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Commercial/Business Litigation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What Is It?

A:

Commercial litigation is a dispute between businesses or businesses and individuals with regard to commercial activity. The most common kinds of business litigation include contract disputes, employment disputes, and internal disputes, such as partnership or shareholder disputes.

Q:

Should I File a Lawsuit?

A:

A lawsuit should be a last resort during a business dispute. When you get a court involved, things become more formal and much more expensive than other methods of dispute resolution. Sometimes, a lawsuit is a necessary step for a business dispute, but your best bet is to hire a lawyer trained in alternative dispute resolution rather than simply jumping into a lawsuit right away. A business attorney recommended by IllinoisAttorney.com can help you determine alternatives to a lawsuit. In addition, they can navigate the court system for you if a dispute must be brought to a lawsuit.

Q:

What Alternatives Dispute Resolution Method Should I Use if I Don't Want to Sue?

A:

If you don't want to sue over a business dispute, alternative dispute resolution is your best route. Even if you want to leave the option to sue open, alternative dispute resolution may be a better place to start. The two most common kinds of dispute resolution are mediation and arbitration. Mediation is essentially a guided negotiation. A trained mediator will help you and the other parties to the dispute come to a mutually beneficial agreement by offering a neutral perspective. IllinoisAttorney.com can help you find a trained mediator and help you find a lawyer to decide how to prepare for the mediation. Arbitration is more formal than mediation. In Illinois, arbitration involves simplified rules of evidence and a trial-like process. An attorney can help guide you through the arbitration and represent your interests in the dispute, similarly to how they would at trial. Arbitrations are often binding on the parties, much like a trial, and it's important to understand your rights and your legal duties during an arbitration. An experienced attorney can help you through an arbitration. IllinoisAttorney.com can also help you find an experienced arbitrator to arbitrate your dispute.

Q:

What Do I Do if Someone Breaches a Contract with Me? - Ie Mitigation of Damages?

A:

The first thing to do when someone breaches a contract with you is determine the seriousness of the breach. It's possible that the right course of action for you or your business is to simply resume performance under the contract as soon as possible and waive your rights under the breach. If it's impossible or unreasonable to try to move forward with the contract after the breach, it's the responsibility of each party to mitigation or reduce and avoid as much expense as possible. For example, if someone breaks a lease with you, it's your responsibility to try to find a replacement tenant instead of leaving the leased property empty and collecting from your former tenant. The next step is to determine your remedies under the lease. In order to figure out how to remedy a breach of contract, the experienced business lawyers at IllinoisAttorney.com will be happy to help you navigate your options.

Q:

What Do I Do if My Business Is Owed Money?

A:

There are several steps to the collections process in Illinois. It may be as simple as making a phone call or sending a reminder invoice to the party who owes you money. Descriptions of other steps can be found in our FAQ section on Creditor's Rights.

Q:

What Is an Alternative Fee Arrangement?

A:

Any payment method for an attorney which is not an hourly billable rate is an alternative fee arrangement. Some common kinds of alternative fee arrangements include contingency fees and various forms of flat fees. For example, an attorney may charge a set amount for a certain kind of common case. Many of the attorneys at IllinoisAttorney.com offer alternative fee arrangements. If you can't pay for an attorney who bills strictly by the hour or need flexibility in payment structure to meet your business needs, let us help you find an attorney who fits your budget and payment method today.

Q:

How Long Does an Average Law Suit Last?

A:

Depending on the type of suit, the complexity of the issues, and the attitudes of the parties and lawyers involved, a lawsuit can take anywhere from months to years. It's difficult to predict ahead of time how long a lawsuit will take. It's important to note, however, that the court can often grant some temporary relief upfront before the suit has been completed. An experienced litigator familiar with Illinois courts can help you get the relief you need while your case is pending. IllinoisAttorney.com would be happy to help you determine if you have the time for a full lawsuit and help resolve your case as quickly and professionally as possible.

Q:

Do I Need a Lawyer?

A:

While many disputes can be resolved without the advice of an attorney, business disputes frequently involve complex legal issues, including piles of complex regulations and statutes. Tax issues and complex contractual duties may also muddy the waters. An attorney can help you determine, among other things, whether or not you need an attorney for the particular situation you are in. The responsive and experienced Illinois attorneys at IllinoisAttorney.com can help you figure out whether or not you need an attorney for your particular situation. Free initial consultations are available for most areas of law, so even if you find the landscape of your business dispute intimidating, we'll be happy to show you the way forward.

Q:

What Do I Do when I Get Served?

A:

"Getting served" is a broad terminology that includes many types of legal documents that the court requires that you get. If you've been sued, it's important to talk to a local attorney as soon as possible to determine your best defense and to identify any counterclaims you may have against the party. Certain other legal documents can be answered without an attorney. For example, some kinds of citations or summonses only require information from you. An attorney from IllinoisAttorney.com can help you determine how much legal help you need. Contact an Illinois-licensed attorney with experience in business disputes to determine to do after you get served.

Q:

What Is Discovery? - Subpoenas, Depositions, Interrogatories

A:

Discovery is the formal process of trading information prior to a trial or other formal legal dispute. Discovery is governed by its own set of rules and laws. When you are served with a discovery citation or other discovery papers, you sometimes have very little time to respond. IllinoisAttorney.com can help you quickly find the right lawyer for the situation and help you determine which information you need to turn over. Sometimes, information is sensitive or secret. There may be protections available to prevent other parties from requiring you to turn over certain information. If you are required to turn over information during discovery, you may still be able to protect trade secrets from public disclosure through a court order.

Q:

What Do I Do if A Corporation Is Dissolved and Breached a Contract with Me?

A:

If the corporation was properly created and dissolved, it may be very difficult to get a judgment against it or against the people who were shareholders before dissolution. However, there are circumstances in which you may have a right to collect some of the assets of the corporation or sue the officers and shareholders of the corporation directly. This can be a very complex process, and an experienced business litigation attorney will be necessary to help you determine how to sue a dissolved corporation for breach of contract.

Q:

What Is a Contingency Fee?

A:

A contingency fee is a fee you pay only if a certain thing happens, usually winning a court case. It is often measured as a percentage of the winnings. Contingency fees are one of the methods of payment a lawyer may accept. Contingency fees are commonly used in situations where a party might not have the means to pay a lawyer ahead of the judgment.

Q:

Where Will My Lawsuit Take Place if I Decide to Sue?

A:

The location of your suits can be determined by the location of the defendants, where the thing you are suing over took place, where the businesses involved are incorporated or do business, or where the relevant property is located. Determining the proper place to sue can be a complex question - both legally and strategically. Whether you file in state court or federal court can be determined by the subject matter involved as well. An experienced trial attorney can help you determine the best place to file your suit. IllinoisAttorney.com would be happy to help you find an attorney to determine where to file suit.

Q:

What Happens if Someone Who Owes Me Money Goes BK?

A:

Oftentimes, it is still possible to receive some or all of the money you are owed when a debtor goes bankrupt. If you have properly secured your debt or filed a proper judgment lien, you may be able to claim the first right to the sale proceeds of certain assets. Most of the work necessary to protect yourself from bankruptcy must be done ahead of time. Thus, it's important to consult a competent collections attorney before a debtor goes bankrupt. Whether you are looking to protect yourself from a future bankruptcy or an deal with an ongoing bankruptcy, the experienced collections and bankruptcy attorneys at IllinoisAttorney.com can help you find the right way to get as much of your credit repaid as possible.