Common Types of Litigation in Business
Business litigation encompasses a wide range of cases usually pertaining to commercial disputes. Such disputes may arise from the breach of or tortious interference with a contract, a violation of trade laws, or disputes between partners or principals of a firm or corporation, or between shareholders and the officers of that corporation.
When Agreements Go Awry
In the realm of contracts, there are many scenarios where a party or multiple parties have a legitimate claim for a breach because another party failed to perform their responsibilities or duties as laid out in the contract.
For example, an employee and employer may have a dispute in relation to the violation of a non-compete agreement signed by the employee as a condition of his or her employment. The suing party can seek a variety of remedies both monetary and non-monetary. Often there will be some type of damages involved such as restitution or lost profits.
Parties may also sue to void or cancel the contract, while others may sue for specific performance in order to compel the other side to make good on its responsibilities.
Another example of a business litigation case as related to contracts is “tortious interference,” in which a party intentionally disrupts a contract or some type of economic relationship between two other parties. That second or third party may successfully sue the first if it can prove a number of elements including that the interfering party had actual intent to disrupt the relationship and damage the suing party or parties.
Parties may also sue over sales contracts in which a supplier failed to deliver goods or services to a buyer in accordance with agreed terms. The failure may occur in late delivery, no delivery, or delivery by a means not agreed upon that may impact the value or use of the goods. Disputes may arise over the payment or the form of payment, or even regarding the validity of a sales agreement or any modifications of that agreement.
Other business disputes arise in the corporate context. For example, shareholders of a company may sue the officers or directors of that company for breaching their fiduciary duty to the company and its shareholders. This means that the officers and/or directors failed to act in the best interest of the company, or acted in such a way that significantly damages the company and its value. Where officers or directors violate the confidence placed in them by stakeholders of the company by failing to make decisions with a certain level of reasonable care or loyalty, and the company suffers, there may be a valid lawsuit.
A commonly used ground for such a claim may be a conflict of interest, where an officer or director makes a decision for the company that conflicts with his or her own personal interest and thus clouds that person’s objectivity. Shareholders are not the only ones that may have a dispute with corporate leadership. Partners or principals within a firm or company may have disagreements with one another over the direction of the company, and may even sue each other for a breach of fiduciary duty to one another to act in the best interest of the company and not be unduly influenced by conflicts of interest. Such disputes may very well be contractual in part if one principal believes another has failed to live up to certain terms of their partnership agreement.
Miami Business Attorneys
If you have questions about contracts or business law, business litigation and/or protecting your business from contractual or business liability call the Miami Business Attorneys at The Campbell Law Group. Our team will be happy to answer questions and discuss your business issues or concerns.