Defense & Business Litigation Attorneys
Trusted Business Litigation Attorneys in Austin
If your business gets into a dispute that requires litigation or arbitration, you want an attorney who has actually tried and arbitrated cases, not simply a “litigation” lawyer who has never picked a jury or cross examined witnesses when it counts – in front of a judge and jury. Your business is too important to take chances with inexperience.
Our firm has experience and we have been recognized by other lawyers for our experience. Peer reviews in U.S. News & World Report® and Best Lawyers® rank us as a “Tier 1” firm for commercial litigation. Peer rankings in Best Lawyers® recognize Robert Alden as one of America’s best for both commercial litigation and “bet-the-company” litigation.
Types of Business Litigation Cases We Handle
When parties contract with each other, they create their own rules, or laws, that govern their relationship or transaction. The most common business disputes involve claims based that these private “laws” have been breached. Unlike negligence and other common law claims, the prevailing party can recover attorneys’ fees in a breach of contract case, so the amount at risk in these cases may greatly exceed the direct damages caused by the breach. We routinely handle claims arising from real estate contracts, partnership agreements, licensing agreements, non-compete agreements, construction contracts, and similar agreements.
When a party to a contract misrepresents a material fact, intentionally or unintentionally, the other party may be induced into a transaction that results in financial harm. If you have been the injured by fraud or misrepresentation, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. The law requires parties to “mitigate” their damages, and you need to know what you can and cannot do before you make a costly mistake.
When individuals and entities form partnerships, with or without a formal written agreement, each partner owes a fiduciary duty to the other partners that includes acting honestly and in good faith, and prohibits self-dealing. A fiduciary duty is often called the “highest” duty imposed by law, and a fiduciary is required to act in the best interests of the person he owes the duty to, not his own personal interests.
Changes in federal and state law over the last two decades have made it difficult to successfully pursue class actions. However, during the last 10 years, we have successfully litigated several multi-million dollar class actions, and have experience in navigating the minefield of laws that defendants will use to try to dismiss these cases.
Even when a party succeeds at trial, the case may not be over. Losing parties have a right to appeal any finding of fact or decision of law they believe was erroneous. Experience with appeals helps a trial lawyer better understand how to avoid “reversible errors.” Appellate lawyers that have actually tried the case will better understand the facts and legal rulings. Our trial lawyers also routinely handle their own appeals in both state and federal courts of appeals. For example, we recently successfully defended a jury verdict in a precedent-setting product liability case in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Questions to Address Before Signing a Business Contract
Filing a case in court against a business partner, employer, employee or contractor, is usually the last resort of any party who wants justice for their company. However, a business case could be difficult to win if the signed agreement was not crafted well. It is in this regard that parties are always encouraged to check the contract that they are planning to enter before affixing their signature there. This is because once it is already signed, it will be the primary basis of the court in making judgements.
With that, the following are just some of the questions that any party should address before entering into a legally binding agreement:
Is there a need for a written contract?
First, is it really a must to enter into a written contract or an oral agreement would already suffice? The answer to this will depend on what is at stake in the transaction. As a general rule, if it will cost so much for the company when the other party is not able to deliver what should be done, then a written and signed contract is a must. On the other hand, however, if the transaction will only involve small or simple things (e.g. delivering a message, fixing a single light bulb in the office, etc.), a contract is no longer necessary.
Are there any vague provision?
Secondly, once the companies decided to finally enter into a written agreement, the fine prints should be checked. It is advisable to read it line by line so that nothing will be missed out. If there is any provision of it that seems vague to any of the party, it should be restated in a clearer language. Parties should also adhere to using simplest words and language in order to avoid misinterpretations in the future. The contract should be straightforward and easy to read. If there are questions in the first draft, the points should be clarified in a manner that both parties agreed to each of the revised points.
Are the provisions legal?
Thirdly, checking about the legality of the provisions is a process that both parties need to check with their respective legal department or division. This is the reason why most companies have their own corporate lawyer.
There might be some provisions of the contract that, once signed, essential allows a party to waive its right that are protected by certain laws or the Constitution. Such waiver may put either party in danger in the future.
Are you transacting with the right representative or party?
Fourthly, but not the least, it should be established if you and your company are transacting with the right people or company. There are three (3) considerations that can be used to check this, namely:
- Right person – is the signatory of the other party authorized to transact business with you?
- Tendency – was the other party involved in business litigation before? Is there a likelihood or tendency for the other party to breach the contract?
- Background – is the other party really competent to deliver their duties stated in the contract?
Experience You Can Rely On in Business Litigation Matters
Our firm has been successfully representing clients in Austin and the surrounding areas for more than 50 years. When we represent you in a business litigation matter, you can have confidence that you will receive the one-on-one attention that you deserve. Our lawyers have the trial skills, experience, and dedication to actively pursue the best possible outcome on your behalf, as demonstrated by our track record of success. Contact our office and let us help you with your business litigation matters.