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Business Litigation, Arbitration & Mediation

Pleasanton Lawyer Skilled in Handling Complex Disputes

Business litigation, arbitration, and mediation require knowledgeable legal counsel. At the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch, our Pleasanton business litigation lawyer provides seasoned counsel about legal options when people involved in a business become embroiled in a dispute. If you need a tenacious attorney to represent you in a dispute or lawsuit, you should discuss your circumstances with our firm. Our firm handles business litigation in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Business Litigation

Business litigation can take a grievous toll on companies. Lawsuits may arise out of shareholder disputes, minority shareholder oppression, employment disputes, breach of contract, lease disputes, partnership agreements, breach of fiduciary duty, intellectual property disputes, dangerous products, dangerous property conditions, or statutory violations. For instance, shareholders may pursue a derivative action on behalf of a corporation if a board member, corporate officer, or executive has a conflict of interest or has breached his or her fiduciary duty to the company. The shareholder steps into the shoes of the corporation in a derivative action, but if the lawsuit is successful, damages are paid to the corporation.

Corporate officers must manage assets such that their value to shareholders is enhanced. Failing to do so can result in claims. If a company engages in deceit in the course of its financial reporting, for example, shareholders may retain a business litigation attorney in the Pleasanton area to seek restitution.

For many businesses, intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks are among their most valuable assets. Conflicts may arise in connection with infringement under federal or state laws. For instance, if a business notices that a competitor has started using its copyrighted materials online without asking permission, it may be appropriate to send a cease and desist letter; if this does not stop the infringement, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit in court. Our firm represents businesses that need to protect their IP or defend against claims of infringement.

Litigation can also commence as a result of theft of trade secrets or misappropriation. California has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Trade secrets can include client or customer lists, formulas, techniques, recipes, software programs, and unpatented inventions. Generally, information is more likely to be considered a trade secret when it is valuable, not known by those outside the company, known only by employees, difficult for others to properly acquire, and subject to reasonable measures to guard its secrecy. Misappropriation of a trade secret occurs when a trade secret is disclosed without consent by somebody who used inappropriate methods to gain knowledge of it. For example, if a competitor used fraud to hack into your computer system in order to steal your customer lists and techniques to generate a competing product, you would likely be able to sue for misappropriation with the assistance of a Pleasanton business litigation attorney.

Mediation

One alternative to litigation is mediation. This is a voluntary procedure in which the parties work with a third-party neutral to figure out a solution to a legal dispute with which the parties can live. In most cases, mediation is less costly than litigation. It is a non-adversarial process, which can make it easier for business relationships to continue once a particular dispute is resolved. Additionally, mediation discussions are confidential and, other than the final written settlement agreement, are usually not admissible in court.

Arbitration

Businesses may elect to go to binding or non-binding arbitration. In some cases, contracts include a mandatory arbitration provision. Arbitrations, like mediations, take less time and expense than going to trial. A neutral arbitrator makes decisions about a case based on evidence and arguments presented by the parties.

Consult a Business Attorney

Business litigation, arbitration, and mediation often carry high stakes. They may determine the long-term health and success of a business. When you need to bring a lawsuit or defend against a lawsuit, you should seek counsel from a business litigation lawyer in the Pleasanton area. Call the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch at (925) 463-2575 or complete our online form. Our offices represent clients in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.