When your business faces legal trouble, you need to know who to call. A business litigation lawyer can help you handle your current legal challenges and prevent more problems down the road.
What Is a Business Litigation Lawyer?
A business litigation lawyer or attorney is a professional who works on legal disputes between companies and other parties. They can guide companies through legal conflicts, represent your business in court, and help you through lawsuits.
Business lawyers can help with a wide range of legal issues, like:
- Employment law issues, such as claims that employees were fired wrongfully
- Conflicts that relate to a breach of contract
- Contract interpretations or negotiations
- Conflicts between shareholders and managerial direction for public entities
- The legal aspects of forming a business partnership or interconnected business activities
- Patents and intellectual property
- Business tax liabilities
- Product liability class action lawsuits
- Real estate disputes
- Insurance disputes
- Land use and environmental law issues
Business litigation lawyers don’t just help in the courtroom. In many cases, they can help you settle lawsuits during the pretrial process. Most businesses prefer to settle legal disputes out of court to avoid excessive financial costs and stress.
Some business lawyers also offer consulting. Consulting a lawyer early on in your business activities can help you avoid legal issues down the road.
What Business Litigation Lawyers Do
There are many situations where business lawyers can help. Many business owners opt to form a long-term relationship with a lawyer when they begin a new venture. Your business lawyer can provide broad legal knowledge and recommendations for when you need a specialist.
More urgently, you will want to call a business litigation attorney if you are being sued, investigated by a government entity, or in the process of negotiating for another company’s assets. You should nearly always call a business lawyer for:
- Business acquisitions
- Reorganizations and mergers
- Business or financial contracts
- Employment contracts
- Personnel policies
Business attorneys can help with every stage of the legal process. If you are going to court, your lawyer will help with:
- Developing a big picture of your situation, including anything that could determine legal cause and responsibility. This stage includes researching the facts and paperwork.
- Researching case law and precedent around similar assertions.
- Determining whether and which experts you will need to support you during the litigation process.
- Writing briefs for court submission. These briefs should accurately describe the facts and evidence and identify your right to recover and be made whole.
- Representing you and arguing your case in court.
Settling in court is not the only way to resolve a legal issue with a business litigation lawyer. Many business lawyers can also help with alternative dispute resolution, like mediation or arbitration.
During mediation, all parties to the dispute sit down with a neutral third-party mediator. The mediator reviews the situation and listens to each side’s thoughts and arguments.
From there, the mediator will work to help the parties come to a mutual resolution. If all parties agree to a resolution through mediation, they must follow the terms of the mediated settlement agreement. On the other hand, sometimes the parties do not come to a resolution, and the matter goes to court.
If you or your business goes through the mediation process, it’s important to have legal representation. A business lawyer can advise you on your rights, ensure that the mediated agreement is legally binding and enforceable, and help promote your best interests.
During arbitration, all parties appear in front of an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. Each party presents their case the way they would in court, and the arbitrators decide on a resolution. Their decision is binding.
While arbitration looks similar to litigation in court, it’s usually a faster process. For that reason, some business contracts include provisions that require the parties to use arbitration instead of litigation.
As with mediation, it’s important to have legal representation during the arbitration process. A business attorney can help promote your best interests, research and explain all the facts that support your side of the dispute, and give you a better chance of a favorable outcome.
What to Look For In a Business Litigation Attorney
When hiring a business litigation attorney, you want to choose someone who has experience with cases like yours. Attorneys who have worked on similar cases are likely to have more information and expertise about how to get a good outcome on your case.
The most experienced attorneys will often have higher fees, but they will also be able to get more done in less time. They will be more familiar with the relevant laws and processes and able to work more efficiently.
Business litigation attorneys, like other litigation attorneys, often face tense situations in the courtroom and during negotiations. Your attorney should be a good communicator who knows how to remain calm and diffuse tensions when needed.
A good attorney should also have strong writing skills. Documents are an essential part of any legal process, and sometimes a well-written document can help resolve a legal situation before anyone enters the courtroom.
It can be extremely frustrating to work with an unresponsive attorney, especially on a case where a lot of your efforts or money is on the line. You need to be able to reach your attorney fairly quickly.
Take note of how quickly any attorney you are considering responds to you. Since they are a busy professional, you shouldn’t expect an immediate response, but you shouldn’t have to wait too long either. If you notice that they aren’t responding in a reasonable amount of time, that may be a red flag.
Your business litigation attorney needs to be accessible, and in most cases the best way to ensure accessibility is to choose a local lawyer. Location is especially important for cases that require frequent meetings or going to court.
Choosing a local lawyer also ensures that your business litigation attorney is familiar with local requirements and laws. It may enable you to cut down on travel expenses, too.
Fees generally shouldn’t be the primary factor in choosing your legal representation, but you should ask about them before hiring a lawyer. Different firms use different billing strategies, and you don’t want to be hit with any surprises. You also shouldn’t feel pressured to choose a specific lawyer if you can’t afford their fee.
Some firms have hourly rates, while others will have flat rates, retainers, or a combination of different fees in different scenarios. A good, trustworthy attorney will ensure you understand the billing structure and timeline.
Need a Business Litigation Attorney in Snohomish County?
The Anderson Hunter Law Firm has been serving businesses in Snohomish County and the surrounding area for over 100 years. We provide general legal counsel in a broad range of areas, including entity formation, business acquisitions, reorganizations, anti-trust, and pension and profit sharing.
We treat every client’s case as important, and we have cultivated a reputation for responsive, personal service. Contact us today to get in touch with an experienced business lawyer in Everett, WA.