Business Litigation in El Cajon
The last thing any organization wants is to wind up in litigation. Commercial litigation can be devastating for a business in many ways. Legal battles are costly, time-consuming, and potentially damaging to longstanding business relationships. And when a company is going through litigation, it can hurt their reputation within the community and have a detrimental impact on the morale of management and employees. In the worst cases, business litigation can threaten the very survival of the organization.
For all the reasons mentioned above, success in litigation may not be a simple matter of “winning or losing”. Aggressively pursuing legal relief from a party you are in a dispute with or aggressively defending yourself from a lawsuit are objectives that often need to be paired with other important goals; such as keeping legal costs under control, preserving important relationships with vendors and other business associates, and removing the “cloud” of pending litigation so your organization can get back to business as usual.
At Garmo and Garmo, LLP, we understand that no business ever wants to wind up in the middle of a legal dispute, and we also understand that there is no “one size fits all” legal strategy that is right for every dispute. For over two decades, we have helped businesses in San Diego and throughout Southern California with commercial litigation and all other types of business legal matters. Our lawyers represent organizations of all types and sizes in business litigation and for other complex legal issues as well.
We have extensive courtroom experience and a strong track record of success litigating cases at all levels of the state and federal judicial system. That being said, we know that in a large number of cases, avoiding litigation and coming to a reasonable out of court settlement is the most desired outcome. Whenever possible, we look to resolve legal disputes through negotiation and mediated sessions. But if the other side refuses to negotiate in good faith and litigation ends up being the only option, we are ready and able to aggressively advocate on your behalf to help ensure that your best interests are fully protected.
Common Disputes that Cause Business Litigation
There are a number of issues that can cause a dispute that winds up in commercial litigation, these include:
Breach of Contract
The commercial world is governed by written contracts and agreements, and one of the most common disputes is over what the contract really says and the accusation that one of the parties is failing to live up to their obligations under it. This could mean failure to comply with specific clauses, breaches of implied covenants, and many others. Oftentimes, the breach is over a failure to live up to a performance obligation, payment obligation, or both. Other common breaches of contract may include breach of nondisclosure agreements, breach of noncompete or non-solicitation clauses, fraud, and breach of warranty, representation, and indemnification.
Tortious interference happens when a third party improperly interferes with a business relationship between two other parties, often causing a breach of contract between these parties. The interference could be intentional, in which case, the tortfeasor (wrongdoer) interfered purposefully and wrongfully to cause the plaintiff economic harm. California also allows claims of negligent interference with economic advantage. This can happen when the tortfeasor was aware of an existing business relationship between two parties and failed to live up to their legal duty not to cause harm to that relationship. Tortious interference allegations are often accompanied by allegations of breach of contract and other legal claims in a complex, multi-party business litigation action.
Collection of Unpaid Debt
Many business disputes arise from the need to pursue or defend against the collection of an unpaid debt, which oftentimes stems from a breach of contract for failure to fulfill a payment obligation. Collecting a commercial debt can be tricky business, especially in a state like California where even businesses collecting on their own behalf are required to follow federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) guidelines. Aside from that, many other factors also need to be considered when collecting a debt, such as the size of the debt, the value of the business relationship with the party that owes you money (or the party you allegedly owe money to), the debtor’s ability to pay, and many others.
Winning a court judgment against a debtor may seem like a victory, but if that debtor has no cash in the bank or assets that the judgment could be attached, the whole exercise could ultimately end up being a waste of time and resources. This is why you need to carefully consider all factors and listen to the advice of your lawyer when confronted with these types of situations.
Intellectual Property Infringement
Intellectual property rights such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets are among the most valuable assets an organization possesses. And when another party infringes upon or steals a company’s intellectual property, swift legal action is often required in order to protect this property. Failure to act in a timely manner after an intellectual property infringement can actually cause the organization to lose their exclusive right to this valuable property, so in such cases, legal intervention must be among the highest priorities.
Partnership and Shareholder Disputes
Partners most often go into business together with the best of intentions. But over time, conflicts and disputes arise over issues ranging from how money should be spent to which employees to hire to who is in charge of what areas of the business to the business’s overall direction. In larger organizations, there may be multiple shareholders who own the company. And sometimes, the shareholders have disputes with officers and directors over how the company is being managed. Some of the most common partnership and shareholder disputes that may trigger commercial litigation include conflicts of interest, misappropriation of finances, disputes over financial compensation or contribution, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of shareholder agreements.
Contact a Seasoned San Diego Business Litigation Lawyer
Businesses do not go looking for legal disputes, but many times, disputes find them. And when an organization is facing litigation, the situation is always complicated, and there are numerous (and often conflicting) factors that must be weighed and considered. With so much at stake, you need experienced legal counsel by your side to help you successfully navigate the complexities of the business dispute and work toward the most favorable outcome possible.
At Garmo and Garmo, LLP, we are ready to go to work for you and to help guide you and your business through this difficult time. Call our office today at 619-441-2500 or message us through our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.