Business litigation, also referred to as commercial litigation, broadly encompasses any type of legal controversy related to business issues. It involves the legal resolution of disputes or conflicts that arise in the commercial or business sectors. Business litigations or lawsuits can be filed because of disputes between different business entities or conflicts arising between individuals and businesses.

In commercial litigation, the litigant is the accused party while the plaintiff or complainant is the accuser. Complainants are usually employees, shareholders, consumers or other businesses. Claims of damages are brought forward by the plaintiff and are decided through legal proceedings. A defense or litigation attorney will represent the company being sued in the lawsuit.

Although litigation has often been the preferred method for individuals and businesses to solve disputes, business litigation does not always end in a court trial. When such conflicts occur, it is sometimes preferable for everyone involved to find means of resolving the issue without filing a formal lawsuit in court. Business litigation attorneys are often skilled at mediation as alternative means of dispute resolution. During mediation, a neutral party or middle person works with lawyers for both the complainant and litigant to find a settlement out of court.

In cases where mediation is not possible, an experienced business litigation attorney can be invaluable in protecting a company’s rights and business interests. A skilled commercial litigation lawyer will be able to discuss the situation with his or her client, explain the various options available and represent their interests if the matter goes before a court.

For this reason, only the best commercial and civil litigation attorneys should be entrusted with this responsibility and.

Reasons for making business litigation claims

There are many conflicts in the business world that can give rise to commercial litigation claims. A few of these are examined below:

  • Contractual disputes. Business contracts are legally binding agreements. Since the exact meaning of the written text in a contract is open to interpretation, parties normally disagree on the terms involved. If a company fails to follow through on the contract’s terms, a complainant can file a lawsuit against them for breach of contract.
  • Intellectual property disputes. These occur when an individual brings litigation against a company that has infringed his or her patent, copyright or trademark rights. For instance, the complainant may claim that a company stole their business idea and is using it without proper consent.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty. This is a commercial litigation claim that is filed by shareholders or business partners in a company who feel that the directors, other partners or company officers have violated their obligation to operate in good faith. Litigation cases that seek to challenge acquisitions, financing arrangements and mergers are also quite common in this category.
  • Disputes over warranty claims. Individuals can make litigation claims against a company that fails to uphold the terms outlined in their warranties.
  • Disputes between businesses and insurance claims. These happen when insurance companies undervalue, deny or fail to pay insurance claims. Business litigation suits can help the complainant, usually small businesses, to recover the amount they are entitled to receive. These cases are common where insurance companies use deceptive or confusing wording in their contracts to avoid paying out legitimate claims. 

Process involved in making the claim

Business litigation claims normally go through four phases. The first phase takes place before anything is filed in court. The client meets with an attorney to determine the facts of the claim they are advancing or the client’s defense to a claim brought forward by another party. After this, the attorney reviews the documents pertaining to the case, conducts research on the relevant laws and speaks to any witnesses in order to chart a favorable course for the client.

The next step involves filing a complaint or answer to a complaint in court. The attorney then serves the litigant’s side with questionnaires to obtain evidence and questions parties involved and take any witness statements. This is referred to as the discovery process.

If one of the parties does not wish to proceed to trial, they may make a motion for summary judgment. Failure to reach a settlement at this stage means the case has to be tried in court. The plaintiff bears the burden of proof and has to provide evidence to support his claim.

The post-trial phase involves acting on the judgment, making appeals and the recovery of costs by the successful party.