According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a litigator is a licensed attorney who specializes in handling legal disputes for organizations or individuals. These disputes, whether civil or criminal, are typically resolved in a court of law. A business litigation lawyer, specifically, employs their knowledge and skills to handle a wide range of legal issues that businesses may encounter on a regular basis.
The Role of Business Litigation Lawyers
Business litigation attorneys specialize in managing conflicts that arise in various aspects of business. Regardless of the reason behind a lawsuit, the litigation process follows a similar procedure. Both parties involved present motions, witnesses, evidence, and statements to support their case. It is important to note that in criminal cases, the plaintiff is the government rather than a private individual.
It is worth mentioning that not all lawsuits are resolved within the courtroom; many are settled during the pretrial process. This stage involves negotiations and discussions aimed at reaching a resolution before proceeding to court.
Who do Business Litigation Lawyers Work for?
Business litigation lawyers may work directly for a larger law firm, as in-house counsel for a corporation, or as self-employed consultants. While larger corporations may employ their own in-house business litigation lawyers, most businesses do not encounter legal disputes frequently enough to justify a full-time dedicated counsel.
However, certain industries, such as the insurance industry, commonly have on-staff business litigation lawyers.
Business Litigation Professional Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a business litigator encompass managing disputes arising from contract negotiations or interpretations, breaches of contract, business partnerships, shareholders’ concerns, and wrongful dismissals, among others. Additionally, a business litigation attorney may specialize further in areas such as business tax liabilities, product liability, intellectual property, or patent law.
Business litigators must possess excellent communication skills and the ability to navigate challenging negotiations and situations. While courtroom representation is a vital aspect of their role, many business litigators prioritize resolving legal matters through written communication before resorting to litigation. Skilled in persuasive writing, they often expedite resolutions and minimize costs, as well as the emotional stress involved for all parties.
The responsibilities of a business litigator include:
- Developing a comprehensive understanding of the situation, examining paperwork, facts, and circumstances.
- Determining the need for expert involvement during litigation.
- Identifying relevant case law and precedents to support or refute the claims.
- Drafting court briefs that outline the specific facts, evidence, and rights related to the legal claim.
- And many other crucial responsibilities.
An Example: Breach of Contract
In the case of a breach of contract, a business litigator takes the lead in initiating a lawsuit on behalf of their client, the company. A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill their obligations as specified in the legally binding agreement.
The business litigator prepares a written brief detailing the contract’s facts, requirements, and specific areas where the defendant allegedly breached the agreement. This documentation may also include references to relevant case law supporting the claim for recovery.
Upon filing the motion, the next steps include the discovery process, during which information is exchanged between the parties’ legal representatives. Additionally, pretrial motions may be submitted to address specific issues within the case, such as requests for information sharing or even a motion to dismiss the case entirely.
As mentioned earlier, many business litigation matters are resolved during the pretrial stage, before reaching the courtroom. Here, a business litigation specialist guides their client through negotiations, striving for a fair and mutually beneficial settlement.
If a pretrial agreement cannot be reached, the business litigator assumes the responsibility of representing their client in a court of law.
Successful business litigation lawyers possess a combination of legal acumen, negotiation skills, and written communication expertise. With their assistance, businesses can effectively navigate legal challenges, protect their interests, and achieve favorable outcomes.
To learn more about the services and expertise offered by Garrity Traina, a leading business litigation firm, visit their website here.