INNOVATIVE COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SOLUTIONS
At M&A Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys have a broad range of talents. In addition to being highly skilled in attending to legal matters that do not take place in the courtroom, our attorneys have a well-earned reputation as aggressive and agile litigators, involved in just about every type of commercial litigation, including:
Breach of Contract
In business dealings, many lawsuits arise out of breach of contract disputes and our practice is well-prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf or to defend you if you are sued unfairly. Breach of contract basically means that one party has not completed a job or completed it poorly, has failed to deliver an entire order of goods, has substituted inferior products, missed a deadline with no reasonable excuse, not paid for work done, paid a lesser amount than the one agreed upon, or in some other way has not lived up to his or her commitment. In some cases, breach of contract may cross the line, becoming fraud, particularly if malicious intent can be proven.
Class action lawsuits are ones in which a group of people sues a single defendant. This occurs when the individuals bringing the class action suit have all suffered similar illnesses or injuries as a result of eating in the same restaurant, using the same product (e.g. a car, a medication, a toy, a piece of machinery, a household device), working in the same toxic environment, or being victims of the same fraudulent scheme. The advantage of filing a class action suit is that the fees for litigation can be shared by the plaintiffs and that each participant in the suit is guaranteed to receive a portion of any settlement.
ERISA is an acronym for Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a U.S. federal labor law enacted in 1974 that establishes minimum standards for the pension plans of private industry. Although ERISA was enacted to protect employee interests in terms of workplace benefit plans, it is often used as an excuse for frivolous lawsuits against conscientious employers. At M&A Law Firm, our dedicated attorneys are experienced in defending corporations against such attacks. We have well-developed strategies to successfully protect your business so that you come away with your financial stability and reputation intact.
It is almost impossible for a workplace, like any other place where groups of people interact, not to experience some measure of conflict. Though every place of employment may have some abrasive or even angry moments, most conflicts are tamped down by someone with a knack for diplomacy, or resolve themselves after a short time. In some cases, however, employees may be so aggressive, obstinate, or confrontational that they disrupt productivity and make the workplace environment unmanageable. It may seem to be a simple matter to dismiss such troublesome employees, but there is always the danger that disgruntled employees, may perceive offense as their best defense and file a lawsuit against you.
Such employees may find lawyers ready to twist the facts in order to accuse you of discrimination or harassment, complaining of undeserved discipline, demotion, unfair wage/hour practices, or wrongful termination. At M&A Law Firm, we are fortified with in-depth knowledge of employment law. Our negotiating skills alone may be sufficient to warn such attackers off, avoiding expensive, time-consuming litigation altogether. If we do have to go to court, you can be sure that our attorneys, with their shrewd litigation techniques, will be able to protect you from predatory employees.
Interference with Business Relationships
Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party, causing economic harm. Such cases may also result in legal action.
Disputes over Non-Compete Clauses
Along with negotiations over salary and benefits, employees may also bargain over non-compete clauses, which may limit their ability to work for competitors should they choose to move on, or be dismissed from, the company that employs them. Prospective employees should understand that Illinois has laws pertaining to these agreements and restrictions that may make them seem unreasonable, or even illegal. Typically, however, such clauses are legal in Illinois as long they meet specific criteria, such as not causing undue hardship to the employee and not causing harm to the public. Illinois courts usually also consider, however, the geographic parameters of such agreements, as well as their duration.
RICO is an acronym for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. RICO is a U.S. federal law under which a company can be sued in a civil action for performing as part of an ongoing criminal organization.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A breach of fiduciary duty means that a person entrusted with financial care takes money or property from the person he or she has been entrusted to protect. It appears that Illinois courts are more likely to prosecute such cases in recent days than they have been in the past.
There are a number of disputes between franchisees and franchisors that may result in enough friction for one of the parties to file a lawsuit against the other. These include such matters as allegations that the franchisor failed to disclose required FTC regulations, that required fees have not been paid, that intellectual property has been misused, or that contract claims have been breached. Unfortunately for the franchisee, however, the franchise agreement often includes stipulations limiting the time to bring suit to one year from the date of the misconduct on the part of the franchisor.
A number of issues concerning shareholders can also arise. This is why it is important for the shareholder agreement to include procedural instructions, such as giving one of the owners the final say or choosing an arbitrator, in case there is a deadlock between the owners. In general, the more possible scenarios are detailed and resolved on paper, the less likely disagreements are to lead to a lawsuit. There should also be provisions in the documents to address when minority shareholders will have veto power so that even minor shareholders will have the ability to protect their investments.
Partnership/ Joint Venture Disputes
It is not uncommon for partners in business or individuals involved in a joint venture to have arguments about how to proceed. While often such disagreements are negotiated and resolved, there are times when they escalate into serious, even legal, conflicts. Reasons for lawsuits in such cases may be that:
- A breach of the partnership agreement has occurred, e.g. because one partner is not pulling his or her weight, or is making poor financial decisions
- One partner is embezzling or is accused of misappropriating funds
- There is a low cash flow and one partner blames the other
- One partner feels the other is mismanaging the business
- One partner feels that the other is being noncompliant with government regulations
- One partner feels that the other is allowing creation or distribution of defective products
History makes it clear to us that, much as we would like to believe otherwise, conflict is inevitable. In a country governed by laws like the United States, it is therefore not surprising that commercial litigation is a frequent occurrence. If it becomes necessary for you to file a lawsuit, or if you are in the difficult situation of having a suit filed against you, M&A Law Firm is fully prepared to represent your interests, personal as well as financial. You can rest assured that our attorneys know what it takes to be successful in a court of law. We can easily be reached by phone or by filling out a contact form on our website.