When a dispute arises in the business arena and is unable to be resolved through arbitration or negotiation, business litigation is often used as a mediation or resolve to the situation. Business litigation is commonly used in cases where a business entity is involved in a legal dispute with another business. In cases where a private individual has a legal issue with a business entity, business litigation is also a remedy to mediation.
In a basic sense, business litigation covers every kind of dispute that may potentially arise in the context of business. Shareholder issues, breach of contracts, business torts, civil RICO claims, partnership disputes, class action lawsuits and the like are all issues handled through business litigation.
Some common business disputes requiring business litigation include:
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty, where an entity within the business is failing to uphold business practices or obligations to the business, business partners, or shareholders.
- Intellectual Property disputes, where a trademark, patent or copyright is being infringed.
- Investments or finances, where business litigation is brought against “brokers who do not act in the best interest of the clients”. Typically in cases where an investor suffers financial losses due to an investment broker’s malfeasance or unethical behavior.
- Insurance Disputes are another common occurrence in the business arena that require mediation through business litigation. When an insurance company attempts to avoid or refuse full payment on a legitimate claim, (especially through the use of deception through confusing verbiage in contracts) business litigation is often necessary to remedy the dispute.
There are literally countless situations within a business’ structure and operation where legal disputes can arise. It is in these situations where business litigation is necessary to remedy disputes legally.
Business litigation lawyers (also known as Commercial Litigation Attorneys) specialize in exclusively working on cases and disputes involving businesses. As mentioned, these disputes can be between businesses or between a business and an individual. As all attorneys do, business lawyers must pass the bar exam for licensing. This only happens after graduation from law school, where an aspiring “Commercial Litigation Attorney” will seek coursework that specializes in business concerns. Examples of this coursework include areas of commercial litigation such as contracts, liabilities, and disputes. Furthermore, a business litigation lawyer might specialize in a specific area of commercial litigation such as corporate litigation or intellectual property law.
When retained by a client, business litigation lawyers conduct an investigation to determine if evidence is sufficient enough to file a lawsuit or what evidence exists to defend against a potential lawsuit. Business litigation lawyers represent both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. During their representation, business litigation attorneys manage and attend to all aspects and phases of the litigation process. Typically the process starts with investigation which leads to a trial. The trial begins with pleadings and discovery, moving on to pre-trial, trial, settlement and if necessary, appeal.
More often than not, cases are settled before they go to trial. These settlements are agreed upon so as not to risk having to pay for the increasing expenses that a full trial usually entails.
A case may be settled at anytime during the trial or “life cycle” of the litigation. A settlement involves negotiations, mediation, and a settlement conference with all parties involved set before a judge. Agreements, settlement brochures, releases, and other settlement materials are created and agreed upon by all parties during a settlement conference.