When you are dealing with a business dispute with a customer, partner, third party, or shareholder, you should make sure that the issue eventually resolves and leads to a happy ending. If you are doing business, you are bound to encounter various problems and disputes at certain points – and you must ensure that all issues are solved amicably.
Commercial litigation may be necessary when settling disputes seems too difficult or impossible. But if you don’t know what the process involves, you will have a hard time coming up with a strong strategy.
Let’s take a look at the process of commercial litigation so you can understand it.
Discussions Before Court
Usually, before commercial litigation states begin, parties may talk to each other to try and settle things without going to court. The defendant will receive a letter where the terms of the claim are stated.
They are given a certain period to reply to this letter. Afterward, the plaintiff might try to convince the defendant to settle in order to avoid corporate litigation. The main strategies used will be arbitration and mediation, among others.
In some situations, these attempts will fail. At the same time, this will work in your favor – you’ll be able to prove to the court that you did your best to avoid the scenario of going to trial.
The Beginning of the Lawsuit
A commercial litigation lawsuit will begin with the parties filing “pleadings” – papers that will describe the side of the plaintiff and the defendant.
The plaintiff will be the first one to file the complaint with a Court, after which a copy will be offered to the defendant as well. In this document, there will be an explanation of what the defendant either did or didn’t do that resulted in the plaintiff experiencing hardship. The legal basis of the plaintiff for blaming the defendant for this hardship will also be included in the complaint.
The defendant must answer once they receive the complaint, and they have a time limit for doing so. In some instances, counterclaims might be filed against the suing party, particularly if the defendants believe that harm was also inflicted on them by the plaintiff. Plaintiffs might give an answer to the counterclaims as well.
Sometimes, one of the parties will either ask the opposing party to correct any insufficiency or may even ask the court if they could dismiss the lawsuit or just part of it.
Finding the Facts
Next, the parties will have to collect information from the other or even from third parties about the defenses or claims. They will ask each other for data regarding the problems and facts involved in the case.
There will be different methods used to gather information, both from the other party or from third parties. One party might give written questions which then have to be answered under oath. This is similar to what one would do in court.
There may also be some depositions, and they might be videotaped and recorded. This will help obtain more important information about the case. Sometimes, depositions will be presented during the trial when a witness cannot come to the trial and may be used to show how the story of the other party is not consistent.
Even expert witnesses may be contacted to bring the facts to the table.
Both parties have to work with their lawyers when collecting all the data. In Michigan, where there are about 902,000 small companies, business disputes are quite common. This is why you must hire a suitable commercial litigation attorney to help you with your case.
Going to Trial
The trial will start shortly after you offer a written outline of the case.
When the trial takes place, only one judge will be there. They will consider all the proof that was provided and listen to both parties’ arguments. The judge will take their time to make their judgment, and when they have the verdict, it will be given in court either by a clerk or the judge himself/herself.
One of the parties, respectively the losing one, may appeal the decision of the judge. But it will need the court’s permission for that, and this may only be brought by special circumstances. Without an appeal, enforcement is the last part of the commercial litigation lawsuit.
If you need to settle a business dispute, sometimes you have to go through a commercial litigation lawsuit. You must know what the process involves if you’re in this situation, and hopefully, this post was useful in this regard.