In most forms of litigation there is a single individual with a claim against another person or entity. Business law, however, can vary greatly from that standard. It is common for businesses to have claims against one another and, sometimes, even claims within the business itself. As you will see, the complex nature of the disputes that often befall Georgetown businesses demonstrates how crucial it is to seek the advice of an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to handle your specific issue.
Unlike other forms of litigation, which can be easily drawn out due to the passions of the litigants, business litigation proceeds in a different way. In the business context, litigation decisions are generally made for two reasons: (1) to increase the value of the business, or (2) to limit the costs to the business. Consequently, business litigation matters are typically handled quietly and efficiently. This approach helps prevent further costs for the business, its leaders, and its reputation.
While some situations call for an aggressive litigation strategy, many parties are more interested in simply getting back to business as usual. The Texas Legislature has provided an avenue for parties who seek to resolve their disputes efficiently: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). As the name implies, ADR is an alternative to the traditional litigation approach. ADR is not a single approach, but instead encompasses several different methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Negotiation is when the parties resolve the conflict between themselves on terms they both find acceptable. Mediation is similar to negotiation but involves a neutral third-party who assists the parties in reaching their own solution by breaking roadblocks and helping the parties understand the other side’s position. Arbitration also involves a third-party but, with arbitration, the third-party makes the final decision.
Often, the choice of ADR method will depend on the specific circumstances of the matter. Without the advice of a seasoned litigator, the choice of ADR methods can be extremely difficult as certain methods are more favorable for specific dispute types. Therefore, the remainder of this article will examine some of the different forms of business structures found in Texas, factors to consider when contemplating facing a business dispute, and the common types of business litigation Georgetown courts are accustomed to.
Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietorship is the simplest and, perhaps, oldest form. In a sole proprietorship, one person owns and operates the business with the necessary permits and licenses. Many “gig economy” workers, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, are sole proprietors.
Partnership – In general, a partnership is a business owned and managed by two or more people who share equal or proportionate ownership. It encompasses the following:
Corporation – A corporation separates the ownership and management aspects of partnerships. It is a “legal person” with limited liability which protects its shareholders from personal liability. A board of directors typically manages the corporation for the shareholders.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) – LLCs enjoy the benefits of partnerships and corporations. The LLC’s owners, or “members,” can enjoy the pass-through taxes of a partnership while retaining some of the limited liability benefits of a corporation.
Time and Cost: Although many individuals enter legal disputes with the goal of minimizing costs and reaching a resolution as quickly as possible, businesses are unique in that a lawsuit’s efficiency from day one can have an outsized impact on the suit’s resolution. Georgetown business law attorneys must utilize cost-saving methods and work with the flexibility demanded by their clients to keep distractions out of the client’s headspace so that their time and energy may be focused on managing the business while the matter is progressing.
Bad Press: Just as many business owners constantly hunt for the next lead, journalists are always searching for the next big story. Businesses—especially prominent, local businesses—make for compelling subjects for news organizations. Indeed, increased success often brings added scrutiny. Business leaders must be prepared to weigh the severity of a claim’s impact on the business’s image when making any calculated decisions regarding disputes.
Please find below a non-exhaustive list of business law issues commonly handled within the Georgetown area:
Each type of business law issue requires careful analysis to ensure a positive outcome for all involved. Although some owners and their investments may be legally protected, their legal liability, and thus, the state of their financial interests, will likely depend on the meticulous organization of the business’s management team and attorneys handling the suit.
If you are currently dealing, or expecting to deal with, a business litigation dispute, it is crucial that you find a qualified attorney who is able to assist you with your specific legal needs. At Kirker | Davis LLP, we are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about your Georgetown matter. Contact Kirker | Davis LLP to schedule a meeting with an experienced lawyer today.