Litigation, Arbitration and Risk Management
Business litigation is a lawsuit between two parties to enforce or defend a legal right. Business litigation occurs in various venues, from state and federal courts to private arbitration and administrative proceedings and typically involves disputes between parties arising out of business relationships.
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Complex business litigation encompasses virtually every type of dispute that can come up in a business context. It includes breach of contract cases, partnership and joint venture disputes, shareholder issues and business torts including defamation, interference with contractual or economic relationship, malicious prosecution, and others. The proceedings can involve businesses or companies, individuals or government agencies or a combination of such parties.
Businesses and especially business owners usually take a wait and see approach to legal disputes. However, if you are threatened with litigation or you are seeking to defend the interests of your business, the first step is to engage an attorney. The attorney can advise you how to protect your business and identify the areas of your business which are vulnerable to potential lawsuits.
Aside from domestic disputes, international transactions and business relationships can give rise to business disputes in the international context. Cross-border or international litigation involves disputes between companies and individuals based outside of the United States and entities and persons in the United States. The most common international disputes revolve around contracts, trade, intellectual property and business torts such as interference with contractual and economic relationship. International litigation presents a set of challenges that are not otherwise at issue in the case of purely domestic lawsuits – jurisdiction of the courts, the applicable law, service of process, admission of evidence and enforcement of judgments issued by a foreign court.
Resolution of business disputes including cross-border disputes may be achieved through litigation and various forms of alternative dispute resolution. The alternative dispute resolution or ADR refers to a variety of means for settling disputes outside of the courtroom and includes negotiation, mediation, conciliation or arbitration. Depending on the jurisdiction, alternative dispute resolution methods may be voluntary or mandatory for the parties.
The most preeminent forms of alternative dispute resolution are arbitration and mediation. Arbitration can be held ad hoc or with administrative support from institutions such as the American Arbitration Association or JAMS. Arbitration is a more formal proceeding which resembles a trial and the arbitral award and decision is binding. Today, the arbitration agreement and award is enforceable under state and federal law. In addition, the United States adheres to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards commonly known as the New York Convention.
Mediation is a more informal alternative of dispute resolution and is not binding. In a mediation, mediators bring opposing parties together to work out an agreement. In the securities industry, disputes between investors and their stock-brokers, are usually settled through arbitration or mediation. The mediation and arbitration for the settlement of securities disputes is provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Contact us, your business attorney in Florida, to assist you with your litigation, arbitration and risk management needs.