Common Types of Business Litigation Cases

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During the course of doing business, conflicts are inevitable. While some types of commercial disputes arise more frequently than others, it’s important to take mitigation measures in advance to avoid disruption to your company. In many cases, business disputes can be settled by using alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, negotiation, or arbitration. However, in some situations, it may be necessary to litigate a case in the courtroom.

Common types of business litigation cases can include those involving the following:

Contract Disputes

Contracts are the foundation of every business relationship and one of the most common sources of disputes. Whether one party breached the contract, misrepresented the terms, doesn’t agree with the provisions, or tortiously interfered with a contract, these types of disputes can harm a company and its bottom line. Contract disputes resulting in business litigation can arise in connection with any of the following:

  • Employment contracts
  • Partnership agreements
  • Leases
  • Sales of goods contracts
  • Vendor agreements
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements

A well-drafted contract should specify a remedy in the event a breach occurs. However, if the parties cannot settle the matter between themselves outside of court, it may be necessary for the aggrieved party to pursue their damages in litigation. Depending on the circumstances, remedies for a breach of contract can include the monetary damages directly caused by the breach, specific performance of the contract, restitution, rescission, an injunction, or other appropriate relief.

Intellectual Property Battles

Among the most common types of business litigation cases are those involving intellectual property. There are four primary categories of intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. When intellectual property is used without permission from the owner or is infringed upon, disputes can arise that lead to litigation.

The legal remedies for an intellectual property dispute will depend on the violation. Specifically, the remedies that can be awarded in this type of business litigation can range from an injunction, monetary damages, and the destruction of the infringing materials. The intellectual property holder might also be entitled to recover the costs of their litigation fees and court costs in connection with filing the claim.

Partnership Disputes

Partnership disputes are typically inevitable — and there are many reasons they can occur. For instance, there may be disagreements over how profits should be divided or how much should be reinvested into the business. Other types of business litigation cases that can arise from partnership disputes can include those involving negligence by a partner, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of assets, or failure to abide by the operating agreement.

A good partnership agreement can specify how the business will be operated and what will happen if partners cannot agree on certain matters. Usually, it will stipulate the method for resolving disputes (such as through mediation or arbitration). If alternative dispute resolution does not result in a satisfactory outcome, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Options for resolving a partnership dispute can include dissolution of the company, selling the business, or a buy-out.

Business Torts

A business tort is a wrongful action taken to cause a business harm and are some of the most common types of business litigation cases. Not only can these torts impact a company’s reputation, but they can also cause loss of profits. There are a variety of business torts that can lead to litigation, including the following:

  • Unfair competition
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Tortious interference with a business relationship
  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Breach of fiduciary duty

Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, there are a number of legal remedies that might be available for a business tort matter. Damages that may be awarded in litigation to a business that has suffered harm due to a business tort can include compensatory damages, restitution, lost profits, an injunction, and any other remedy a judge might determine is equitable.

Employment Disputes

One of the most common disputes a business might encounter concerns those that are related to employment matters. Employment lawsuits usually focus on one of several issues in the workplace. For instance, employment disputes can occur due to allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, wage and hour issues, misclassification, and harassment. It’s crucial to resolve these conflicts as efficiently as possible to avoid harming your business’s reputation and profit margin. When such disputes cannot be resolved between an employer and employee using an alternative dispute resolution method, litigation may be the only option.

Contact an Experienced California Business Litigation Law Firm

If you are a corporate owner, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of the types of business litigation cases you might face — and the measures you can take to avoid disruption to your company. A skillful business attorney can help ensure you understand your rights, remedies, and options. At White and Bright, LLP, we provide knowledgeable representation and dedicated counsel to business owners and entrepreneurs in California for a wide variety of commercial disputes. We welcome you to contact or call us at (760) 747-3200 to learn more about our legal services.