5 Common Cases of Commercial Litigation in Arizona
Operating a business sets you up for some big, potential rewards, but it also makes you vulnerable to a lot of possible risks, including litigation. Your customers, your vendors, your employees, your independent contractors, and even your partners or co-owners can sue you for all kinds of reasons. Or you may find that you are the one suing someone – maybe because they didn’t deliver what they said they would or they provided low-quality services or merchandise.
Understanding the types of disputes that you might face as a business owner can help you prepare for them and take steps to minimize your liability. Here are five common cases of commercial litigation that Phoenix business attorneys see in Arizona:
Breach of Payment or Obligation
Probably one of the first things you would think of when imagining potential business disputes is a breach of contract – maybe because the person didn’t pay you on time or because they didn’t do something they said they would, like honor a warranty.
It’s important that you work with a business attorney near Gilbert who has experience litigating these cases because there is significant room for interpretation in many contracts, and a person’s behavior could be interpreted differently. You may think your contract is clear-cut, but the opposing attorney could argue that a certain word in the contract, or a particular course of dealings between the parties, changes the meaning of the contract. Or the opposing side may claim that extenuating circumstances create legally significant exceptions.
Breach of Confidentiality
When employees or customers share the things that go on in your business, it can harm your reputation with your customers or vendors, or it can give your competitors information to undermine you. For example, an employee might tell the press about staffing problems you are having or about employee disputes. Or a vendor might share with others information you shared at an invite-only preview of a new product or service. Or a contractor or employee might share a confidential customer list.
You can sue people for the damages that this breach of confidentiality can cause you. A Scottsdale litigation attorney can help you get the appropriate compensation, as well as help you draw up iron-clad confidentiality agreements that will make it easier for you to recover damages (and even get a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction) in such situations.
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
Maybe your business has a proprietary process for the services you offer, has a special ingredient or material in the product you make, or uses in-house software for your operations. Maybe your customer or marketing list is confidential and closely guarded. If your competitors were to find anything of these things out, they could try to use them themselves, thereby undermining your profits and maybe even putting you out of business.
You can sue any employees or partners that share or expose your trade secrets. An experienced corporate litigation attorney will put together the right evidence, and expert testimony if needed, to give you the strongest case and help you get the maximum compensation possible.
Breach of Noncompetition or Non-Solicitation Agreement
You might have a thriving business with a successful product or service, and you have no problem attracting top talent to work for your company. But it could be that some of those people want to work for you so they can figure out the secret to your success from the inside out. They might then leave the company to create a similar product or service. Others might try to take advantage of your contacts and steal some of their business when they leave your company.
If you ask employees to sign a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement when they start work with your company, you can sue them for these types of actions later. These contracts must be carefully drafted, or they are likely to be partially or completely unenforceable. Work with the right Arizona non-compete attorney to get the a noncompete agreement or non-solicitation agreement that will hold up in court.
Shareholder and Partner Disputes
Your shareholders may be unhappy with the way you are managing things or disagree with the payout or dividends they are receiving. Your partners or co-owners may feel that they are owed a greater share of profits, or they may want to do things with the company that you don’t want to do.
There are a number of shareholder and partner disputes that can arise. Any action you take can have an influence on the outcome of those disputes. Make sure you work with a business attorney in Tempe right at the start to protect your interests. It’s almost always much cheaper to have a lawyer get involved early to prevent problems.
You will likely never be completely immune to these and other disputes throughout the operation of your business. However, if you work with a good Gilbert business attorney to draw up the right contracts at the start, you will have a better chance of defending yourself when disputes do arise. Of course, if you need to sue another business for breach of contract or another reason, a good breach of contract litigation attorney can help you collect damages also.
Denton Peterson can help you with these and many other types of business disputes in Arizona. Our team of business attorneys is highly skilled and experienced, and our attorneys are ready to fight to protect your interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation (strategy session) with a litigation attorney about a current dispute or about drafting contracts to protect you from future risk.