External claims made against your business and claims you may bring against another entity are very much a reality of conducting business in today’s environment. Among the many issues that are a part of business litigation are:
- breach of contract
- non-payment for goods or services
- defective or non-performing products
- fraudulent business practice
Disputes such as these affect your business in two ways. First, they can create cash flow problems. Typically, your business fully expected payment or performance. That failure either created less revenue or greater cost. Secondly, you will also likely incur some cost to remedy the problem.
As problematic and costly as business-to-business disputes can be, that within a business can be more so. Few businesses survive a serious dispute from within. The integrity of the business in moving forward is a primary concern. For this reason, options such as mediation, arbitration or some other alternative dispute resolution may be more desirable under such circumstances.
Examples of Business Litigation
While no single list can cover all of the types of claims considered to be business litigation, the following types of actions are typical:
• Intellectual Property – Cases involving a claim that a business’ products or other activities infringe a patent, trademark, or copyright held by someone else.
• Trade Secrets – Cases where a business claims another business or an individual has taken its confidential, proprietary, or trade secret information and is using that information without permission.
• Breach of Contract – Cases where one party seeks interpretation or enforcement of a contract, claims that the other party has failed to perform its obligations under a contract, or claims that the other party has failed to perform as required by the Uniform Commercial Code.
• Real Estate – Cases involving non-residential real estate, such as disputes between landlords and tenant of office buildings or retail centers, construction claims, and disputes between real estate developers.
• Business Fraud – Claims involving a breachof fiduciary duties, fraud, misrepresentation, business torts (such as intentional interference with a contractual relationship), or other claims involving business relationships.
• Business Conduct – Cases where one party claims the other has violated the antitrust laws, violated trade regulations, or engaged in unfair business practices.
• Malpractice – Malpractice claims against professionals such as appraisers, brokers, and information technology consultants.
• Corporate Governance – Claims relating to the management and governance of corporations and partnerships, such as interpretation and enforcement of employment agreements and actions to determine the liability of shareholders, directors, officers, and partners.
• Business Combinations – Claims relating to mergers, sales of assets, issuance of debt, and securities offerings.