Houston Business Litigation Lawyer
Legally Reviewed By: Alex Brown
Business litigation occurs when there is a dispute between two or more businesses. Some events that may lead to a business litigation case include breaches of contract, intellectual property disputes, class actions, and employment disagreements. Almost any dispute between businesses could result in litigation.
If you are a business owner who is the subject of a dispute, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Contact Lanier’s Business Litigation Practice Area Group for assistance.
Types of Cases Handled by Lanier’s Business Litigation Practice Group
Lanier’s Business Litigation Practice Group handles a variety of different litigation actions.
Breach of Contract
A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to adhere to the terms of an agreement. The breach may be related to factors such as not providing payment for services provided or goods delivered, not providing goods or services, or delivering goods later than specified in the original agreement.
Patent infringement occurs when any person reproduces, uses, or sells a legally protected item or service that is under a patent. It may also occur if someone imports a design from abroad and attempts to reproduce, use, or sell it in the United States.
Similarly, anyone who purchases or uses a reproduced item that is under protection from a patent may be held liable as an infringer.
Oil and Gas Litigation
The Lanier Law Firm’s oil and gas litigation team oversees lawsuits related to oil and gas rights, royalties, lease termination, surface disputes, and contract differences. Other litigation includes regulatory differences and environmental and enforcement cases.
Antitrust cases involve accusations of a business acting as a monopoly. In a monopoly, a single company operates as the main holder of market power. Monopolies may occur through mergers and acquisitions or when a group of firms controls a specific industry.
A business may be accused of fraud or be the victim of fraudulent activity. Claims of fraud include providing false statements or acting with deceit in an attempt to gain something from the victim or deny the victim of a right.
Qui Tam / Whistleblower Litigation
Qui tam actions are often referred to as “whistleblower” lawsuits. In qui tam litigation, a private party files a claim on behalf of the government. The whistleblower, or relator, is entitled to a share of money recovered by the government in a successful qui tam case.
Disagreements around employment often occur around wages, benefits, hiring, workers’ comp, and termination. We help businesses understand their rights and represent them in legal employment challenges.
Why You Need a Houston Business Litigation Lawyer
Business litigation can be highly complex, no matter the claim. You need a Houston business litigation lawyer who is familiar with the law and can provide you with vigorous representation in any business lawsuit on your side.
Business litigation typically involves negotiation and an authoritative third party. If these measures do not resolve the dispute, the case will go to court.
Mediation is essentially a negotiation between parties. At the beginning of business litigation, parties frequently choose to undergo mediation in an attempt to settle their differences and reduce legal costs. Mediation can reduce the time spent in court.
During mediation, a third party acts as a mediator to resolve disputes. They work with both parties to help them understand their differences and recognize potential solutions. Essentially, the mediator interprets concerns, relays information between the parties, ascertains the issues, and helps the parties resolve the problem.
Under arbitration, parties involved in a dispute decide to submit their cases to an arbitrator. The arbitrator reviews the facts of the case and decides on the matter under consideration. The arbitrator’s decision becomes a binding resolution that each party must accept.
Disputing parties sometimes decide to bring their facts to court for a resolution. Both sides present their case, and the judge considers the details before making a final decision. A settlement can be reached at any point during the litigation process.
In each circumstance, a skilled negotiator who is experienced in business law can facilitate a favorable outcome. It’s important to have a trained lawyer on your side during any dispute resolutions that involve mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
Texas Business Litigation Laws
Texas statutes regarding business litigation include the Business and Commerce Code and the Business Organization Code.
Specific concerns relating to breach of contract, patent infringement, oil and gas litigation, antitrust, and fraud are described below.
Breach of Contract Evidence
Breach of contract is one of the most common types of business litigation. The Texas Uniform Commercial Code oversees the rules related to contracts. For a legal contract to have existed, it must include all of the below elements:
The offer is a proposal that includes specific terms for one party to enter into an agreement with another party.
Acceptance is an agreement to the specific terms of the offer. The terms do not have to be accepted through words; they may be accepted through conduct.
There must be a clear intent from both parties to engage in the agreement.
Consideration, according to the Houston Bar Association, is a legal principle that “requires both parties to the agreement to give something up of value for the agreement to be enforceable.”
If some value is given for a promise, there is sufficient consideration.
Legality and Capacity
Those who enter into the contract must have the legal capacity to do so, and the contract must be for lawful services or goods and must not be against public policy or immoral.
Valid contracts must contain an element of certainty. Thus, both parties must have agreed upon the essential parts of the contract.
When one party does not fulfill its obligation, a breach of contract can be said to have occurred. The party who has been impacted by the breach must prove the following:
- A valid contract exists.
- The contract fulfills all legal obligations.
- The plaintiff completed all contractual obligations.
- The defendant did not fulfill the terms of the contract.
- The plaintiff suffered monetary damages due to the breach.
To qualify for monetary damages, evidence of a breach of contract must be clear. A skilled business litigation lawyer from Lanier’s Business Litigation Practice Group can assist with your breach of contract case.
Under Texas law, there are two main types of patent infringement. These include direct and indirect patent infringement.
Direct Patent Infringement
Direct patent infringement occurs when there is evidence that an infringer directly copied the infringing process or product. A judge may also rule that a defendant is guilty of patent infringement if the process or product is interchangeable with, but not identical to, the patented object.
Indirect Patent Infringement
Under indirect patent infringement, evidence of direct intent to copy the patented object is not required, but there must be some combination of knowledge or intent involved.
Cases involving business fraud can involve two business entities or a business and an individual. Fraud is generally covered in the Texas Business and Commerce Code, under Title 3. This code includes Insolvency, Fraudulent Transfers, and Fraud.
There are three necessary components to proving fraud in Texas. These include:
- The party knowingly made a false statement with the intent to deceive someone else.
- A second party acts or doesn’t act according to the information given.
- Damages were suffered as a result of the information.
To establish that there was an intent to deceive, some form of evidence must indicate that a promise was made with no intent to adhere to the stipulations in the agreement.
Working with The Lanier Law Firm’s Business Litigation Group
The Lanier Law Firm’s Business Litigation Group is well-versed in business law and can assist you with a wide variety of cases. The Lanier legal team comprises successful negotiators and litigators who can provide you with excellent representation.
Notable settlements obtained by The Lanier Law Firm include the resolution of a case between Retractable Technologies, a syringe manufacturer, and Becton, Dickinson & Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of syringes and needles. The firm has also obtained several settlements for its clients against Vioxx.
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