Business Disputes Lawyer
Resolve Your Disputes with a Houston Business Disputes Lawyer
Nearly all successful businesses inevitably encounter disputes.
Business disputes can arise over something as simple as an unpaid invoice, but often involve contract disputes that can make or break a company.
Typically, business disputes can be resolved without a trip to the courthouse, but sometimes a business owner’s only remedy will involve resolving the conflict through the legal system.
An experienced business litigation attorney can help resolve disputes quickly so owners can get back to what they do best: running the business.
Common business disputes include:
- Breach of contract;
- Employment disputes;
- Construction/Improvement disputes;
- Products liability claims;
- Landlord/tenant issues;
- Property rights and real estate issues;
- Collections and debt issues;
- Misuse of business property and assets;
- Trademark and copyright infringement;
- Franchise issues;
- Interference with prospective business relationships;
- Ownership disputes; and
- Merger and acquisition disputes.
Internal Business Disputes
Business disputes typically fall into two main categories: disputes within the business, and disputes between businesses. Internal disputes can involve everything from conflicts between owners, shareholders or partners of the firm; and disputes between the company and one or more of its employees.
With any dispute, it is crucial to acknowledge and address the problem as quickly as possible. When disputes arise between owners or partners, it is in the company’s best interest to resolve the issue and repair the business relationship. However, some disputes can only be settled by severing the connection. This can include negotiating the exit of one or more partners or even splitting the business between partners.
An experienced business litigation attorney can help a business owner analyze the issues and determine the most effective course of action.
Businesses also often deal with disputes with both current and former employees. An experienced business litigation attorney can assist companies with specific conflicts and their overall strategy and for dealing with internal conflicts.
Disputes with former employees can involve everything from compensation disputes to intellectual property and non-compete issues, often resulting in litigation.
An experienced business litigation attorney can help employers navigate the complex issues that arise whenever in a dispute with a former employee occurs.
Business to Business Disputes
External business disputes, or disputes between businesses, can include disputes arising from relationships with vendors, customers, property owners, landlords, tenants, contractors, agents, governmental entities, or other companies.
As with internal conflicts, quickly addressing any dispute with another company and resolving it crucial to a business’s success. Resolving external disputes are even more critical. A company’s relationships with other companies, its goodwill, and its public perception are all integral to the success of any business.
An experienced business litigation attorney can assist both large and small businesses with complex business to business issues that arise with any successful business.
Resolving Business Disputes
Generally, it is easier and less costly to settle business disputes outside of court.
Typically, smaller issues that involve less money or minor disagreements can be resolved without attorney involvement or court intervention. However, where disputes involve large sums or problems integral to the core of the business, legal proceedings may be necessary. Sometimes additional roadblocks ― like a party that will not communicate or where personality conflicts make discussions difficult ― an experienced business dispute attorney can help establish contact and jump-start negotiations.
Where continued communication is not active or where negotiations break down, sometimes the only option is to file a lawsuit.
Many businesses find themselves on the defense side of a lawsuit through no active steps of their own, but because the other side has decided a lawsuit is the only option.
The first step in any lawsuit is the filing of the petition or complaint. The issues in dispute, the location of the parties, and the amount in controversy determine where a lawsuit is filed, be it in County or District State Court or Federal Court. For example, in Harris County, the County Courts have jurisdiction over civil matters between $200 and $200,000, while District Courts have jurisdiction over any civil matter over $200.
Texas Justice of the Peace Courts (the Texas version of small claims courts) cannot hear matters that involve disputes for more than $10,000; yet they are the only courts in which a party can file a suit to determine possession of the property, like in an eviction suit. If business disputes meet certain conditions, they can be filed in Federal Court.
An experienced business litigation attorney can help a business explain the advantages, costs, and time associated with the various courts in Harris County and Texas.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
When a lawsuit has been filed, there are options for parties seeking to resolve a dispute without a trial. The facts and circumstances in dispute will often dictate the method of resolution.
For example, in a breach of contract matter, the contract itself may either suggest or require a specific dispute resolution method be used to resolve any conflict over the deal. Depending on the relationship between the parties and the issues in dispute, direct negotiations may be an option.
Mediation is another option for resolving disputes and involves a neutral third-party mediator working with the parties to reach a compromise.
Arbitration is yet another avenue for dispute resolution and consists of an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hearing arguments and evidence from both sides before issuing a ruling which may or may not be binding depending on the contract or other documents at issue.
Each resolution method has its advantages and disadvantages. A qualified business litigation attorney can assist with navigating the various avenues available to a business in any particular dispute.
Speak to a Business Disputes Lawyer in The Heights
Contact The Curley Law Firm today to discuss your options for dealing with your business dispute, litigation, or employment issue.