leave disputes, plus harassment and discrimination claims. Disputes often involve federal employment laws as well as state-level laws, so business litigators in this area must be knowledgeable in both.
Firms can file a claim against employees that violate agreements such as non-disclosure agreements. However, they need to be careful, as an employee can also sue them for wrongful termination, harassment or discrimination. So the organisation will need to have a very good work environment in order to win the case, as every process will be checked, their work culture, and fairness. If the firm allows the co-workers to create a hostile work environment, the employees are not at fault, but instead, it will fall on the company.
These claims may be pursued in agencies, which will have different procedures and laws than in a state court. A qualified employment litigation attorney will help keep the business on track as they handle a claim.
Unfair Business Practices
This refers to the use of various deceptive, fraudulent, or unethical methods to obtain business. It includes misrepresentation, false advertising or representation of a good or service, tied selling, false free prize or gift offers, deceptive pricing, and noncompliance with manufacturing standards. Such acts are considered unlawful by statute through the Consumer Protection Law, which opens up recourse for consumers by way of compensatory or punitive damages.
In the United States, this is addressed in Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” It applies to all individuals engaged in commerce, including banks, and sets the legal standard, which may be deemed unfair, deceptive, or both.
Simply, this is the intent or the act of misrepresentation – scammers lying about themselves or their actions and services, to cause a gain or loss.
It refers to illegal activities undertaken by an individual or company, done in a dishonest or unethical manner. Often, this is designed to give an advantage to an individual or company. Some schemes go beyond the scope of an employee’s stated position and are treated by their complexity and economic impact on the business, other employees, and outside parties.
Fraud is broadly defined to include making false promises, to obtain money or assets from individuals, businesses, and government institutions. While some offenses are prosecuted by state law enforcement, many types can result in federal criminal charges with potential penalties including long spells of incarceration.
Business offenses must be taken seriously because of the gravity of the penalties that come with conviction. White-collar crimes can destroy a company, wipe out a person’s life savings, cost investors billions of dollars, and erode the public’s trust in institutions.
A business fraud lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in determining what options you have if you have been charged with one of these crimes.
These complaints are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the body responsible for investigating discrimination complaints based on religion, race, national origin, color, age, sex, and disability.
Every employee has the right to file a complaint, not just those who feel they have been discriminated against.
The employer must supply documents and other information relevant to the case when a worker files a complaint. These items include copies of HR policies and personnel files. The EEOC staff may also visit the office, which may be disruptive to the company and its operations.
The activities carried out are meant to collect information and figure out if the complaint requires further action. From there, the process will turn into a formal investigation, which can cost more money and time. A typical investigation period lasts six months, but each case varies.
It is important to be fully represented and indemnified.
Workers’ Compensation Defense
Workers who are injured on the job are entitled to compensation for these injuries through workers’ compensation insurance. An injured employee typically files a claim after suffering a work-related injury, which the insurer investigates before paying out benefits. The two main categories of claims are occupational disease claims and accidental injury claims.
Whether you are the injured party, or the employer, seek the advice of a qualified workers’ compensation defense attorney. There are many ways a lawyer can boost your chances of recovering the maximum amount of coverage possible. Your attorney can also help you prepare for common reasons for denial, file an appeal after a denial, and explore options for recovering further damages from any liable third parties.
They can occur in construction, IT, financial, or other businesses. The impact on costs and timings can be significant, so project managers must pay special attention to work delays.
Delays can happen for any scenario and reason. However, there are four common causes.
Team members. Some of them can work on a task longer than required. Or they can have less experience and understanding.
Customers. They may have a change of idea and require some alterations. They can be unsatisfied with the project’s progress and withhold funding for many reasons.
Third-party factors. Most projects involve third-party individuals that usually don’t know all details about your plans, goals, or essential project milestones. They do not participate in discussions that happen in your team.
Unforeseen circumstances. Weather disruptions or natural disasters can happen at any time. They can cause delays in your project. Do not also forget about the political or investment climate. Or the massive effect of a pandemic can cause.
Delays can be frustrating and costly. Projects get off track and behind schedule for a variety of reasons. However, the successful completion of the project on time is an indication of the efficiency of all stakeholders involved in the project.
Let’s talk about how we can help you avoid delays, or mitigate their effect.
When people go into business together, they generally start out with the same goals and expectations. However, over time, business disputes can occur, and relationships deteriorate with disagreements about how to run the business.
They can also arise if one partner misappropriates funds or assets, or engages in wrongful or illegal activity that might hurt the business. One party may also breach the partnership agreement or other written agreements between them.
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate to resolve your differences or for one to buy out the other. In other situations, you may need to go to court to protect yourself and your business.
A partnership dispute lawyer can help you understand your options and look out for your interests.
Breach of Employment Contract
When an employer and employee enter into an agreement, the onus is often assumed to be only on the employer to meet various contractual and statutory obligations — but a contract is two-way. It’s important for both parties to understand the reciprocal nature, including their respective rights and remedies in the event the other party breaches terms of the agreement.
When an employee, especially an executive, high-ranking manager, or physician starts a new job, they often enter into a contract with their employer. These types of agreements can address the employee’s responsibilities, the length of employment, and protections against termination. It can also include the compensation terms — in addition to a salary, an employee may be offered bonuses, commissions, benefits, and reimbursement for expenses.
An employer breach is where they have failed to meet their duties under the agreement, either express or implied.
Business litigation is a serious matter, and whatever involvement companies have from the reasons above, they must understand all the issues well and plan out possible conclusions to resolve them. Only through this will they create a positive outcome and a safe and secure environment for the future.
An experienced and talented lawyer can help choose the correct path for disputes and can bring their expertise on the subject to the table. The right attorneys help firms stay afloat or thrive, and thriving organisations are helpful to the community.
60% of small firms face a significant legal event every two years. (According to 2013 Legal Needs of Small Business Survey)
Let us provide legal solutions to your problems at a cost that fits your balance sheet.
Learn more about what a business attorney can do for you, about Wesley Henderson, and contact us with any question.