Business Disputes

Business litigation practice has become an intricate field of practice over the last few years. Hundreds of business disputes are contested in courtrooms and mediated in attorney’s offices across the Chicago metropolitan area at any given time. Disagreements, differences of opinion and disputes are common in the course of business, and sometimes they escalate into lawsuits and civil court cases.

Fair and equitable resolutions are at the heart of modern business litigation practice. Business disputes in Chicago can entail a number of issues, many of them based on the law of obligations. People engage in business with each other based on good faith and certain expectations and obligations outlined in contracts and agreements. Non-performance or breach of contract is one of the most common disputes that Chicago business attorneys handle, and a current trend in this regard deals with alternative dispute resolution.

Types of Commercial Disputes

Chicago is an international trade center and a global hub for commercial and financial activity. Most business agreements are carried out to satisfaction, but many end up in litigation due to mismanagement, negligence, non-performance, failure to carry out duties, unfair competition, copyright infringement, investment matters and many other issues. Some cases involve disputes between business partners; other cases are litigated between competitors.

Although some commercial disputes may involve allegations of unlawful activity, business matters that are considered crimes under the Illinois Compiled Statutes are sometimes handled by the Office of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. These state government agencies protect businesses and consumers, but they do not represent their interests privately.

Available Remedies

Depending on the magnitude of the loss, plaintiffs can seek to recover damages by means of monetary awards. Many commercial enterprises are expected to carry liability insurance coverage as they do business, and thus awards for damages may come from insurer payouts.

In other cases, a court order may direct a commercial enterprise to stop doing business in a certain manner, to no longer operate in a jurisdiction or to take corrective action with regard to business practices.

Handling Disputes and Reaching a Resolution

Attorneys who handle business disputes can litigate their clients’ complaints before a civil jury, and they can even seek appellate review when there are merits for doing so, but such trials tend to be costly affairs that sometimes end up being a financial burden to plaintiffs or defendants.

Skilled attorneys can sometimes prevail in a commercial dispute by obtaining an order for summary judgment on behalf of a plaintiff or getting a case against a defendant successfully dismissed before stepping into the courtroom. These favorable outcomes save the cost of a trial.

Alternative dispute resolution involves arbitration, mediation and negotiation sessions that seek an amicable settlement outside of the courtroom. Judges in Chicago often instruct business litigants to first try these alternative resolution methods before going to trial. In these cases, the attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants will still help their clients obtain the most favorable outcome.