Doing business in Atlanta requires a keen eye for potential customers, monitoring the moves of your competitors, and keeping your customers happy. It is certainly possible to achieve all this while avoiding complex legal entanglements. However, eventually, the day may come when a dispute over contracts or the handling of a job leads to a legal dispute.
If this happens, it may benefit you and your business to work with an Atlanta commercial litigation lawyer. A qualified attorney could help explain your company’s legal rights, evaluate claims that other parties are making, and work towards achieving your goals both in and out of the courtroom.
Litigation in all its forms describes a legal process whereby a party asks a court to enforce its legal rights. This typically occurs when private negotiations to reach a settlement have failed.
However, this does not mean that a trial is inevitable. Courts in Atlanta always encourage litigants to continue their negotiations while awaiting trial and may even conduct court-sponsored mediation sessions in an attempt to end the case before trial.
The most common forms of commercial disputes that result in litigation are arguments over contracts. Indeed, business relationships are little more than contracts that bind two parties together and govern key business transactions, from purchasing stock to selling finished goods, to arranging for transport to market.
Either party to a contract can ask an Atlanta civil court to intervene to force the other party to fulfill their obligations under the contract. An Atlanta commercial litigation attorney could provide more information about the nature of these cases and when it might be necessary.
Commercial litigation is a complex, multi-step process that all parties must follow before a case ever gets to trial. Civil courts will never intervene in a dispute on their own accord—an aggrieved party must file a complaint with the court to open a case. The other party would then have the opportunity to respond in an answer to the court and the plaintiff.
Once this portion of the process is complete, the court would schedule a series of pretrial hearings to give the parties a chance to exchange evidence, argue points of law, and potentially negotiate a settlement. It is essential to be fully prepared during these pretrial sessions to protect one’s rights under the law and argue for essential points that may influence the evidence the jury would hear at any ensuing trial.
Despite the possibility that a claim may go to trial, this final step is still rare. A series of legal motions made by both sides’ attorneys could result in a judge dismissing a claim, one party dropping their allegations, or a negotiated settlement. It is only when all these events fail to occur that a trial takes place, in which case a seasoned commercial litigation lawyer in Atlanta could be prepared to take all the necessary steps to protect your best interests in court.
Commercial litigation could play a vital role in the future of your company. If you are facing allegations of a breach of a contract, the penalties can be more than you can afford. In other instances, you may need to force another party to live up to their ends of a bargain in a deal, and taking the case to court could be the only means to demand payment or action.
However, the decision to take a case to court is never one to be taken lightly. Pursuing litigation can be a lengthy process that can place great strain on your business, as well as on you personally.
If you have received a complaint through service, you have only a short time to file an answer. On the other hand, if you need to file a complaint, statutes of limitations for breach of contract may limit when you can ask for court intervention. Contact an Atlanta commercial litigation lawyer today to explore your options.