When running a company, it is important to make smart and well-informed decisions to minimize any chances of facing business litigation. Managing and more importantly mitigating risk are crucial. This is why you need appropriate legal advice to reduce the risk of being sued. Lawsuits cost companies thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars.
Despite making their best efforts, companies might still end up in court. However, there are certain situations where business litigation is unavoidable. If your company has been sued and is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, then it is vital to address the issues head-on and do everything possible to fight for a positive outcome. It is possible for your company’s rights to not be respected, wherein your business would need to become the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
The legal system can be sought to protect your business interests. It could help you receive compensation for the financial loss to ensure that the business continues to operate efficiently. Whenever your company is involved in any type of lawsuit, you should seek the best litigation lawyer such as Akron, Ohio Commercial Litigation Attorney to provide you with necessary guidance, advice, and advocacy.
The Akron, Ohio commercial litigation lawyers will offer you guidance and assistance throughout the process. They have experience in dealing with all types of business litigations. Their invaluable service could help you save thousands of dollars. As soon as your company gets sued, you need to contact a commercial litigation lawyer to help fight for your company’s rights.
Most Common Types of Business Litigation
When it comes to a business setting, various situations can easily arise throughout business operations. This could result in your company being sued or your company suing another person or company. Some of the most common reasons why a company might end up in court are explained below.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property includes trademarks, copyrights, designs, trade secrets, and patents. It belongs exclusively to the company or person that created the intellectual property. Therefore, you have the right to take action if someone uses it without your permission. To stop someone from misuse or unauthorized of your intellectual property, you need to claim to prevent the trade secrets from being disclosed. You have the right to sue someone for infringing your copyrights, trademarks or patents. Anyone that violates your intellectual property rights will need to pay damages.
Breach of Contract
Another common type of business litigation is a breach of contract. When both parties enter into a legally binding agreement, they have to fulfill the terms mentioned in the contract. If there is a breach of contract on part of one party, then the other party (the damaged party) has the right to seek compensation for the actual losses.
There are certain obligations that the two parties agree to in the contract in return for some kind of exchange. When a party fails to meet the terms set out in the agreement, there is a breach of contract. It is possible for the contract to be written in vague terms which could lead to misunderstanding between the two parties and it could disparate their expectations. This often creates disputes between the parties.
Sometimes, the contract is inferred instead of being expressed. In such a case, the breach of contract might still be possible under specific conditions. Quantum meruit is a condition where one party seeks to recover the value of the services provides or the improvements made.
Another condition is promissory estoppel where a party claims that the other party had made a promise based on which the first party had relied for detriment. In such a case, the first party would demand the enforcement of the promise. However, if the contract is void, the breach of contract can be excusable. This could be due to various reasons such as one of the parties lacking the mental capacity to make a contract or being a minor (under 18).
Moreover, the contract can also be excusable if one of the parties had withheld information that was relevant or important for the other party to know. A contract might be voided if it was for the use or purchase of illegal firearms or drugs.
Torts and Tortious Interference
A tort is a civil case. It is where one party claims that the other had caused him physical or emotional harm. Tort cases take many different forms and could be based on alleged harm to the safety of a person, their financial security or property.
Common torts are those that are related to injury and accident, battery or assault cases, and negligence where one party alleges that the caregiver did not meet their responsibilities or assigned duties.
Another type of tort is when a breach of contract, expressed or implied, results in an economic injury to the party. It is also known as tortious interference. It is when someone who is not a party to the contract does or says something that causes one of the parties to breach the contract.
Tortious interference with a business relationship is another kind of economic injury which is similar to contract interference. However, the difference is that there is no actual contract which exists.
A tortious interference allows a company or person in the contract to sue the third party if that third party had interfered knowingly with the contract which led to the breach. It results in damages to either one or both of the parties.
Employment disputes are common. No matter how stringent and concise the workers’ handbook is, there are also chances of employment disputes to occur. If the employees violate agreements like non-disclosure agreements, then you have the right to file a claim against them.
On the other hand, your company can be sued for discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination. Sexual harassment or gender-based lawsuits are often filed and that is why employers need to develop a policy wherein all workers are required to disclose whether they are in a relationship with a coworker. It helps ensure that there is no conflict of interest and hence, fairness can be guaranteed.
