By Lenore T. Brakefield, Florida Litigation Attorney
Civil litigation involves claims between individuals, commercial litigation is a lawsuit involving a corporation, partnership, or other business entity. There are many reasons a business or entrepreneur may be involved in a commercial dispute. A commercial dispute that comes under federal or state business regulations may involve one business, or multiple entities. Commercial litigation is a legal process (lawsuit) focused on resolving the issues between the parties involved. A commercial dispute does not always end up in court and can sometimes be settled before a lawsuit becomes necessary. Essentially, commercial litigation is a situation in which one company takes legal action against another. Those with a commercial dispute may want to consider speaking with an experienced Florida commercial litigation attorney.
Types of Commercial Litigation
There are many types of commercial litigation. In some cases, a commercial dispute may be directed at the center of the company or business entity itself. In other cases, commercial litigation may involve a particular property, agreement, contract, or product.
Examples of commercial litigation include, but are not limited to:
• Aviation Disputes
• Antitrust claims
• Bad Faith Claims
• Breach of Contract Actions
• Breach of Duty Claims
• Consumer or Business Fraud Claims
• Construction Cases
• Creditor or Debtor Actions
• Commercial Loan Disputes
• Labor Cases
• Partnership or Shareholder Disputes
• Patent or Intellectual Property Infringement
• Product Liability Cases
• Trade Secret Litigation
No company, entrepreneur, or other business entity desires the potential damage that may come from a lawsuit in terms of clients, reputation, monetary, and other risks. It is important to understand that a commercial business cannot represent itself in a lawsuit according to The Florida Bar.
What Is Involved in Commercial Litigation?
What is commercial litigation? Often referred to as “business litigation,” commercial litigation relates to disputes that emerge from business and commercial relationships. Some examples of these relationships include a company’s suppliers, vendors, creditors, competitors, customers, officers, debtors, shareholders, directors, employees, financers, advisors, and fiduciaries. Disputes that emerge within business relationships are frequently based upon misrepresentation, contracts, fraudulent actions, and other issues.
Commercial Litigation Law Is Often Complex
Commercial litigation involves sorting through countless documents, interviewing witnesses, consulting with specialists, evidence investigation, drafting various motions and responding to those motions, and engaging in various court proceedings. In today’s business climate, relationships are becoming more and more complex. Depending on the client’s case, the process may involve administrative hearings, discovery, arbitration and/or mediation, trial, and even an appeal. When large sums of money or complex issues are involved, business litigation can continue on for years.
Potential Indications of Imminent Commercial Litigation
Businesses and their executives frequently consider litigation as a last resort option. However, legal action is often essential to protect a business or commercial entity from consequences that can be unnecessary or damaging. Being proactive when you suspect litigation is in the future may be the best protection from harm and can decrease potential risk exposure. If you believe litigation is looming on the horizon, you may want to consider speaking with an experienced commercial dispute attorney at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A.
Possible indications of impending litigation include:
- A break down in communications. Key stakeholders and company executives are often unable to communicate in a way that resolves differences. When a resolution cannot be found, the issue may require legal action.
- Financial stakes are considerable. In some cases, there is no clear route forward that benefits those involved when financial stakes are high.
- Quick action is essential in preventing additional damage. IP infringement, trademark infringement, and stolen trade secrets are some examples of issues that often require prompt legal action.
- Dissention among consumers, shareholders, or employees. Whether external or internal, dissention among these groups frequently indicates the possibility for business litigation such as securities or unfair trade practices.
- Disagreements about contractual obligations and rights. Often, the parties involved in contracts may not interpret material contract provisions in the same way.
How a Commercial Litigation Attorney Can Help
An experienced commercial attorney represents the client’s best interest, diligently analyzing the case to determine the best way to proceed while minimizing financial and other risks. Once the claim’s potential is determined, a skilled lawyer informs the client whether it may be possible to resolve the issue out of court, or if a lawsuit is necessary.
Common responsibilities undertaken by a commercial litigation attorney include:
• Primary evaluation of the case
• Drafting of requisite pleadings or motions
• Developing responses to complaint of other parties
• Discovery process in which information is exchanged with other party
• Development of documentation essential for the lawsuit
• Determining the most effective strategy established on existing evidence to use in the courtroom
• Presentation of the case in the courtroom
• Trial and possibly an appeal
A dedicated commercial litigation attorney will give the client’s case undivided attention, working to reach the best outcome possible.
Consider Contacting a Commercial Litigation Attorney
What is commercial litigation is an extremely complex question, but our experienced attorneys have answers. Commercial disputes can be extremely complex, whether the dispute is with another business entity or corporation, shareholders, partners, employees, vendors, or other companies. There are many risks businesses may face including financial, client base, reputation, and more. No business owner or commercial corporation desires to have their reputation damaged, or to experience financial ruin. The risks are many but acting early on can often protect you from damage or mitigate the risks at the very minimum. As mentioned earlier, commercial businesses cannot represent themselves in a court lawsuit. At Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A., our commercial lawyers are dedicated to working closely with Florida clients to reach the desired result. For answers to questions and skilled legal guidance we invite you to contact our firm today at (239) 649-6555.
About the Author
Lenore T. Brakefield is a Florida litigation attorney. She is a Naples native and graduated cum laude from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Lenore focuses her law practice in civil and commercial litigation, including construction litigation matters. Lenore also handles local government law, code enforcement violations, community association law, real estate law and transactional matters. Lenore is a Certified Financial Litigator (CFL™) by the The American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators.