Understanding Common Types of Commercial Litigation
The advice of a seasoned business-law attorney may allow your company to avoid some disputes altogether. But even with the best guidance, you’re likely to face commercial litigation at some point. Commercial litigation includes a wide range of cases concerning business transactions. Common examples include breach of contract, partnership, and employment disputes.
Breach of Contract
A breach-of-contract dispute occurs whenever one or more parties fail to meet the terms of a contract. Even where there is no express contract, parties may recover on the related theories of quantum meruit and promissory estoppel. In a quantum meruit case, a party seeks to recover the value of improvements made or services rendered. In promissory estoppel cases, a plaintiff claims that the defendant
made a promise that he relied on to his detriment, and that fairness demands enforcement of the promise.
Partner and Member Disputes
Even the healthiest business relationships can give rise to disputes. General partners in a partnership and members of a limited liability company typically owe a “fiduciary duty” to each other and to the entity. This fiduciary duty includes, for example: good faith and fair
dealing, which is an obligation to act honestly with each other; loyalty, which requires partners or members to place the business interests of the partnership over their own interests; reasonable care, which is the duty to act in a reasonably prudent manner when carrying out the partnership business; and disclosure, which is the obligation to provide complete information so that partners can make decisions about business opportunities and conflicts of interest. A partnership agreement or operating agreement may add to or alter members’ fiduciary duties.
Employment lawyers frequently handle cases involving allegations of employment discrimination. An employee may file a claim that alleges he or she was wrongfully terminated or subjected to a hostile work environment, for instance. Employment disputes can also encompass wage and hour disputes, along with disagreements regarding healthcare, other benefits, or pay discrepancies. Sometimes, litigation involves individuals who were job candidates, rather than employees. These individuals may file a claim alleging that they were rejected on the basis of discrimination.
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