Corporate Litigation

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What is corporate litigation?

Corporate litigation is legal action taken against a business or corporation. Litigation lawyers handle every part from the initial investigation, pleadings, the pre-trial process, settlement, and potential appeal procedures.

The process of corporate litigation can change on a case to case basis depending on the dispute at hand. There are litigation attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants. When dealing with a plaintiff's case a litigation attorney will assess the matter and see if there's enough evidence to proceed and file a lawsuit. When defending a client, the attorney must examine existing evidence and plan a defense strategy. Sometimes cases don’t even make it to the courts and resolve with a pre-litigation settlement.

In corporate litigation, the attorney representing the plaintiff's attorney files the complaint and the lawsuit is then in motion. As soon as the defense attorney receives the summons they must respond with either an answer or can file a counterclaim. There are also pre-trial motions to go over before the trial can begin, evidence can be banned based on requests from the attorneys and this must be handled for the trial to proceed. Sometimes a resolution is can be formed without ever having to step into the courtroom if a judgment can be reached based on the pleadings.

The discovery process

The discovery process is a pre-trial procedure where the plaintiffs and defendants lawyers exchange the information they’ll be using in the trial, like the evidence and witnesses they have gathered. This happens so that each party has adequate knowledge of what they need to know to have a strong case. The methods in which they can get the information include depositions, interrogatories, and admissions requests. They can also request documents and admission from the other party that is essential for the case.

The litigation attorneys could use a process called e-discovery as well which is when they gather evidence thats stored . Electronic discovery includes web sites, presentations, social media, documents, emails, voicemails, databases, and both audio and video files. E-discovery is a useful tool as most of the data has critical information like time stamps and location services connected to the evidence. Once gathered, a hold is placed on the evidence found by each the parties and it can't be destroyed or modified in any way. Once secured an expert reviews the information and submits a written statement that can then be used in court.

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In the weeks leading up to trial lawyers must conclude the discovery process and review the information they’ve gathered. This time is used to prepare for their appearance in court, they meet with their clients and prepare the best possible strategy to defend their case against the other parties' claims.


Once a case makes it to trial the litigators are ready to present all they’ve prepared in front of the judge and are always preparing for their next court appearance.

The litigators involved with the case often consult with the client they’re representing in the trial and a group of experts to create the best possible case that will stand up in court. To do so they must examine their case and determine which areas are strong and what parts are weaker and need improvement. The litigators also make sure that their key witnesses and clients are ready to take the stand and everyone's on the same page so the court proceedings can run as easily as possible. The goal is to create a strong theme for trial so that it can back up their point.

The trial procedure begins with voir dire, this is an essential step in the trial. It’s the process in which both parties can question the panel of jury members to ensure they have a fair and impartial jury. Once this step has been completed, a jury is selected and the court proceedings begin.

The litigators start with an opening statement and bring forth the case they’ve been preparing in front of the judge and jury. Once that has been completed each of the parties calls their witnesses to the stand to question them about the matters of the trial. Then the other party has a chance to cross-examine to discredit the witness and make their case look bad in front of the court.

Settlement Possibilities

The majority of corporate litigation cases settle instead of going to trial. This is done to avoid the high costs associated with the process of a trial. Settling controls the outcome of the case. Instead of having a judge or jury decide the fate of a case you come to the solution on your own. Both parties must agree to the conditions of a settlement to reach a verdict. Litigators can settle the case at any point once the lawsuit is issued. Once settled the agreements and releases of the case are crafted to complete the deal.

Appeals Process

A litigation attorney can appeal if the trial did not turn out as expected, but to do so there must be evidence that the court's decision was an error in interpretation. This could be because the evidence was brought before the court when it was never approved. If approved for an appeal the case is brought before judges with no jury present, no new evidence is submitted, everything remains the same as it was presented in the original court proceedings. And instead of having one judge, there are several judges present to decide the outcome of an appeal. One party argues how the judge used the law incorrectly while the other side fights for the ruling to stand.

Corporate Litigation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the process with pre-litigation?
The process before a lawsuit is filed is called the pre-litigation. Three important steps occur during the pre-litigation process. The first is issuing a notice to the other party involved in the lawsuit notifying them that you are taking legal action against them. Next, an investigation takes place to gather facts, evidence, and key witnesses that will help support your case. And finally, there are the settlement negotiations which is an informal setting to discuss the events that occurred and to try to settle before the litigation occurs. Pre-litigation is done to be a cost and time-effective solution as opposed to litigations. 
What should I do if there's a contract dispute?
Contract disputes happen often and they arise when the terms of the contract are not completed. There are many ways contract disputes arise, they include:
  • Breach of contract: This is when one of the parties included in the contract didn’t hold up on their end of the contract.
  • Partnership disputes: Happen when one of the partners in the business disagrees with the other over important matters like financial and leadership decisions.
  • Business to business disagreements: Occur when a business sees another business conducting unethical practices in the market.
  • General Liability: If any accidents happen to a customer on your business's property and injuries result.
  • Covenants not to compete: If an employee does not follow the agreements in a non-compete order.
The best way to go about contract disputes is with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who can resolve them.
Can my business dispute be settled without the courts getting involved?
Many business disputes that occur are settled without the courts, but it's still important to always be ready for the courts because business disputes cannot always settle without the court's assistance and its good to be prepared for that outcome.
What is a class action lawsuit?
A class-action lawsuit occurs when more than one individual has suffered through similar damages or injuries that were caused by the companies actions. This type of legal action works better when the individual claims would be too small to be worthy, so instead, a group of plaintiffs join together and file a class-action lawsuit. The group filing the lawsuit are split into a lead plaintiff who represents the group and members. Class action lawsuits can move forward only once a judge determines the claims made against the defendant are valid and action must be taken.
What role does a client play in the litigation?
The client plays a very important role in litigation. The client is the one who brings upon the litigation process. Clients must play an active role in the litigation process to have a successful outcome. In the preliminary stages of litigation, the plaintiff must assist the attorney by providing them with full details about the events surrounding the lawsuit. The client needs to give over documents, key witnesses, and any useful evidence. The plaintiff will give a deposition which is essentially being questioned about the accident and how your life has been affected by it. The next step of the client's involvement is participating in the mediation process there will be a settlement offer and the client either accepts or rejects the offer. If the offer is rejected the lawsuit moves on to the courts for a trial where the client will take the stand to try and get an offer they’ll be more satisfied with.
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