The Types of Business Disputes We Handle
The business litigation attorney at Custis Law, P.C. represents business clients throughout California in a broad range of legal disputes. We have ample experience in the following areas, among others:
Breach of Contract
A well-drafted contract should include clear provisions for liability and dispute resolution in the event of a breach. However, some contracts are not as clear as they could be, unforeseen circumstances can arise, and sometimes parties simply fail to meet their contractual obligations. We represent parties on both sides of business contract disputes, and can help protect your company’s interests through negotiation, litigation, mediation and arbitration.
Business fraud can take a variety of different forms, from misrepresentations in business transactions to misappropriation of company funds. Whether your company is being accused of fraud or you need to take action to recover fraudulent losses, we have the skill and resources to take action – quickly if necessary – to obtain the justice your company deserves.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Directors, officers, advisors, and various other individuals and third parties can owe fiduciary duties to corporate entities. As a business owner or executive, you rely heavily on this duty being upheld. Breach of fiduciary duty is a serious matter that can often have serious consequences. We are experienced in representing clients in litigation involving breach of fiduciary duties.
When a third party’s actions harm your business and you don’t have a contract in place that protects you, your legal cause of action will lie in tort. Tortious interference is a common claim in business litigation that involves allegations of improperly interfering with either (i) a contractual relationship, or (ii) a “prospective economic advantage.” Tortious interference can either be negligent or intentional; and, in either case, it can cause lasting damage if not handled promptly.
Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
“Unfair and deceptive trade practices” is a broad term that encompasses a variety of improper and unlawful business practices. Companies accused of engaging in unfair and deceptive trade practices can face liability in civil litigation and government enforcement proceedings, and defending against these types of allegations is often a matter of correcting misunderstandings about a company’s operations, products, or market strategy. Custis Law, P.C. has ample experience on both sides of unfair and deceptive business practice lawsuits, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants.
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Breach of Confidentiality Agreements
Trade secrets and confidential information are among many companies’ most valuable assets, tangible or intangible. If a trade secret is made public, a company’s competitive advantage can be lost. If confidential information is disclosed or used improperly, years’ worth of research and development can effectively walk out the door. When taking legal action in response to the misappropriation of trade secrets or a breach of a confidentiality agreement, prompt action is often necessary. At Custis Law, P.C., we are experienced in obtaining temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions to protect a company’s trade secrets.
Contact a business litigation lawyer online or at (213) 863-4276 for a free, confidential consultation.
Alternative Billing Arrangements for Business Litigation
For our business litigation clients, we offer a number of alternative billing arrangements. While not all arrangements will be available in all cases, we are happy to work with you to determine the best option for your particular case. Potential billing arrangements include:
- Hourly Fees: This is the traditional hourly-fee model where we bill based on time spent on your case.
- Contingency Fees: In appropriate cases, we will take business litigation cases on a contingency-fee basis.
- Flat Fees: If the costs of resolving your dispute can be reasonably calculated in advance, we may be able to represent your company on a flat-fee basis.
- Hybrid Hourly-Contingency Fees: Just like it sounds, this option involves a mix of reduced hourly rates and a contingency fee calculated as a percentage of the monetary recovery we obtain on your behalf.
We will work with you to find the best billing method for you and your matter.
What to Expect in Business Litigation
While every case is unique, our general approach to business litigation is as follows:
1. Consultation and Early Resolution
In all cases, the process starts with getting to know our client and understanding the dispute from its point of view. We gather the relevant information, assess the relevant legal issues, and then develop a strategy in conjunction with you for pursuing an early resolution without initiating formal litigation.
2. Filing a Complaint, Or Responding to a Complaint
If an early resolution is not on the table, we will initiate the litigation process by filing a complaint. As with all aspects of litigation, this is a strategic process that takes into consideration issues ranging from where to file to what specific allegations to assert in court.
If your business has been served with a complaint and we are unable to resolve the dispute informally, we will respond to the complaint with either an answer or a motion to dismiss. We will confer with you about those options and identify the best strategy for moving forward.
3. Dealing with Pleadings Challenges
The complaint is the first of potentially numerous documents that will be filed in the course of a business litigation lawsuit. If you are the plaintiff in the lawsuit, we will oppose any efforts by the defendant to challenge the sufficiency of the complaint so that we can get past the pleading stage quickly and pursue the merits of our client’s claims. If, on the other hand, you are the defendant, we will challenge the sufficiency of the opposing party’s complaint, if possible, so that we can either end the case at this stage or narrow the scope of issues to be litigated.
Discovery involves requesting and responding to written questions called interrogatories, requests for admissions, requests for the production of hardcopy and electronic documents, and the taking and defending of depositions. In complex business disputes, document production (including “e-discovery”) can be a daunting task. Custis Law, P.C. has considerable experience with e-discovery and the production and review of millions of pages of documents. At every step of the discovery process, we fight to make sure our clients can access the information they need without making any disclosures that are not absolutely necessary. We will also explore the possibility of resolving the dispute through mediation during this discovery process.
5. Filing a Motion for Summary Judgment
Assuming the dispute is not settled during the discovery process, the next major step in business litigation involves filing a motion for summary judgment. If this motion encompasses all of the claims and is successful, the case will be over. If not, it will proceed to trial (although settlement after this stage is common as well).
Finally, when a business case does not settle prior to trial, we aggressively represent our clients’ interests throughout trial. Business litigation trials can last anywhere from days to months. Regardless of the trial schedule, we will be prepared to execute a comprehensive case strategy focused on securing a favorable verdict.
Let a Los Angeles Business Litigation Attorney Fight for You
If you are facing a potential business dispute in the Los Angeles area, we encourage you to get in touch. We can help you evaluate your options and make informed decisions about protecting your company’s interests. To schedule a confidential, initial consultation with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer, please call (213) 863-4276 or contact us online today.