Commercial Litigation: What Is It?

When disputes between companies arise, sometimes the parties have no choice but to pursue legal recourse. Here’s our explainer on the ins and outs of commercial litigation.

What Is Commercial Litigation?

Commercial litigation is the pursuit of legal action in relation to any sort of business relationship. This might involve contract disputes, a breach of contract, partnership or corporation disputes, shareholder issues, class action suits, breach of duty, and other allegations arising in a business context. A commercial litigator represents the best interests of the business client. They craft the legal strategy for the dispute, file any paperwork, and act as mediators when needed. 

How Is Commercial Litigation Similar to Civil Litigation?

Civil litigation is any kind of legal proceedings with no criminal charges, usually between individuals. Probate law, personal injury law, family law, and contract law are some issues that fall under the civil litigation umbrella. Civil litigation is similar to commercial litigation in the following ways:

  • The client retains an attorney to resolve a legal concern.
  • The attorney pursues discovery, research, investigation, and other fact-finding procedures.
  • The attorney researches the law to determine where breaches or liabilities exist.
  • The attorney drafts letters, arranges for settlement negotiation, and/or files suit.
  • The attorney may participate in pre-trial motions, try the case in court before a judge and jury, and file post-trial paperwork.

How Is Commercial Litigation Different From Civil Litigation?

In most states, business entities involved in a legal dispute must be represented by a commercial litigation lawyer, whether the business is the injured party or the party pursuing litigation. Commercial litigation may involve the following aspects:

  • The litigation may involve two or more business entities.
  • The action may involve complicated and industry-specific contracts or legally binding agreements which require experienced attorneys to understand.
  • The action may be actionable in multiple jurisdictions and be filed in federal court.
  • The case may be a class-action lawsuit involving many defendants.

What Are Some Types of Commercial Litigation?

Commercial litigators cover a wide variety of business legal issues. Some of those might include:

  • Tax disputes.
  • Insurance coverage and claims.
  • Breach of contract.
  • Construction claims.
  • Partnership or board of director disputes.
  • Real estate or land use disputes.
  • Environmental concerns.
  • Class-action suits.
  • Privacy or data breach.
  • Employment or union labor concerns.
  • Securities litigation.
  • Shareholder disputes.
  • Trademark or copyright infringement.

What Makes a Good Commercial Attorney?

Many good commercial attorneys have additional degrees or previous work experience in the industries they represent, giving them unique insights into the details and common practices in those industries. Good commercial attorneys act as counselors and listen carefully to clients’ concerns. Where possible, they will pursue practical mediation or claim settlement to save the client from litigation fees. When that resolution isn’t possible, good commercial attorneys approach litigation focused on the clients’ needs with the most timely resolution.

Does your business need help with a legal matter? Our commercial litigators have experience on a national scale with a focus on each individual client. Please contact us if we can offer assistance with a legal resolution.

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