If you’re a business owner, then your revenues and profits are dependent on your operations running smoothly. When another party that you rely upon fails to live up to their contractual obligations, the ramifications for your company can range from a minor inconvenience to having to shut down. Some companies never consider litigation because they simply don’t think that they have time to wait for the slow wheels of justice to turn. So, they sever the contract and cut losses, assuming that there’s nothing else that they can do. While business lawsuits can take years to litigate, that does not necessarily mean that there aren’t other measures that you and your business litigation attorney can take in the interim.
Grounds for Business Litigation
Before you explore suing a business partner, you may want to consider whether or not you have grounds for a lawsuit. In order to have a viable lawsuit, the following three elements must be present:
- There is a breach of contract
- The breach of contract is material
- The breach caused measurable damages
Businesses protect their arrangements with contracts, which can be verbal or written, but lawyers will always recommend that it’s in writing. Both parties are expected to live up to the terms of the contract, and when one doesn’t, it is a breach. For there to be a viable lawsuit, the breach must be material, meaning that it must have caused some sort of disruption to the business. And finally, the breach must have caused measurable damages. If, for instance, a supplier fails to deliver materials to a manufacturer, causing the manufacturer to have to cancel orders, the damages would be the loss of payment for those orders.
Why do lawsuits take so long?
In Florida, you may be looking at a one to three-year wait from the time you start business litigation. Why does it take so long? There are a number of different factors that can affect the length of time for your lawsuit.
- The Court Calendar – the availability of the court dictates how quickly a business lawsuit can take.
- Case Preparation – The plaintiff’s attorney will require time to draft the complaint. Once it’s approved through the courts and served to the defendant, the defendant has to be given time to draft a response.
- Discovery Evidence – Both parties have to share the evidence that they have gathered with the other party’s attorneys.
- Depositions – In most cases, material witnesses have to be deposed by counsel. It takes time to schedule interviews with the witnesses and the other attorneys’ schedules can affect scheduling.
- Mediation or Arbitration – In many cases, the contract requires mediation or arbitration before proceeding to a trial. This is an attempt to resolve the dispute in a less formal setting.
This process takes a considerable amount of time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over when the trial begins. A trial can drag out for weeks or months.
Other Measures a Business Attorney Can Take
Sometimes with business litigation, temporary injunctions can be used to enforce a contract or to protect the rights of a plaintiff. For instance, an injunction can prevent a company from infringing on patent rights. It could also require a supplier to make deliveries. Emergency injunctions in places like Orlando can often be obtained within 24 hours.
You can discuss options for legal recourse for your Orlando area business with Attorney Parikh.