Any number of disputes can arise within a business, or between businesses, that can impact a business' stability, reputation, and bottom line. Thorough planning is not always enough to evade disputes altogether. Instead, some form of dispute resolution may be necessary to avoid additional harm. Contact us today at 480-771-3986 to schedule a Consultation and learn more about effectively preventing or resolving business disputes.
Business Litigation in Arizona
Business litigation, or commercial litigation, is any legal proceeding arising from a dispute between organizations or other parties over commercial transactions in Arizona. The term also typically encompasses negotiation and dispute resolution processes before a matter goes to court.
Disputes at the center of business litigation can be both internal to the organization (e.g., a dispute with an employee or between partners) or with external parties (e.g., a dispute with a vendor or client).
Business litigation often involves complex issues and can be time-consuming and expensive to handle. Business litigation attorneys are retained to advise on issues that arise in the course of operating a business and to represent parties if a dispute arises.
Common Types of Business Disputes in Arizona
Business disputes can involve anything from breach of contract to disputes arising from mergers or infringement of trade secrets. Below are some of the more common types of disputes that most businesses encounter at some point.
Breach of Contract
A breach of contract is a business dispute that arises when a contracting party fails to do something under a contract or breaches the terms of the contract. Contracts are a common feature of any business operation and, as such, breaches of contract are also common. They can involve consulting contracts, contracts for goods and services, and partnership agreements.
Partnership disputes often arise where partners disagree on what's best for the business or how to proceed in relation to a specific issue, like splitting profits. They can also involve a breach of fiduciary duty where one party acts against the interests of the other in breach of a partnership agreement.
Intellectual property law protects creators' rights in their original work. Business disputes can arise over who owns the intellectual property in a particular work or alleged copyright, patent, or trademark infringements.
Employment law disputes involve both internal conflicts such as harassment, discrimination, and wage disputes as well as conflicts with former employees, such as unfair dismissal or breaches of non-compete agreements.
How Are Business Disputes in Arizona Prevented?
There are several ways to help minimize the risk of becoming involved in a business dispute.
Draft Effective Contracts
One of the best ways to head off any future disputes is to ensure you have effective, legally-binding contracts in place. An experienced business lawyer should be used to draft carefully written, clear, and specific contracts for your business.
Seek Advice Early
If you are unsure about how to approach a complex issue or if you have a gut feeling that something is not right, seek advice from a business attorney right away. Obtaining legal advice at an early stage on how best to proceed helps you to avoid a future business dispute.
It is best practice for a business to keep a written record of important documents or events in case a dispute later arises. This includes retaining copies of all emails, contracts, accounting information, loan documents, file notes, and meeting minutes. A business litigation attorney can assist you with developing a good document retention strategy and system.
How Are Business Disputes in Arizona Resolved?
Before going to court, the parties may attempt to resolve an issue via alternative dispute resolution (e.g., negotiation, mediation, or arbitration). This can save the parties significant amounts of time and money.
During a negotiation, the parties discuss the matter to try and resolve it amicably. While negotiation is a more informal process, lawyers will often be involved to assist the parties in their negotiation.
Negotiation is the most cost-effective way to resolve a dispute. Negotiation avoids more formal processes that require the involvement of external parties.
In a mediation, the parties discuss the matter with an independent mediator to try and find a mutually agreeable solution to the issue. The process typically results in a mediation or settlement agreement, which the parties must follow.
During arbitration, an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) hears each party's case and decides the matter.
The contract often determines if arbitration is available to the parties in their specific situation. If there is an arbitration clause, the parties may be barred from going to court.
As a last resort, if parties are unable to otherwise resolve their dispute, they may proceed to formal litigation in court. This involves one party filing a civil complaint against the other and the matter is eventually heard before a judge and jury who then give their verdict.
Contact a Business Dispute Lawyer in Phoenix Today
Litigation is not the only method of resolving a business dispute and, as mentioned above, it is the most time-consuming and costly method. Often, parties to a business dispute are able to negotiate a resolution of their dispute without resort to litigation. At Venditti Law, our business litigation attorney represents clients who want smart, resourceful solutions to their business disputes. Contact us today either by filling out the online form or calling us at 480-771-3986 to schedule a Consultation.