Litigation is a lawsuit that occurs between two litigant parties in order to implement or contend for a legal right. In this, the accuser demands monetary compensation from the accused. In commercial litigation, the two opposing parties are businesses instead of individuals. Besides, commercial litigation is quite similar to civil litigations, since both follow the same stages. These include:
- Hiring a litigation lawyer
- Carrying out fact-based investigations
- Researching any laws applicable to the situation
- Sending demand letters
- Meeting for settlement negotiation sessions
- Filing a suit
- Carrying out discovery
- Taking part in the motion practice
- Presenting the case before the judge and jury
- Filing of post-trial motions
However, this is where the similarities end. Commercial litigation is much more complex. You may have to file it in a federal court instead of a state court, and it can carry on for years. This, along with the high discovery costs and payment of forensic experts, makes the process much more expensive than civil litigation.
Types of Commercial Litigation:
Commercial litigation case types include the following:
- Aviation disputes
- Display of bad faith
- Contract Breaches
- Business tort
- Employment and Labor
- Insurance coverage
- Fraud and misrepresentation
- Privacy, cybersecurity and data breach
- Real estate and land use litigation
- Product liability
- Tax disputes
- Trade secret and unfair competition
Process of Commercial Litigation
If you are involved in commercial litigation, regardless of whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, you will need to hire a local commercial litigation attorney. For instance, if you live in Newcastle, look for an experienced commercial litigation lawyer Newcastle. Your attorney will first listen to your problem before helping you proceed with your case.
- Initial Assessment and Investigation
If you are the accuser, your litigation lawyer will firstly carry out an initial investigation into your case to decide if the evidence available is enough to file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if you are the defendant with lawsuit filed against you, the attorney will evaluate the evidence so that they can defend you in court better. This evaluation may consist of finding and questioning witnesses, collecting documents, consulting the client and going through the events that led to the disagreement. Your commercial litigation lawyer may also try to negotiate a pre-litigation settlement with the other party in an effort to resolve the dispute without going to court.
- Drafting Pleadings
If the pre-litigation settlement bears no fruit, your attorney will file a number of pleas and motions with the court on your behalf. If you are the plaintiff, your lawyer will create a summons and complaint, and file it to start the lawsuit process. Alternatively, the defendant’s attorney will work with their client to answer or counterclaim the complaint filed. During this time, either party’s litigation lawyer may draft an array of pre-trial motions as well. It may include motions for changing the trial location, dismissing evidence, or a motion for a decision based on the pleadings themselves, so neither party has to appear in court.
- Discovery Process
During the discovery, both parties must exchange the required and relevant information as well. To do this, your litigation attorney may interrogate witnesses, send the other party questionnaires to fill under the penalty of perjury or carry out depositions in which questions are orally answered under oath. They might also assess physical evidence or research information online as a part of the e-discovery process. Alternatively, your lawyer may also hire experts to carry out these jobs with more efficiency.
- Pre-trial Tasks
In the weeks leading up to the trial, your commercial litigation attorney will advise you on the court proceedings, sit in on pre-trial conferences, and help you develop a strategy to follow during the trial. Additionally, they will also carry out pre-trial depositions of hired experts and important witnesses or gather and organize physical evidence for the trial.
- The Trial
During the trial, your lawyer will present the case to the judge, creating a trial theme. They will also evaluate and identify the weak points and strengths of the case, and then use these factors in their client’s favor.
If the trial does not end well for you, your commercial litigation attorney may appeal the decision. This will begin another process in which your lawyer must produce and present solid evidence to refute the court’s decision. During the appeal’s process, your attorney may also require the help of an additional lawyer specializing in appellate practice.