If you are a Canadian business owner, you most likely will have to deal with some type of legal dispute at one time or another. Business disputes can prove costly and time-consuming and detract from your company’s financial goals.
The idea of having to deal with business disputes through the process of commercial litigation can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, every business owner should be prepared to deal with inevitable conflicts proactively so they do not cause further problems that may be challenging to resolve.
Therefore, with the help of a highly experienced commercial litigation lawyer, you can help your company identify potential issues before they cause a disruption. If you would like to learn more about commercial litigation, contact our law offices to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
What is Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation is adversarial by nature, often leading to contention between all parties involved. Commercial litigation can be the result of several business-related factors, including:
- Internal business issues that lead to legal disputes.
- Employment and labor law issues.
- Construction disputes.
- Disputes between shareholders and directors.
- Tax disputes
- Infringement of intellectual property
After a party has filed a statement of claim which outlines the legal grounds for their complaint, the other party has a fixed amount of time to respond with their defense. Next, the parties will gather evidence, and any available information they feel supports their case.
Each side will have opportunities to negotiate or settle the case during the litigation process. However, if no settlement can be reached, the case will proceed to trial to be heard by a judge who will decide based on the evidence presented.
Are There Alternatives to Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation can be costly to all parties involved in the dispute. For this reason, it is often best if all sides consider alternatives to commercial litigation. The most common alternatives are mediation or arbitration.
The court may order mandatory mediation in some Canadian provinces, such as Alberta. Mediation is an informal process parties use to settle commercial disputes out of court. Each party states its position on the issue to the neutral third-party mediator.
The mediator assists the parties in reaching a viable solution to their dispute but does not render a decision. As a result, only the involved parties can agree to the terms of a settlement.
Conversely, arbitration is a process where all parties agree on the negotiations that will take place and what the settlements will cover. The parties will also agree on the scope of the arbitrator’s overall authority in rendering a decision.
If you want to learn about alternatives to pricey commercial litigation, consult an experienced lawyer who can review your case and determine which option may work for your needs.
How Can a Business Avoid Potential Litigation?
One of the best ways for a business to avoid commercial litigation is to take preemptive action to prevent disputes before they start. Some of the best practices any business can follow include:
- Treat employees, customers, and all others with whom the company does business with kindness and courtesy.
- Always be prepared to address potential disputes as soon as they occur to avoid them becoming a more significant problem.
- Seek and hire quality employees and those with whom you choose to do business.
- Be sure to have well-written agreements or contracts with employees, business partners, and vendors/
- Have written communication with the other party that clearly states your company’s position and any proposed solutions.
A highly trained commercial litigation lawyer can provide you with more legal advice on protecting your business and potentially stopping disputes before they can get started.
When Should I Consider Hiring a Commercial Litigation Lawyer?
It is always best to hire a commercial litigation lawyer, even if you think that your business may be facing a dispute. Many businesses make the mistake of waiting and only hiring a lawyer once a lawsuit has been filed against them.
An experienced lawyer can thoroughly review the case and the business issues in dispute and provide legal advice on your best course of action. In many cases, your lawyer can be able to negotiate to reach a settlement that is favorable to all parties. In other instances, a commercial litigation lawyer may advise you that it is in the best interests of your business to fight the matter in court.
If you would like to learn more about commercial litigation and how it may affect your business, contact JK Law of Calgary by calling 587-742-2136 and ask to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.