Many people know that litigation refers to the process of going to court to resolve an issue. Common litigation topics include one person suing another person for personal injury or destruction of personal property. However, many people are unsure of what the term “commercial litigation” means.
Simply put, commercial litigation involves a dispute that comes into existence in the context of businesses engaging in their everyday operations and activities. Commercial litigation addresses things from simple breach of contract cases all the way up to complex litigation over the (alleged) violation of federal employee protection statutes.
Another common area of commercial litigation involves the actions of a business’s officers, such as the CEO, CFO, and so on. Shareholders of a business—those individuals who have invested their money in the business and thus have a stake in its performance—frequently initiate litigation against the officers of their business when those officers have engaged in fraud, insider dealing, or other forms of malfeasance.
The object of commercial litigation can be a simple payout, or it can be something more complex, such as forcing a business to take a certain action. In the context of shareholder-brought suits, shareholders may sometimes seek to force officers to disgorge funds that the shareholders allege were obtained at the detriment of the business. They may also seek to force officers to resign, force a business to merge with another entity (or block such a merger), or engage in other proactive steps to address the wrong they feel is being perpetrated upon them. This is why you want an experienced attorney, like the ones here at Thomas Weiss & Associates, P.C. on your side.
Because commercial litigation frequently involves large entities with places of business in numerous states and countries, and because the cause of action for many forms of commercial litigation comes from federal statutes, a good portion of commercial litigation—although certainly not all of it—takes place in federal courts.
We will discuss some of the most common types of commercial litigation below.
Commercial Litigation Involving Breach of Contract
When one or both parties to a contract breach the contract, serious problems can result. Individuals and businesses rely on others to keep their contractual obligations. When one party to a contract fails to fulfill his or her duties under the contract, that party is said to be in breach of contract. Breach of contract can result in significant financial losses for businesses. The victim of the breach of contract has a right to bring a lawsuit against the party in breach to recover damages.
At Thomas Weiss & Associates, we have successfully represented many clients in complex cases involving construction contracts, commercial leases, asset protection agreements, business debts, and employment contracts. We understand what it takes to secure victories for our clients in a high-profile breach of contract lawsuit.
Contractual disputes can take several different forms, and the most important thing you can do if you have been the victim of a breach of contract is to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to properly assess the terms of your contract and protect your rights through effective and targeted contract litigation.
Bringing a Breach of Contract Lawsuit in New York
A significant amount of commercial litigation involves breach of contract claims. Individuals and businesses have a right to file a breach of contract claim. Whether you are an employee, commercial tenant, service provider, or business owner, you can file a legal claim when another person or business has broken a contract. The individual who brings a breach of contract claim is called the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove several elements to succeed in a claim. First, the plaintiff must prove that there was a legally valid contract.
The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant breached the terms of the contract. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did something or failed to do something in violation of the terms of the contract. Courts view contract breaches as either material breaches or non-material breaches. Material breaches prevent the contract from being fulfilled or defeat the original intent of the contract. Non-material breaches involve minor actions or inactions by the defendant that do not necessarily stop the contract from being fulfilled. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered financial harm due to the breach of contract. Financial harm includes a loss of income, profits, benefits, or more indirect damages such as damages to a business’s reputation.
Commercial Litigation Involving Employment and Labor
Employers depend on employment contracts to help their employees understand their responsibilities. Likewise, employment contracts set forth the employer’s duties to the employee. An employment contract also sets forth the employer’s expectations for an employee’s services, compensation, and conduct ,and lays out the company’s termination policies.
Many commercial litigation cases involving employment contracts occur after an employee has been terminated from his or her position. The employee may bring a lawsuit claiming that the employer terminated him or her too early, for improper reasons, or that the employer owed him or her money under the employment contract at the time of termination. The main issue in these cases is typically whether the plaintiff has suffered a loss due to a material contract breach. If so, the employee will be entitled to recover damages.
Financial Services Litigation
At Thomas Weiss & Associates, we have effectively represented clients in various financial services litigation cases. We regularly advise mortgage lenders, brokers, banks, consumer finance companies, and other financial institutions. We represented clients in New York state and federal courts as well as in arbitration proceedings. Our lawyers are also familiar with government regulations related to financial securities litigation, and we represented clients before government agencies.
Commercial Litigation and Appeals
In some cases, it becomes necessary to appeal a case to a higher court. At Thomas Weiss & Associates, our lawyers have appellate experience at the state and federal levels. We have represented clients in appeals arising from cases we tried and from cases originating outside our law firm. Our appellate attorneys look at each case with a fresh perspective and carefully analyze the record of the trial court. We advise clients as to whether appealing is their best option. Before we appeal a case, we carefully create a sophisticated appellate strategy.
Thomas Weiss & Associates is an established leader in the area of complex litigation. We represent local, national, and international clients in complex litigation involving multimillion-dollar contracts and disputes. We understand how to streamline the complex litigation process to resolve claims on behalf of our clients efficiently. We are also familiar with legal matters involving complex business transactions.
Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation
The skilled lawyers at Thomas Weiss & Associates have represented clients in various commercial litigation cases involving securities issuers and their directors and officers. We have also represented investment advisors, underwriters, and other firms that provide professional services. Our lawyers have litigated security and corporate governance cases in state and federal courts and in front of regulatory bodies. We have also assisted accounting firms and certified public accountants in various complex matters involving auditing, accounting, and security law issues.
Contact a New York Commercial Litigation Lawyer Today
Are you involved in commercial litigation, or you expect to be involved in commercial litigation in the near future? If so, we recommend speaking to an experienced New York lawyer as soon as possible. At Thomas Weiss & Associates, we have a reputation for fighting fiercely on behalf of our clients, and we boast a proven track record of success.
We offer free in-office consultations. Learn more about how we can help you. Give us a call for a case evaluation.
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