Commercial litigation encompasses nearly every type of dispute that can arise in the course of conducting business. From breach of contract disputes to allegations of securities fraud, savvy commercial litigators must be able to quickly and accurately assess the situation and prepare a strategy that meets the client’s legal and business needs.
At Weiner Law Group LLP, our commercial litigation department represents clients in all manner of corporate and general commercial matters.
With over three decades of experience, we understand that efficiency, outside-the-box thinking, and sound judgment are integral to achieving the best possible outcome at a reasonable cost.
As a result, our highly skilled attorneys have an excellent track record of achieving favorable results and minimizing risk for our clients in civil litigation matters. To speak with an experienced commercial litigation attorney in New Jersey, please contact us today.
What Is Commercial Litigation?
Although many people are familiar with the word “litigation,” those outside the legal profession may struggle to define what litigation is. To understand commercial litigation law, you need to understand what commercial means in context and what litigation is and is not.
Litigation vs. Transactional Law
Litigation is traditionally known as the process of resolving legal disputes through the court system. With the recent genesis of alternative dispute resolution, typically through arbitration or mediation, a litigation lawyer may spend less time working in the court system than in the past. However, the litigator remains a litigator in arbitration as well as in the courtroom.
Some might be surprised to learn that not every lawyer is a litigator. Lawyers who never file cases with the court are often called transactional attorneys. The hallmark of a litigation lawyer is that they bring or defend against lawsuits.
Transactional lawyers, on the other hand, typically guide clients through legal processes. A lawyer you consult to review your contract or help draft your will engages in transactional law, even if they also practice litigation.
Types of Litigation
Litigation encompasses civil and criminal cases.
In criminal cases, the government accuses someone of engaging in conduct that violates criminal law. The government serves as the prosecutor while the accused serves as the defendant.
In civil cases, private individuals or entities sue the government, other private entities, or individuals. Civil litigation involves one or more plaintiffs, who are the people who bring the case.
The plaintiffs sue one or more defendants, who the case is against. Civil litigation is a broad category that covers every legal claim that is not criminal. For example, civil litigation can include:
- Personal injury,
- Medical malpractice,
- Family law,
- Intellectual property,
- Labor and employment,
- Civil rights, and
- Property law.
Most commercial litigation is civil, but commercial litigation can overlap with criminal law.
The easiest way to distinguish commercial litigation is that commercial litigation involves commerce. In this context, commerce broadly includes commercial transactions and disputes involving businesses.
The borders between commercial litigation and other civil litigation practices can be blurry, making it vital for any commercial litigator to have a wide base of legal knowledge.
What Areas of Law Qualify as Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation is an area distinguished by an unusually high-risk exposure for clients. Our lawyers have a strong background in helping clients with a variety of complex matters, including:
- Antitrust and trade litigation,
- Environmental law,
- Patent infringement and other intellectual property disputes,
- Breach of contract,
- Civil RICO and consumer protection litigation,
- Securities fraud,
- Shareholder and franchise disputes, and
- White collar crime.
Cases frequently involve multiple areas of commercial litigation practice. Commercial litigators may defend businesses or bring cases against businesses, depending on the circumstances.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Antitrust law typically involves governmental regulation that bars business monopolies and other anticompetitive behavior. Antitrust litigation often involves mergers and acquisitions, especially when one company absorbs a competitor. Businesses are also targeted for unfairly restraining trade, collusion, and price fixing.
Environmental regulations can uniquely affect businesses, especially those that own large properties. Typical commercial litigation environmental law cases include issues like:
- Water and air pollution,
- Hazardous waste disposal issues,
- Resource conservation, and
- Endangered species protection.
Governmental organizations, especially state attorneys general, frequently bring environmental law claims.
Certain businesses are also at risk of being challenged by private individuals. For example, businesses with operations that affect the local environment or make the area less desirable for people to live in or for other businesses to operate may be targeted.
Patent Infringement and Intellectual Property Disputes
Patent infringement is one of the most specialized areas of commercial litigation. Proving your patent was infringed or defending against accusations of infringement typically requires deep dives into highly technical processes.
Commercial litigators also represent clients in other intellectual property disputes, like claims involving:
- Trademarks, and
- Trade secrets.
Litigating intellectual property cases requires acute attention to detail and high levels of scientific and technical understanding.
Breach of Contract
Contract breaches can occur in many areas of the law, not always involving commercial litigation. However, commercial litigation involves anything from a simple dispute over a single-page contract to complex disputes involving multiple parties and several interrelated contracts.
RICO and Consumer Protection
In the modern era, consumers have almost overwhelming options for products and services to purchase. The government has passed laws to protect consumers from being taken advantage of.
Along with general consumer protection cases, commercial litigators often represent clients in RICO claims. Frequently referred to solely by the acronym RICO, these cases arise from the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Commercial litigation involving RICO and consumer protection claims typically involves allegations of false or misleading advertising or fraudulent conduct. These claims may implicate multiple businesses or particular business practices.
Securities law is one of the most technically complex areas of the law. People and businesses may run afoul of the law without even realizing it.
Securities are a way to invest in business, often taking the form of:
- Bonds, or
Commercial litigation often involves allegations that a business fraudulently issued or misused securities related to its operations.
Shareholder and Franchise Disputes
Those who own and operate businesses with shareholders owe obligations to their shareholders. Chief among these obligations is a fiduciary duty. When shareholders believe a business’s owners or operators act improperly, they may bring a shareholder claim against the individuals or the business itself.
In addition, many businesses have franchises. When disputes arise between franchisors and franchisees, commercial litigators can represent the parties. When franchises extend across borders, it is important to hire an attorney who knows how to work with other state’s laws.
Although white-collar criminal law may not be pure commercial litigation, many of the accusations that form the basis of commercial litigation claims involve circumstances that qualify as white-collar crimes. White-collar crimes include conduct like:
- Insider trading,
- Money laundering, and
Hiring a commercial litigator versed in the civil and criminal aspects of commercial litigation allows you to protect both your civil and criminal interests. If you hire an attorney without familiarity in both areas, you may unnecessarily sacrifice your civil interests to protect your criminal interests or vice versa.
Protecting Your Interests
Our litigation team work diligently to protect your business interests and legal rights. Our attorneys have deep experience in commercial litigation matters and will develop and implement a resourceful strategy for your particular situation and focus on the issues that are key to your success.
We also have a great symbiosis with our other litigation teams and work seamlessly with them to find solutions for issues that fall outside the realm of commercial litigation.
This symbiosis allows us to tackle the many areas of commercial litigation, including those that fall somewhere on the blurred edges. Our teamwork and the support we provide each other mean we can develop technical skills and provide our services to a broad base of clients who need the assistance of a commercial litigation attorney in New Jersey.
Keeping Your Costs In Check
While we prepare every case as if it were going to trial, we always keep an eye on the bottom line and don’t bill clients for work that doesn’t move the case forward. We also won’t take your case to trial just for the sake of doing so — we will always do what is best for your situation, whether that be trial, arbitration, mediation, or some other form of dispute resolution.
The long-term success of your business is what’s important.Find out how Weiner Law Group LLP can help with your commercial litigation needs. Call our Parsippany, New Jersey, office at 866-899-1138 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a New Jersey commercial litigation attorney.
We are personally committed to providing you with the best legal representation possible — indeed, legal service that goes above and beyond.