Running a business can be difficult enough under the best of circumstances. Between growing a customer base and focusing on the bottom line, there is more than enough for companies to worry about. When companies end up in disputes with others, those disputes can tie up resources and present a risk to the business.
Business disputes can arise in a number of circumstances that lead to commercial litigation. The most common type of business dispute is when one party accuses another of breach of contract. In such a dispute, the two parties have signed an agreement and one of them is not doing what they promised. Commercial litigation can also arise in other contexts, including:
- Shareholder litigation
- Partnership disputes
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Insurance coverage litigation
- Real estate disputes
- Compliance enforcement actions
- Business torts
Regardless of the type of business dispute you are—or may be—involved in, the one constant is your need for an attorney who has the experience necessary to advocate for you and work to secure the best legal outcome for you and your business. In fact, the best time to hire an attorney is before a lawsuit is filed. Retaining an attorney early can help you better prepare for anticipated commercial litigation. You will have the best chance of prevailing in a business-related lawsuit when the attorney you retain maps out a robust litigation strategy and presents your legal arguments clearly and persuasively.
How We Help Clients with Commercial Litigation
At The David Toy Law Firm, we partner with you to present the strongest possible case, including:
- Learning about your business so we can best represent you in your dispute
- Partnering with you to work toward the best resolution
- Helping you get organized and understand your legal options
- Providing common sense and practical advice about how to best deal with your disputes, including the business and reputational concerns that arise in connection with them
- Developing your case and legal arguments to make the strongest possible case in court
In litigation, there can be a substantial amount of money on the line. Oftentimes, commercial litigation can be “bet the company” cases. Your bottom line, reputation, and ability to do business can be at stake. There is almost no such thing as a “minor” commercial lawsuit.
The Business Litigation Process
Regardless of what is at stake in your business dispute, your business will be facing uncertainty. The only thing that is certain is that your company can be in for a long haul from the start to finish of the dispute. It is not unusual for the commercial litigation process to take years to resolve. Here is some of what you can expect when you pursue litigation or are brought into it by another party:
- The legal process begins when one party files a petition or complaint in court and serves it on the other party. If you are the plaintiff, we will work to investigate your claims and establish facts before we file a lawsuit.
- The defendant has multiple options when named in a lawsuit, including moving a case from state to federal court, or changing the venue of any suit, if appropriate. A Defendant may also try to file a motion to dismiss the case before it goes forward. If that motion is unsuccessful, the defendant will file an answer to the petition or complaint, and the case will proceed. If you are the defendant, we will advise you on your multiple options.
- If the case continues, both parties will proceed to discovery. This is the first intensive and detailed part of the case. Each party will request information that can be used for their case that is in the other party’s possession. There will also be depositions, where people with information will be asked questions under oath. The discovery process will be time-consuming, but it may be the most important part of your case because it is where you obtain the evidence you need to support your factual and legal arguments.
- After discovery, either party may file a motion for summary judgment where a party asks the court to make a ruling about the case based on facts that are not in dispute.
- If a party’s summary judgment motion does not end the case, the parties will often try to settle the case either through alternative dispute resolution or via communications between counsel of record. The vast majority of legal disputes are resolved via a settlement.
- If the case is not settled, there will be a trial in court, and a judge or jury will decide the issues.
Working to Help You Avoid Costly Lawsuits
Commercial litigation is not just about lawsuits. Commercial litigation includes actions taken before and after a lawsuit to enforce a party’s legal rights. Some business disputes do not end up in court because the parties are able to work out their issues. In fact, this is the best possible outcome for many businesses.
When you hire an attorney, they can communicate your position to your adversary’s attorney. You may be able to reach an understanding without having to go through the expense and stress of protracted commercial litigation or a lawsuit. An experienced business attorney can spot areas of common ground or recommend solutions that can help the parties take a step back from costly and draining litigation.
However, in any dispute, even if you try to resolve it without filing a lawsuit, you must still consider the possibility that your dispute may evolve into one. Thus, you must put yourself in the strongest legal position possible. A business attorney can advise you on how you need to position yourself for a possible court case. They know how a court may look at your matter and can give you practical advice. They will also help you decide when a settlement is the best course of action versus when you should go to trial.
Contact a Houston Commercial Litigation Attorney Today
The David Toy Law Firm is experienced in handling a broad range of business disputes. We have been helping businesses deal with high-stakes matters for over two decades, delivering results for our clients when they need them most. If you are involved in a business dispute that could end up in litigation, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible, even if court papers have not yet been filed. Contact us online or call us today at (713) 322-7911 to discuss your business dispute.