As a company executive or business owner, it is crucial that you have a basic understanding of business litigation. Disputes arising from business and commercial transactions are an inevitable part of doing business, so it is better to be prepared so that you can maximize the results and, at the same time, minimize the costs.
What is business litigation?
The top lawyers at www.blakeandayaz.com explain that business litigation is a section of the law that involves disputes pertaining to commercial and business relationships. It is not criminal in nature. In some areas, business litigation can be called something else, such as civil litigation or commercial litigation. Business litigation involves various types of cases such as breach of contract, misrepresentation cases, violation of the non-compete agreement, and many more.
What’s the difference between a corporate lawyer and a business litigation lawyer?
There is a common misconception that lawyers can draft agreements and negotiate deals one day and then go to court for litigation cases the next day. While there are attorneys who do that, it is highly unusual in practice. The basic division in the practice of law is between corporate law and litigation. Very early in their careers, or even during law school, lawyers decide whether they will pursue the path to becoming corporate lawyers or litigators.
The difference between corporate lawyers and litigators is quite simple. Corporate lawyers are those who advise organizations of their legal rights, obligations, and responsibilities. They craft transactions and deals, and when these deals go awry, the business litigation lawyers try to resolve the disputes.
Types of cases that business litigation lawyers handle
Lawyers who handle business litigation types of cases are called business litigation lawyers. Here are some of the cases that these lawyers handle:
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract is one of the most common business litigation cases that business lawyers handle. It happens when a party in a contract violates the terms of the agreement and the conditions set upon in the contract. A breach may be as simple as a late payment or can be more serious such as failing to deliver a promised asset. We have to remember that both parties have a responsibility of bearing good faith and fairness in their performance of the contract.
Fraud is a billion-dollar problem in the business industry, and there are thousands of victims of financial fraud every day. It encompasses all types of fraud, including embezzlement or larceny, internal theft, kickbacks, payoffs, and skimming. It also includes fraud perpetrated by the company like falsification of reported financial statements and more. While the perpetrator of the fraud may be held criminally liable and can end up in prison, many of the victims of this crime want to achieve justice by compensation, which is done through civil litigation.
Non-compete agreements, sometimes called restrictive covenants, are contracts where employees are prohibited from competing against their employer for a certain period of time. These types of agreements are often used in employment contracts and for the sale of a business. Non-compete litigation is often accompanied by requests of immediate relief such as temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, and pre-judgment remedies. It is essential that organizations develop non-compete litigation strategies even before such a problem arises.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
According to business litigation law, if any member of your company holds a duty or responsibility of any kind and fails to execute it in good faith, and has caused losses to the company, that member can be held accountable for his actions or lack of it.
When a party makes an untrue or false statement to induce another party to enter into a contract, that person is guilty of misrepresentation. There are several types of misrepresentation, like innocent misrepresentation, negligent misstatement, or fraudulent misrepresentation. When it is proven that misrepresentation has occurred, then the existing contract may be canceled or rescinded, and damages can be claimed.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Intellectual property litigation lawyers handle disputes that protect creations of the human mind, like patents, inventions, discoveries, processes, artistic works, and others. Because of the globality of the marketplace, Intellectual Property rights have become a global concern.
There are four main types of Intellectual property protections that you should understand:
1. Trade Secrets – These are private and confidential information critical to a business because it will give them a competitive advantage over their competitors. If a trade secret is revealed to rival companies, it will be detrimental to the company. Examples are secret recipes, formulations, secret ingredients, processes, and inventions.
2. Copyright – It is a protection for authorship, including music, literary work, art, and more. Copyright also protects architecture and computer software. Copyright protection is automatic, which means if you created something, it is considered your intellectual property. If some party attempts to infringe or violate your rights of copyright protection, you can file a lawsuit.
3. Patent – Patent is often confused with copyright, although they are not the same. A patent is a type of protection with a limited duration, often used for inventions and discoveries that are new and useful. Examples of these are machines, new processes, and others. When you have a patent, other people are prohibited by law to copy or imitate the product for profit.
4. Trademarks – Trademark refers to words, phrases, or symbols that distinguish the source or maker of a particular product or service from other parties. Under the law, trademark protection prohibits other parties from using or copying the name, logo, or symbol of a business entity for their own gain.
Understanding the basics of business litigation, as well as the cases that most business litigation lawyers handle, will be beneficial in case you’ll need to file a civil lawsuit in the future. While it is good to have a basic understanding of the subject, asking the help of trained professionals would be the best option. Do not hesitate to ask the help of a qualified and trained attorney to make sure.