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Los Angeles Business Organizations Law Blog

Contract disputes involving staff members

Often, when people think of a contract dispute, they may envision a bitter disagreement involving a client or even a business partner. However, it is important to remember that contract disputes can take various forms. For example, a disagreement may involve a staff member, and these can be especially tricky to deal with. Moreover, the outcome can have a significant impact on the future of your business, not only because it may involve an employee who is very important with respect to business operations but because it could affect your reputation and may even lead to additional disputes in the future.

We understand how challenging it can be to handle a contract dispute with one of your staff members. Whether the disagreement revolves around a relatively petty issue and is the result of hard feelings due to a business decision or an employee believes that a central aspect of their employment agreement was violated, it is crucial to handle these disputes properly. First, you should remember that every dispute is unique. You might have the ability to talk things over with the employee in question, and this could even keep the case out of the courtroom altogether if successful. In other situations, these discussions are impossible and litigation cannot be avoided.

Are your shares losing value? Who is to blame?

Owning shares in a business means you hold a portion of the ownership in that company. In many ways, this is an ideal way to earn money because you can purchase shares in a business and, with little effort, reap profits when the business does well. However, if the business loses money, you may have little control over what happens to your investment unless you own a significant portion of the company.

Shareholders who lose money have a right to know why. In some cases, an unavoidable downturn in the market may result in a temporary loss of funds. However, you and your fellow shareholders may suspect the company itself is the cause of the drop in stock value. If this is the case, you may want to seek restitution for the losses you suffered.

Illegitimate breach of contract claims

Many times, when a lawsuit arises over allegations that a party failed to respect the terms of a contract, the claims are valid. However, it is important to point out that some of these cases are the result of completely false claims. Sometimes, a person may knowingly accuse another of failing to respect the terms of a contract even though they know the accusations are completely false. In other instances, someone may have misunderstood or misinterpreted the terms of an agreement, causing them to take legal action even though their claims are illegitimate. Either way, these cases should be approached with care.

There are all sorts of ways in which contracts are breached (or a person is falsely accused of failing to respect the terms of a contract). Each and every case is unique and it is important for those who are in the middle of a contract dispute to have a full understanding of their legal options. The decisions that are made during such a dispute, even if the claims are baseless, could have a massive impact on the future of a company. Not only can breach of contract cases affect a company financially, but they can also be damaging with respect to reputation.

Resolving a contract dispute without litigation

We know how challenging contract disputes can be, not only for those who own large corporations but small business owners as well. Contract disputes surface for a myriad of reasons and they can bring a number of devastating consequences into a business owner's life. Depending on the outcome of the case, significant repercussions could spell disaster for the entire company as well. Sometimes, these disputes can be resolved without going to court, but in other instances, litigation may be necessary. It is pivotal for business owners who are in the middle of these disagreements to go over all options on the table closely.

Sometimes, discussing the situation with those involved may result in the resolution of a dispute without litigation. Our law office does not think that litigation is necessary in every case, and for many businesses, this is an ideal way to resolve the disagreement. That is not to say, however, that resolving contract disputes without litigation is always the best move (or even possible in every instance). Sometimes, no matter how hard a business owner tries to work with the other party, they may be determined to take their case to court.

Should you end a business partnership?

At first, your business partnership seemed like a dream, a match made in heaven, your load got easier and your business ran smoothly and successfully with your partner, but recently it feels less mutually beneficial than it is worth. Business partnerships have many benefits, but sometimes things do not work out the way you planned and a partnership can feel like more a burden than a helping hand.

Could it be time to dissolve this partnership? Here are three signs you might need to terminate a partnership.

Did you receive a subpoena for a deposition?

If you are involved in a legal dispute with an employee, client or business associate, you may already be feeling a little overwhelmed, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, especially if you have recently received a subpoena to appear for a deposition. A deposition is a critical part of litigation, and understanding its purpose and process may help you approach your role calmly and confidently.

There are very few surprises in the courtroom during a lawsuit. The attorneys almost always know the answers to the questions they will ask of a witness. That is because they have already gathered information during the discovery phase. The discovery phase is the critical sharing of information between the two parties. By law, both sides must turn over all documentation and other evidence related to the case so the other side knows how to build a strategy. Another important part of discovery is the deposition.

Business litigation and international travel

Lawsuits target business owners for a plethora of reasons, and some of these cases are completely made up solely to get revenge or bring a business down in order to make one’s own business look better to customers. We have covered many examples of business lawsuits, so in this post we will look at international travel, a unique issue that may affect certain business owners in different ways. Whether you are currently overseas, or you are planning a trip soon, it is imperative to make sure that your business lawsuit does not ruin your travels.

First of all, some people travel as a direct result of business litigation, whether they need to meet with business partners or attend a court hearing in another country. Even for those who do not leave the country as a result of litigation, there are many ways in which business lawsuits may affect a person’s situation. For example, someone may cancel their plans due to a lawsuit, or they may lose so much money that they can no longer afford to head overseas.

Avoiding and fighting lawsuits in business

Like many California business owners, you probably realized quickly how important it is to protect yourself and your company from legal trouble. This includes remaining in compliance with the regulations of your industry and the laws of the state and federal governments. You have to be conscious of employee rights and careful about the behavior of your workers as well as your own conduct.

However, there are numerous other factors that may place you at risk for legal action. Knowing how to protect your business from these elements and where to turn for help if someone files a civil claim against you may save you valuable time and resources.

Examining the right to end contracts "for convenience"

Having a contract with a government partner offers great security for your company. Knowing that said partner has the backing of federal, state or local resources all but ensures that you do not have to worry about it fulfilling its financial obligations. It is for these reasons why clients in Los Angeles come to us here at Chodos & Associates in such a panic when they lose their government partners. You may feel the chances of this happening to your business are slim given the protections your contractual relationship provides. Yet you might be surprised to learn how easily a government entity can get out of a contract. 

Whereas a contractual partner typically needs to have cause to terminate an agreement, government agencies are automatically afforded the right to terminate a contract for their convenience. This right essentially allows such an organization to walk away from its contract if it believes it to be in its best interest to do so. Some common reasons cited for government agencies terminating contracts for convenience include: 

  • A breakdown in a working relationship
  • Gaining the ability to provide contracted goods and services in-house
  • An inability to restructure the terms of a contract

Contract disputes and communication

Business owners find themselves in the middle of contract disputes for all sorts of reasons. From disagreements involving an employment contract to a dispute that has arisen with business partners, there are a wide variety of reasons why these cases surface. Moreover, the consequences of a dispute can be shattering with respect to a business' finances and future. As a result, you should try to resolve your contract dispute successfully if you are currently in this position. There are many aspects of contract disputes to consider and in this blog post we will look into communication.

Communication is extremely important during a contract dispute, whether you want to discuss the dispute with your business partners to determine the best approach, speak with a legal professional who has a considerable amount of knowledge regarding this area of law or even discuss the dispute with the other party in order to resolve it amicably. Sometimes, business owners are not able to communicate with the other party when they are going through a dispute. However, some have been able to minimize the impact of a contract dispute or even settle the disagreement altogether by reaching out to the other side and discussing matters.

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