Jacksonville Business Litigation Attorneys for Established Companies
Florida law firm helps organizations resolve problems and litigate claims
Building a business is exciting and fulfilling, but at some point every business will face legal issues. It is critical to address legal problems as soon as possible. Business litigation may be unavoidable, but in some cases prompt action may prevent the filing of a lawsuit or curtail the length of a suit already filed.
At Murphy & Ellis, PLLC, we represent a wide range of businesses in the Jacksonville area. When a client has a legal problem, we react immediately. When court action is unavoidable, we litigate claims with determination and keep clients informed.
Understanding the reasons for business litigation
Commercial litigation is a court process for resolving disputes that arise between parties doing business. Within that realm, there are many disputes that involve issues such as disagreements between partners, breach of contract, government regulations, unlawful use of intellectual property and many others. Whatever the problem, our attorneys are prepared to help.
Understanding the steps to resolving business disputes
While all legal problems are unique, the process for resolving legal disputes has many common aspects. If your organization may have a legal problem be aware of the following information which may be helpful:
- As disputes come about, it is important to document everything. Your business records may be used as evidence when matters are litigated. Parties with well-documented business practices have a great advantage over those less organized.
- When it is practical, make an effort to discuss the problem with your opposition and keep notes on your discussions.
- When “friendly” efforts fail, many situations will justify retaining an attorney.
- In many cases an attorney will make an effort to start or re-start the negotiation process by sending a demand letter to the opposing party.
- A demand letter should contain very specific demands to be met within a specific time period.
- If a demand letter is ignored or negotiations do no resolve the problem, litigation may be required in either state or federal court. Our attorneys are licensed for both.
- A lawsuit is often a long and arduous process, but within the process there are many events that occur before trial.
- A major part of the pre-trial process is called discovery. In other words, discovery provides each side with the opportunity to exchange information concerning the issues in dispute.
- It is important to re-assess the strength or weakness of your position as soon as new information becomes available.
- It is also important to seize upon opportunities to consult with your opposing party when new evidence may resolve the case in your favor.
While most business disputes are resolved without a trial, we prepare every case with the expectation that trial will be required. From a clients’ perspective the decision to take a case to trial should not be taken lightly. There are many factors that should be considered. All relevant information should be collected and reviewed. Reasonable attempts to agree upon a settlement should be made. The cost and potential consequences of an adverse outcome at trial should be understood. It is only after a client fully appreciates these factors, should the decision for trial be made.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Civil litigation may not be your only option. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the name given to options that avoid or limit litigation. The two most common forms of ADR are:
- Arbitration. This process requires two sides to appear before a neutral party commonly referred to as an arbitrator. An arbitration does not require an appearance in court and normally takes place in an office or other location set by the arbitrator. The arbitrator listens to both sides and makes a final decision as to the final outcome of the dispute. Generally, these decisions are binding and cannot be appealed to a court, although some exceptions may be made for parties who provide for exceptions in advance.
- Mediation. Mediation is usually scheduled by the court after a lawsuit has been filed. In rare cases, mediation may be set by the parties before a lawsuit is filed. Mediation provides litigants with an opportunity to meet face to face and assess the strength of competing positions before trial. Like arbitration, mediation allows both sides to present their case, but unlike arbitration, mediation is not binding. If a case does not settle at mediation, the parties proceed with litigation and ultimately trial. All discussions at mediation are confidential and may not be used as evidence at trial.
Our firm recommends ADR when we believe it is in our clients’ best interests. We will advise you through the negotiation, arbitration or mediation processes.
Call an experienced business law firm to represent your company in a dispute
When your business is facing the prospect of litigation, you should speak with an experienced law firm you can trust. At Murphy & Ellis, PLLC, we represent established businesses in the Jacksonville area. Our attorneys seek to form lasting relationships with our business law clients. To arrange a consultation, call us now at 904.342.6009 or contact us online.