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At Denton Peterson, we know the strain that can be put on a business while jumping through all the required legal hoops during a lawsuit. Our Phoenix litigation lawyers and Tempe business attorneys work closely with you throughout the entire process, ensuring no important detail is missed, while striving to make the road as smooth as possible.
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In situations like this where one party may suffer irreversible damage while the case slowly proceeds through litigation, the party can request a temporary restraining order (TRO) or preliminary injunction to stop the other side from causing harm while waiting for a resolution. The TRO and preliminary injunction are mechanisms that allow business owners to get the help and relief they need immediately, rather than waiting for the final verdict. A TRO is typically issued in circumstances where immediate action is necessary and sometimes even before the other party has a chance to respond. A preliminary injunction is issued after a hearing, similar to a mini-trial, where both parties argue the merits of the injunction.
TROs and preliminary injunctions basically condense the two year trial process into one month, and a judge will analyze the facts presented and decide if one party should be forced to refrain from specific actions until a final verdict is given on the case. The burden to obtain a TRO or preliminary injunction is quite high; judges do not approve them lightly and certainly will not do so just because it is asked for. However, when one is granted, it can be a sign of how the court will rule in its final decision and provide huge benefits leading up to the decision.
A common circumstance where a party may request a TRO or preliminary injunction includes the situation where a competitor steals confidential and proprietary information from a rival business and uses that information to steal clients and start a competing business. Without a TRO or preliminary injunction in place, the thieving business can continue to use that information and steal clients and potentially put the competitor out of business, or at least continue causing great harm, during the two years it takes to get to a trial. In such a situation, the business cannot wait two years to stop the theft of clients. It needs relief immediately. Thus, a judge may grant a TRO or preliminary injunction to stop the business from using the information and stealing clients.
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Obtaining a TRO or preliminary injunction is a complex process because of the specific procedural rules that must be followed to obtain one, and they are not easy to obtain because of the high burden of proof placed on the person seeking the injunction. Judges do not grant the injunctions lightly. It is a very fact intensive hearing based on the evidence both parties can submit. The experienced Arizona business attorneys and Scottsdale litigation lawyers at Denton Peterson, P.C. can help you navigate the procedures to help you obtain or defend yourself from a TRO or preliminary injunction.
Factors That Impact A Judge’s Decision to Grant A TRO
There Are Three Main Elements That A Judge Will Consider When Determining Whether Or Not To Grant A TRO
There is no other remedy adequate for the situation and the harm suffered is truly irreparable
The party seeking the TRO/preliminary injunction must establish that the damage it will sustain is something that cannot simply be paid for with money. A judge will consider how likely it is that the alleged injuries will occur. Also, the judge will look at the type of harm and determine if it is actually irreparable. Even if the injuries are likely to occur, if they can simply be fixed with money damages, a judge may decide that a TRO or preliminary injunction is not warranted. In our example above, where one company is stealing confidential information and business clients, the judge is likely Contact our Arizona litigation lawsuit lawyers today to determine that the clients and confidential information cannot be replaced with money. If, on the other hand, the business competitor stole office furniture and materials, the court is likely to determine that those damages can likely be fixed (or rectified) through money damages—i.e., the value of the office furniture (assuming the office furniture is not unique and specifically required to run the business for the next two years).
You must be substantially likely to win the case
A judge will not grant a TRO or preliminary injunction unless he believes the side seeking the injunction is likely to win the case. No judge will require the outcome to be certain, but he must see a serious lawsuit. If the case looks frivolous, the judge will never grant an injunction. Some judges may require a case to be more certain than others. It is very important that you hire a lawyer who can gather evidence quickly and is experienced with the procedures, because the process moves so much faster than a trial. You need a skilled attorney who will lay out the facts in convincing fashion to persuade the judge you are likely to win the case.
The benefit to the party seeking a TRO should be greater than the burden of the other party
A judge will essentially weigh the harm posed to the party seeking the injunction against the harm the injunction may cause the party it is placed on. For example, if the party seeking an injunction will go out of business without the injunction, and the other party will have less customers because it can no longer use allegedly stolen information, this factor would probably weigh in favor of the party seeking the injunction. It’s best to consult with a Gilbert business attorney or litigation lawyer near Gilbert to know the best course of action to take.
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With multiple years of experience as a top-rated Phoenix business lawyer, Denton Peterson capably protects your legal rights through the lawsuit process. If you are in a tight place due to a harmful client, consult with our legal team immediately to receive direction on your next steps.
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When pursuing a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to protect your business, consult with a qualified Scottsdale litigation lawyer at Denton Peterson. We are 100% committed to your success and are incredibly knowledgeable in the current laws and requirements surrounding these issues.