Business transactions which result in litigation law, is often referred to as commercial litigation. It is a legal dispute between companies concerning a contract or business dispute such as partnership rights or breaches.
Commercial litigation often incorporates many areas of law including commercial landlord / lessee issues, breaches of contract, infringement of intellectual rights, unjust enrichment claims, and tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship. Additionally, commercial litigation may involve other torts such as defamation of a business including slander and libel, promissory estoppel, fraud, and other types of claims which may arise during a business transaction.
Florida Law – Commercial Litigation
Under Florida Law, a company may not represent itself in Court. A company must hire an attorney in order to be represented in Court, regardless of whether the company is a plaintiff or defendant. Commercial litigation cases are almost always done on an hourly fee basis rather than on a contingency. Additionally, under most circumstances, a company must be properly registered in Florida and set as an active corporation in order to assert its rights. There are many exceptions that are dependent on the local jurisdiction. Oftentimes it is advisable to get local counsel to address the needs within a particular jurisdiction.
Commercial litigation often involves legitimate disputes and are fact intensive. Additionally, presenting the facts in a light most favorable to the interests of the client requires a specific and careful review of the facts. Hundreds or thousands of quality attorney time may be required in order to take a commercial litigation case through trial. Moreover, under most circumstances, an appeal may be taken by any party who is displeased with any part of the outcome sought. As such, these types of cases, requires patience, money, and qualified experienced attorneys to bring forward the best legal approach to achieve the best possible result.
Think Preemptive – Best time to minimize legal liability is before liability occurs
It is often very advisable to mitigate legal exposure by taking the appropriate steps to minimize possible disputes in a transaction. As compared to litigation, mitigation and pre-litigation work is cost effective and controllable. As is often the case, pre-emptive work should be done to reduce the possibility of litigation. Many things can be done to mitigate risks and avoid litigation. This things include:
- Well drafted, clear and unambiguous defined terms and conditions of the transaction contemplated.
- Do a background check on the company. Regardless of having a perfect contract, disputes may maliciously arise when a company is managed by unscrupulous individuals. A background check on the company and the main decision makers can give a good feel as to who you are transacting business with.
- Use lawyers and attorneys to draft and review the terms of your agreement. Even two well intentioned companies can have valid, yet polarizing interpretations of meanings of words. This is simply the nature of communication. For instance, what means “reasonable time?” If it is nto defined in a contract, the Court is left to determine the context of the use of the words, and draw inferences which may not be what you initially intended.
- When you meet with an attorney to assist you in materializing your needs in a contract, make sure you openly discuss with your lawyer the context and background of what you seek. The why(s) are very important for an attorney to properly understand your needs.
- Any prior transactions and business dealings can be used by a Court to draw out the context of the intent of the parties. If you do not want prior interaction to form a basis for interpreting a new transaction, your contract must specifically exclude the prior transactions and specifically state that “this contract is the final and only agreement between the parties.” Any additional terms or agreements must be stated and executed in writing by agreement of all parties.
- All your discussions with your attorney (short of you stating to your attorney that you are going to commit a future crime) is privileged. You should have the necessary trust to discuss all your issues openly with your attorney.
New Companies – Read This!
If you are starting a new company, or expanding your company and you do not have an experienced attorney in commercial litigation, you should consult with an experienced law firm to discuss your goals, interests, and minimize exposure. Most attorneys will charge a relatively nominal consultation fee to meet with you, give you some guidance. Oftentimes, the $200 – $300 you will invest in the consultation will give you insights which are many times more valuable than the cost of the consult.
We can help you with Commercial Litigation Law
Arcadier and Associates has 8 attorneys to help you with your commercial litigation needs. Each of our attorneys focuses in different areas of the law, and we utilize each other’s experience to provide the best legal advice to our clients. When you call our office, you will be asked some to give some very general facts of your case so we can assign the case to the best attorney for your particular issue. Our main office is located in Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida.