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For those not in the know or who have never encountered the term commercial litigation, it is a non-criminal case involving two or more parties who file a lawsuit against each other. Commercial litigation falls under the general clause of civic litigations, where the suing party or the plaintiff seeks to defend or enforce a legal right. The plaintiff also seeks compensation from the defendant with monetary damages or specific performance.
Commercial litigation involves business corporations or partnerships that have come into a significant disagreement and have no other way to resolve the problem except by taking matters to court.
If your business faces litigation, you must be ready to take deliberate and careful action by picking a legal team you can trust. Trust can only go so far with these cases since it’s very costly. Your lawyer’s experience and knowledge are necessary because you don’t want to involve yourself in an unmeritorious case. The risks are very high and may spell the end for your business and reputation if not handled with expertise.
In this article, we will help you determine the factors you should highly consider before hiring a commercial litigation lawyer. This ensures you engage with the right lawyer to handle your commercial dispute professionally and come up with the best outcome.
What Is the Litigation Process?
Whilst there are several cases in commercial litigation, the process and steps that occur and the parties involved generally follow the same setup. There are two parties involved: the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff is the person or business that sues or takes another to court. On the other hand, the defendant is the business or person for whom the lawsuit is filed against.
The court hearing location may also vary depending on the nature of the case or where the violation happened. The litigation process is as follows:
- Hire a Lawyer – The plaintiff and defendant require business litigation lawyers to represent them in court.
- Filing the Complaint – The plaintiff will proceed to court to file a complaint, and then the court will file a summons and inform the defendant of the lawsuit filed against the person or business. A deadline for the defendant’s response is set, and the court will also set the beginning of the lawsuit hearing.
- Discovery – The legal team of each party will gather any information relevant to the case, such as records and depositions.
- Filing of Motions – Both parties can file motions in court to request certain information or procedures that may help lobby their case.
- Court hearing – On the set date of a hearing, the judge will listen to both sides and will make a decision. If one or both parties are unsatisfied with the outcome, they can request an appeal.
Factors in Considering A Commercial Litigation Lawyer
Commercial litigation or disputes are complex cases that can be daunting if you lack resources. Lawyers in this area have dedicated their craft and knowledge to serving their clients. Investing in a good litigation lawyer can save your business and reputation. Here are essential factors to consider before hiring a commercial litigation lawyer:
Qualifications and Experience
There are a lot of grey areas in commercial litigation. Navigating these grey areas makes these lawsuits quite complex and comes with numerous challenges. When choosing the right commercial litigation lawyer, they should understand each component that makes up the lawsuit. That includes the nature of business, legalities and circumstances when making a particular decision.
Understanding these nuances means that your potential lawyer has handled similar cases and won most of them. A sound judgment and a good eye for detail also equate to a long-standing and reliable experience.
When choosing the right lawyer, experience and knowledge about the case are a given, but adequately communicating the terminologies and helping you look at the whole picture should be non-negotiable. You must understand the legal issues and all the processes involved.
An excellent commercial litigation lawyer will never allow you to go blindly in the dark and instead will lay out all the risks, benefits and options in front of you. This is to help you make informed decisions that will help your business succeed. Your potential lawyer should straightforwardly explain how all the components of the lawsuit fit and what cases you have to argue in case there are weaknesses and gaps. Most importantly, a good litigation lawyer knows how to solve issues.
A Holistic Approach
Not all businesses are the same, and this is part of what makes commercial litigation very difficult to handle. A commercial litigation lawyer who understands this factor knows that winning your case shouldn’t focus on the legalities alone but also on the unique circumstances that affect your business. Your potential lawyer should understand all the factors at play and advise you that sometimes litigation may not be the best option or would guide you to other alternatives that would grant you the best outcome.
Professionalism and Conduct
An exceptional commercial litigation lawyer and commercial law firm should conduct matters with you professionally and fairly, providing legal advice you need rather than the advice you want to hear. Your potential lawyer should not give you false, empty or unrealistic expectations and promises.
A good lawyer is also a good listener and understands your needs and goals. You want a lawyer who will make you feel comfortable and will take the time to focus and address your concerns.
A strong sense of ethics is also a considerable advantage and guarantees that your time is of the utmost importance to them. Your potential lawyer will work closely with you and frequently inform you of important updates regarding your case.
A Fitting Budget
Whilst the fees may not be a good indicator of your potential lawyer’s performance, you have to consider this factor because commercial lawsuits can be costly in the long run. Most lawyers would charge by the hour, and their staff, if any, have different rates depending on experience or role.
Your lawyers should be transparent when it comes to their fees and should provide you with estimates. They should also provide you with a costs agreement to know where your money is going.
Whilst looking for the right lawyer is easier said than done, it is not impossible. It’s a matter of communicating your legal needs to a firm that truly understands your circumstances. Furthermore, asking the right questions and determining the right factors can streamline your hiring process. This will eventually help you land an excellent commercial litigation lawyer that would provide the best outcome for you and your business.