Business Disputes

Commercial Law Attorneys Assisting Clients in Los Angeles and Beyond

Disputes can arise in many areas of business, such as contracts and employment relationships. If your enterprise is facing a potential legal conflict, a skilled attorney can help you craft a strategy to resolve the situation while protecting your objectives. Commercial law lawyer Steve A. Buchwalter has over 20 years of experience in the Los Angeles area and throughout the state advising business owners regarding their rights and obligations.

Types of Business Disputes

Conflicts with suppliers, employees, and others are almost an inevitable part of doing business. Depending on the parties and the nature of the issues involved, a wide range of legal principles may apply in any given case, although some types of disputes are more common than others.

For example, contract disputes generally emerge when one party to the agreement breaches it. A contract is a binding agreement between two or more parties. They are typical in transactions that involve sales, employment, supply, and other areas that are critical to how a business functions. Contracts do not have to be in writing to be enforceable, but there must be an offer, acceptance, and consideration for an arrangement to amount to a contract. A breach can be defined as the failure to perform all or part of one’s obligations under the terms of the agreement.

Disagreements also can arise among and between partners in an enterprise. Partnership disputes generally occur when the partners cannot agree on how to run a business, or if there is alleged wrongdoing by a partner. Most of these entities are based on partnership agreements, which lay out the rights of the partners and how the partnership will operate. California, however, does not require a partnership to be in writing.

Furthermore, California and federal laws protect employees from discrimination at work on the basis of race, gender, national origin, age, and other characteristics. Even with those protections, an employer may wrongfully terminate or demote an individual based on a protected trait. Someone who has suffered from job-related discrimination may have options to pursue, such as filing a complaint with the EEOC and seeking damages through the litigation process.

Business disputes are often resolved at trial, but parties can also seek resolution through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. Some agreements may even contemplate ADR before taking a matter to court.

Anticipating a Potential Conflict

Some contracts may include language that specifies how the parties should resolve any issues that arise before seeking resolution in court. For instance, a contract may require mandatory mediation or arbitration. In mediation, the parties are typically required to make a good-faith effort to resolve their issues, usually over the course of several days, with the help of an unbiased third party. If a contract calls for arbitration, the parties will present their case to an arbitrator who will decide how to resolve the issue. Unlike mediation, arbitration decisions can be binding, meaning that the arbitrator’s decision is final. In both mediation and arbitration, the parties can choose to either represent themselves or have an attorney represent them. We can effectively negotiate and present your interests in mediation or arbitration.

Litigating a Dispute

If a dispute cannot be resolved outside the courtroom, a party may initiate a suit in state or federal court. Courts are limited as to what kinds of disputes they can hear. A litigant must file a claim in a court that has both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the party it is suing. For example, a California state court may have jurisdiction if there is a contract dispute, and the entity being sued conducts its business in the state. If the dispute has its roots in federal securities law, for instance, a federal court may ultimately hear the matter. We have significant experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts.

Seek Guidance from a Business Lawyer in Orange County

Steve A. Buchwalter is an experienced business attorney who has assisted many clients in Orange County and the surrounding communities. He can evaluate the nature of your matter, discuss your rights, and how you can move forward with resolving the dispute. Many of his clients have come from Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Newport Beach, and other locations throughout California. For a confidential consultation, call us today at (818) 501-8987 or fill out our contact form.