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.
Recently we were hired by the former owners of the USFL. These were the owners that actually started it back in the ’80s, and the USFL was purchased by Fox Sports and they decided to revitalize it, resurrect it, and start the league. You’ve probably seen some advertisements about that. The problem was that they took the former owner’s teams and their logos as well and used them without permission or without compensating our client. And even though we tried to negotiate with them prior to that, before suing them, they weren’t interested. They felt like we had abandoned our patents, or I’m sorry, our trademarks. And so we sued them and we eventually settled and the owners were very happy.
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.
So environmental contamination is another area that we specialize in. We typically represent either homeowners who live adjacent to a refinery that’s polluting their properties, or at times we’re hired by the state. There are various types of pollution, right? There’s pollution of the air, there is pollution of the soil, and there’s also pollution of groundwater. All of those are events where people have the right to be compensated for any damages that pollution causes. Sometimes it gets into the drinking water. Obviously, that’s a very scary situation for a neighborhood. It affects the values of their homes, but it also affects their health. Same with the air pollution.
Sometimes the pollution is ongoing. Oftentimes it’s a historical pollution which just continues to exist. Being from this part of the country in Texas, you can imagine there’s quite a bit of oil and gas litigation. I don’t know what it is about the oil and gas industry, but they love to litigate. Oftentimes, the rule would be on the side of that would be suing the oil and gas company for royalty owners, for property owners that aren’t being paid, but they’re supposed to be paid. Sometimes people will purchase a lease from a land owner and not develop the property like they’re supposed to, and there are causes of action for that. It’s almost its own set body of law in oil and gas, and so you have to really know the ins and outs of the case law to really effectively litigate an oil and gas plant.
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.