Terms You Can Expect to Hear During Business Litigation

Business Litigation

As an attorney experienced in business litigation, I work with a wide variety of clients.  They can include business owners, executives, employees, salespeople, vendors, etc.  Any time that you are engaged in a conflict with a business, a business attorney is the best person to take your case.  This will ensure that you have the best opportunity for receiving your desired outcome.  If you are unfamiliar with the legal process and suing because of a disagreement or having been wronged, it can be overwhelming not knowing what to expect.  I take the time to explain everything in detail so that my clients can be prepared, and that includes discussing some of the legal terms that will be encountered.  With that in mind, here are some terms and definitions that you should know.

  • Plaintiff.  If you are suing someone, you are the plaintiff.  For example, if you are suing a business because they violated the terms of your contract, you would be the plaintiff. 
  • Defendant.  In a civil case, the defendant is the person or entity that you are suing as part of your business litigation. In the example above, the defendant would be the business that violated the terms of your agreement. 
  • Compliant.  The complaint is your lawsuit.  It is the written document that names the parties that are involved in the case, what you are claiming happened, and what you are seeking by way of restitution for resolving the issue.  It must be filed with the court and served on any party that is involved in it. 
  • Discovery. In business litigation, discovery is both important and extensive.  This is the process we go through to obtain information on what happened along with the parties involved.  We typically start with interrogatories which is a list of written questions we need to have answered.  We will also ask for the production of specific documents.  This is where business litigation can become tedious.  Document production might include all written correspondence, including emails.  We may also ask for copies of bank statements, contracts, purchase orders, etc.  The list can be large depending on the details of your case.  We will review the answers and information that comes back and use it to prepare for court.  We may also conduct depositions where we ask the other party questions under oath with a court reporter recording the answers.  This too can be referenced in court.
  • Mediation.  There are times where mediation can be helpful.  This is a non-binding negotiation session where both parties work through attorneys to try and resolve the case.  Since it is non-binding if you do not agree, the trial can continue as planned.
  • Arbitration.  When taking a case, we always want to view any contracts that are involved.  One clause that we will check is whether or not arbitration is mandatory.  If it is, or if this is a preferred option, you can present your case before an arbitrator.  This is done outside of court but can also be legally binding. The benefits are that your case will be heard faster. 

As a business litigation attorney, I am happy to answer your questions and discuss your case in further detail.  For more information, give me a call.