In a competitive business environment broken contracts and failure to pay for goods and services can prevent a small business from succeeding. Increasingly, the primary avenue of recourse for many business disputes is in the courts or before arbitration panels. Our paramount concern is the end result for our client, and we candidly assess the benefits and risks of Corporate and Commercial litigation at the outset of every case. When appropriate, we bring adversaries together, before litigation, to explore options available as alternatives to trial. If negotiation, mediation, or settlement is appropriate, we explore all opportunities without compromising our client’s ultimate objective.
The temptation to litigate, while compelling, should not be undertaken lightly, as it can prove to be both expensive and emotionally charged. There are times, however, when after careful deliberation, we advise the client that it is the preferred form of resolving disputes.
An effective legal advisor can mean the difference between commercial success and failure. The business attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. work as vigorous advocates for small and medium-sized businesses. If your company needs an effective voice, an experienced business & commercial litigation attorney can help.
Partnership disputes can be costly and emotionally devastating for all involved. Even though the parties are usually close friends or family members it is important for partnerships to have written agreements that clearly define the rights of the partners. The partnership agreement should include, among other things, the procedures that will be followed in the event the partners have a dispute or a deadlock, appropriate “buy-sell” provisions for departing partners, and identify the rights of the partners in the event of the death of another partner. In the absence of a written partnership agreement, the courts will apply a statute, the Uniform Partnership Act, to determine the rights and duties of the partners.
Breach of contract actions sounds simple enough, but there are a myriad of rules that govern how contracts are construed and enforced by the courts. Even in cases that seem open and shut based upon the language found in the parties’ contract, complex legal issues, such as the enforceability of limitations of liability or of “liquidated damages” provisions and application of the Uniform Commercial Code, may dramatically impact the outcome of the case.
Unlike breach of contract claims, fraud and misrepresentation claims carry with them the possibility of an award of punitive damages. Fraud and misrepresentation claims typically involve allegations that one party to a transaction failed to disclose material information to another party to the transaction.
Claims for slander and defamation aren’t just for celebrities; in fact, claims for slander and defamation are most likely to prevail when “public figures” are not the victims of the comments at issue. Defamation claims are often closely related to claims involving wrongful termination. A $15 million NYSE arbitration award was entered in favor of three stockbrokers who were defamed after their broker-dealer terminated them. Defamation is a communication that tends to harm an individual’s reputation so as to lower him or her in the estimation of the community or deter third persons from associating or dealing with him or her.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ( RICO) can be a powerful statute in commercial litigation when the wrongful conduct falls within the complex definition of a pattern of racketeering activity. The statute allows plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees and treble damages against owners of companies individually. Although RICO remains a powerful law that should be utilized in appropriate cases, too often attorneys attempt to plead RICO cases where the facts simply do not justify it. The outcome can be disastrous; attorney’s fees increase exponentially, discovery is unnecessarily drawn out, and the plaintiff can find itself on the wrong end of the defendant’s claim for attorney’s fees and costs for being forced to defend a frivolous RICO claim. It is essential that you have attorneys with the experience and knowledge to let you know whether a RICO claim will truly strengthen your litigation position – or undermine the credibility of your case
Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act was promulgated to provide consumers with powerful remedies in the event they are victims of a long list of business practices that the legislature has deemed unfair or deceptive. Businesses that are found to have violated the Act face the prospect of paying the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs along with damages. Claims under the Act occur frequently in the context of automobile sales, the sale of residential real estate, and the sale of insurance products.
Interference with existing and prospective contractual relations is a problem often encountered when competing businesses battle over customers, clients, and employees. While our free market economy encourages competition, there is a line that has been drawn by the courts that separates privileged business activity from unfair competition. We can help ensure that your business stays on the right side of that line and protect you from those businesses that cross the line. Under appropriate circumstances, a claim for tortious interference with existing or prospective contractual relations can give rise to claims for punitive damages and the issuance of a preliminary or permanent injunction to stop the unlawful activity.
We regularly represent developers, contractors, and design professionals in conjunction with a wide range of construction disputes and home warranty claims. The Pennsylvania legislature has provided contractors and subcontractors with powerful tools to recover funds owed on construction projects, including the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, which provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees and interest at the rate of 1% per month on funds that are improperly withheld. We have also assisted contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, engineers, and architects in taking advantage of the mechanic’s lien laws. A mechanic’s lien is a powerful weapon in recovering monies that are owed on a project as the law permits the entry of a lien on real estate prior to any hearing or trial.
Our attorneys are prepared to obtain – and defend against – preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders. The law recognizes that there are certain instances in which monetary damages cannot make a business or an individual whole. The courts describe this type of injury as “irreparable harm.” Requests for preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders occur in a wide range of factual situations but are most frequently seen in the context of disputes between employers and former employees. Employers will often seek temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions to restrain their former employees from violating non-compete agreements. Requests for emergency injunctive relief are also commonplace in copyright and trademark infringement cases.
Bad faith cases arise in the insurance context where the insurer denies coverage or fails to properly handle an insured’s claims. We litigate bad faith cases for individuals in life and disability cases and for businesses where insurers have wrongfully denied coverage.
Closely held corporations provide the setting for lawsuits alleging the oppression of minority shareholders. Minority shareholders in closely held corporations are often treated unfairly by the majority shareholders and find themselves frustrated in realizing the reasonable expectations they had when they invested in the corporation. Minority oppression can come in many forms: dilution of the minority shareholder’s ownership interest, exclusion from the management of the corporation, diversion of assets out of the corporation by the majority shareholders, termination from employment, and other departures from the standards of good faith and fair dealing that a shareholder in a closely held corporation should expect.
Free consultations are for injury cases only. Contact the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. for a consultation at 1 (312) 384-1920.