If you engage in commerce, sooner or later you are almost certain to encounter a dispute with a client or contractor that you’ll need outside help to resolve.
While business litigation takes many forms, the most commonly encountered are Breach of Contract and Breach of Fiduciary Duty
We have the knowledge and experience to help you and your business in cases related to:
Breach of Contract
Here are several examples of cases that have been handled successfully by The Wallman Law Firm:
- Breach of a contract to acquire a business or to pay the balance of the purchase price that was due after the closing;
- Breach of a contract that designates one party as the exclusive sales or marketing agent for the sale of a specific product or line of business
- Breach of a contract to purchase or sell real estate
- Breach of a contract to employ a party for a minimum of three years after acquiring the employee’s business
- Breach of a fire insurance contract by an erroneous claim of insurance fraud
- Defense of an arbitration award on the basis that the enforcement of the award would violate public policy
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Some of examples of breach of fiduciary duty include:
- Directors of a corporation that are dealing with a creditor of the company decide to personally purchase the debt at a discount and then assert it against the corporation
- Majority shareholders that cut off funds to a minority shareholder in order to acquire the minority shareholder’s stock at a lower price
- Partners that transact business with the partnership itself upon terms that they cannot prove are fair in all respects
Since the general definition of a business tort is an unlawful act that prevents a business from operating as it otherwise would, the list of specific business torts is relatively fluid. Injuries from business torts range from loss of business opportunities and clients to a damaged reputation or ability to stay in business. Some common business torts are listed below:
- Tortious Interference – This occurs when one party intentionally interferes with a contract (or, less formally, an economic expectancy) between the plaintiff and another party, causing damages to the plaintiff. Even something as nuanced as silence or the nod of one’s head, if in reply to a valid inquiry, can be construed as tortious interference in some instances.
- Restraint of Trade – While restraint of trade is a common law doctrine and not a specific tort, it refers to claims in which the defendant’s act itself may not have caused the plaintiff’s immediate economic loss, but a much broader hindrance in its ability to conduct business as usual. Some “reasonable” restraints of trade, such as non-compete clauses, are valid.
- Theft of Trade Secrets – Just as it sounds, theft of trade secrets occurs when one party unlawfully obtains proprietary information from a business with the intent of gaining an unfair competitive advantage.
- Fraudulent Misrepresentation – Two parties entering into an agreement, whether it’s contractual or sealed with a handshake, must do so in good faith. If you misrepresent your position, intentions, or a material aspect of the deal — and it causes financial harm to the other party — it may give rise to a civil claim.
Insurance litigation defense encompasses many different forms of civil liability, and thus offers a number of practice areas. The most common areas include auto accidents, homeowners insurance, workers’ compensation and personal injury cases (such as slip-and-falls, defamation and mold exposure). Other practice areas include asbestos (mesothelioma) litigation, medical and professional malpractice, labor and employment, admiralty, environmental, governmental, toxic torts, product liability and professional negligence.
Partnership and Shareholder Disputes
Significant disputes between partners or shareholders may arise at any point in the life of a business, from disputes during the formation of the company to disagreements over its dissolution. Disputes requiring formal dispute resolution or litigation may include those related to:
- Partnership or shareholder agreements;
- Capital contributions by individual partners or shareholders, or the issuance of shares of other equity;
- Operating agreements, bylaws, or management agreements in a limited liability company;
- Employment agreements, including non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants;
- Confidentiality or trade secret agreements;
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims;
- Severance agreements for partners, shareholders, officers, or employees; and
- Dissolution agreements, particularly distributions of remaining assets to individual partners or shareholders.
Real Estate Litigation
Real estate litigation often presents diverse issues, each with its own set of challenges that require specific expertise. Our attorneys have built an impressive track record for successfully litigating in the following areas:
- Contract disputes involving real property
- Landlord/tenant disputes
- Deed restrictions and land use
- Commercial and retail evictions
- Eminent domain and condemnation
- Mechanics and materialmens’ liens
- Adverse possession actions
- Boundary disputes
- Trespass and nuisance claims
- Lis pendens issues
- Quiet title actions
- Property tax disputes
- Injunctive relief