You must realize that the company can be sued for unintentional discrimination if there are certain job conditions which harm minorities like pre-employment tests that disqualify minorities more without there being a bona fide job-related reason for conducting the test. Moreover, the company can even be sued if coworkers are allowed to create a toxic work environment.
Normally, employment disputes center on allegations of discrimination and worker claims of unfair treatment. It is also possible for workers to make claims of bias, harassment or hostile work environment. It is also possible for there to be wage and hour disputes, and issues regarding family leave, healthcare or other benefits.
In addition to the above, workers might be overlooked for promotion and might feel that the primary reason behind this was their gender or age. When workers are terminated, they might feel that the reason behind it was race or age. Another thing could be that workers might have been asked to do work that no one else does and feel that the reason behind it is personal rather than being company-based.
Finally, it is the job of employers to provide safe and healthy conditions at work. Workers can report violations if they are made. It might lead to the employer facing punitive measures.
Partnership Disputes or Shareholder Litigation
Partnership disputes and shareholder litigation is common. It could be due to any of the following reasons.
- When parties are unable to agree or if the shareholders find the way the company is run as a problem. It could result in a lawsuit.
- When it comes to business, some relationships exist at many different levels. These could be obligations, both service-oriented and fiduciary which are the basis for fair dealing and good faith.
- Members are expected to carry out their responsibilities with care and prudence in partnerships when exchanging information. They need to carry out effective business operations. Moreover, a proper disclosure is also necessary for partners to be able to make the right business decision. The integrity of those decisions should not be compromised due to a conflict of interest.
- It is possible for there to be a lack of open communication and obligations might not be met. Partners might also act out in their self-interest instead of the greater good of the partnerships. Hence, disputes would most likely occur that could lead to litigation.
- Business disputes also arise over mergers and acquisitions or the break-up of a business.
- Some contracts contain clauses which require disputes to first be taken to arbitration or mediation before going to the court. Mediation involves both of the parties presenting their case to the third party wherein the final result is not binding and if there are any existing disputes, then they can go to court.
- As for arbitration, the decision made by the third party is generally binding. The process of arbitration is more formal as compared to mediation.
Personal Injury or Product Liability Cases
The company has a responsibility to produce products that are safe for consumption and do not cause harm to the consumer. However, if the product causes harm to a consumer, then they have the right to sue the company. Furthermore, the company needs to create a safe workplace and if anyone is injured at the workplace, then they can file a lawsuit.
There are many other disputes as well which might occur in a business setting such as contractor disagreements to zoning issues. There could be insurance issues or licensing issues.
Class action disputes involve a group or class of people that claim due to them being injured. It is similar to torts. Typical subjects for a class action include exposure to hazardous materials or defective products.
Complaints can be made against the federal, county or city government as the plaintiff feels that government policy or negligence resulted in business or personal harm. Regardless of the type of business litigation case, it is wise to have a lawyer who is experienced and qualified to protect your interests.
Whatever the reason for being involved in business litigation, you must have an understanding of the court system to resolve the case. The statute of limitations should be known and you should understand the claims that are made so that you can better prepare for the case and argue accordingly.
How Can a Corporate Litigation Lawyer Help My Business?
In various situations, business disputes can be settled outside of the courtroom, even if the lawsuit has already been filed. This is why you need an experienced corporate litigation lawyer for your business as the lawyer will help you to try to negotiate with the one who has filed the lawsuit to reach a settlement that is best for your business interests.
It is better to settle your case rather than to litigate it until there is a resolution because the lawsuit would only lead to more expenses and it could dig deeper into more private business matters which could end up hurting your brand. The litigation lawyer will help settle the case so that you pay less legal fees and court costs. Moreover, the lawyer can even reach a more favorable outcome which could lead to you being better off.
Sometimes, a case cannot be settled and getting a resolution from the court is the only option. An experienced corporate litigation lawyer from Akron, Ohio Commercial Litigation Attorney can provide you with legal assistance regardless of whether the case is resolved in court or settles outside of court. By hiring the right litigation lawyer, you end up saving money and get the best outcome. It is a win-win situation. If someone files a lawsuit against your business, then you need to act fast as time is precious.