In this article, you will learn about:
- The situations that give rise to commercial disputes.
- How to prevent commercial litigation before it ever comes up.
- Alternative dispute methods for business owners in Maryland.
What Exactly Is Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation involves disputes between or within companies. This typically occurs in a business transaction as these cases often deal with two companies that are at odds over a contract.
More often than not, commercial litigation matters arise when one company fails to provide agreed-upon goods or services consistent with the parties’ agreement or contract. In fact, breach of contract cases are some of the most common forms of commercial disputes that arise between commercial entities. When these disputes cannot be handled between the parties, litigation becomes the necessary next step.
When Should A Business Hire A Civil Litigation Attorney?
A business owner should contact a civil litigation attorney as soon as they begin to notice that a party they are dealing with has failed to perform some aspect of an agreement or contract.
These breaches may include:
- Failure to provide goods or services within a timely manner;
- Failure to adequately complete the terms of a contract;
- Failure to pay for goods or services on time; or
- Failure to provide the quality of goods or services contemplated under the contract.
If a business owner notices any of these occurrences – and especially if this pattern of conduct continues – taking action early can provide a greater chance of resolving the issue before bigger problems arise. If you start to notice that parties are deviating from an agreement or failing to honor what they agreed to, it’s time to consult with an attorney about the next steps and what your options are.
What Are Proactive Steps That Businesses Can Take To Avoid Litigation?
The best way to avoid litigation is to prevent it at the outset. This is typically done by crafting well-drafted contracts that clearly describe the rights and obligations of each party. This way, if there is a dispute, you can immediately turn to the contract to see what it says. A contract will ultimately govern the rights and responsibilities of each party.
When each party enters into an agreement, there’s often a spirit of cooperation and good faith. After all, as the parties are doing business together, they both hope it will continue on good terms. Unfortunately, however, over the course of business dealings, that good faith sometimes erodes. If this happens and a well-drafted contract is not in place, the parties may be unclear as to what their rights and responsibilities are, as well as what recourse they have if one party breaches the agreement.
Once a dispute has occurred, it can quickly become clear how vital a sound contract is. Many find themselves wishing that they had addressed the subject of the dispute in their contract at the outset before the issue ever arose. As a result, making sure that contractual language is clear and everything is addressed precisely the way you want it up front can protect you if there’s a dispute down the road.
What Steps Should Businesses Take To Safeguard Themselves Against Potential Disputes?
Businesses can best keep themselves safe from potential disputes by documenting everything. So keep records of all business records and other crucial information. This includes ensuring that communications are documented – whether it be emails, text messages or verbal communications. If a dispute arises and the matter needs to be litigated, you will need to produce this documentation as evidence to prove your case.
While litigation is sometimes necessary, it is always helpful to try and resolve the issues at hand without going to Court. This is because once you file a Court case, it does, by nature, introduce an atmosphere of confrontation. Working with a thoughtful and skilled commercial litigation attorney at the onset of your case is the best way to resolve the matter before things get out of hand. Additionally, if you have a trusted attorney on your side and find yourself needing to litigate, you will already be one step ahead.
What Are Alternative Resolution Methods For Commercial Litigation Matters?
There are a number of alternative resolution methods available to parties disputing in commercial matters. Oftentimes, the Court will order disputing parties to participate in mediation. Additionally, the Court will schedule a Settlement Conference in most cases where both parties and their respective attorneys will be present.
It is also worth noting that many contracts have alternative dispute resolution mechanisms built in which require the parties to participate in some form of dispute resolution before initiating litigation. A common example would be an arbitration provision that requires the parties to proceed through arbitration to resolve any disputes. In any case, alternative dispute resolution methods provide many advantages to business owners seeking an ideal and expeditious end to their conflict.
For more information on Commercial Litigation Matters In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (410) 650-4242 today.