Commercial Litigation

Disagreements are inevitable in the corporate world. In 2021, 6,058 commercial litigation cases were filed in the United States. Even if you’ve taken the necessary steps of creating well-drafted documents and agreements, disputes can still arise. Shareholders disagreeing over operational decisions, products not meeting consumers’ expectations, and employees feeling as though their rights have been violated — these all have the potential to lead to litigation. Texas and Louisiana business owners depend on our commercial litigation attorneys at Cotten Schmidt to help them avoid and navigate the pitfalls of business disputes.  

Cotten Schmidt is committed to finding the course of action that best suits the business interests of each client. We make every effort possible to resolve controversies quickly and economically. Should your case reach the courtroom, our experienced trial lawyers stand ready to zealously represent the best interests of you and your business.  

We have offices in Fort Worth, The Woodlands, Corpus Christi, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. For innovative counsel and fearless advocacy, reach out today and schedule a call.

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Common Causes of Commercial Litigation 

Business controversies can take many forms. The following are common causes of commercial litigation cases:  

  • Employment Disputes. These arise when employees feel as though they have been treated unfairly by their employer. Common employment disputes include wrongful termination allegations, wage disputes, discrimination and harassment claims, and severance agreement issues. 

  • Intellectual Property Disputes. These types of disputes are quite common due to people’s ability to access an abundance of information online. An intellectual property dispute may arise if an individual or business entity engages in the unauthorized use of copyrighted material, patents, or trademarks, as well as proprietary or trade secret information.  

  • Partnership Disputes. Conflicts between business partners can stem from a multitude of reasons, including a breakdown of trust, differing goals/opinions, management style clashes, and more. These types of commercial disputes often lead to a dissolution of the partners’ formal relationship.  

  • Shareholder Disputes. Caused by a shareholder making an important decision about the governance, finances, and/or operations of a business that other shareholders disagree with, these disputes are highly complex and sensitive, as they have the potential to impact everyone involved with the company.  

  • Contract Disputes. Almost every commercial dispute is rooted in a contract, as contracts serve as evidence of a promised agreement between two or more parties. When one party fails to fulfill their contractual obligations, it’s common for the other parties to take action against them. 

Whether a dispute exists between a business and its clients, vendors, or suppliers, its employers and employees, or among its shareholders, our lawyers at Cotten Schmidt have the skill and experience to effectively manage it in accordance with the client’s unique business objectives.  

Contract Disputes 

A contract can be defined as a written or spoken agreement that is intended to be enforceable by law. As one of the most common causes of commercial litigation, contract disputes have the potential to completely derail a business entity’s trajectory, especially when the dispute is over a breach of contract. Common contracts that, when broken, can lead to litigation include:  

  • Non-compete agreement — a contract where an employee agrees to not compete with their employer after their employment period with them ends.  

  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) — a contract between at least two parties that depicts confidential information that they can share or discuss with one another for business purposes, but cannot share or discuss with outside parties.  

  • Commercial lease — a contract between a landlord and a tenant or business owner that establishes the terms and conditions of renting the commercial property in question. 

  • Commercial contract — a contract between a business and another business that concerns the details of a sale of goods or services.

  • Consumer contract — a contract between a business and a consumer that concerns the details of a sale of goods, services, or digital content.  

Elements of a Breach of Contract 

When bringing a breach of contract before Texas court, generally your case must contain the following elements: 

  1. A sound and enforceable contract, consisting of the following: 

a) An offer — an extension of a promise made by one of the parties 

b) Consideration — something of value that was guaranteed in return for the extended offer/promise; and 

c) An acceptance — a clear, unambiguous acceptance of the offer, typically communicated through words or actions outlined in the contract 

  1. Proof that the plaintiff upheld their legal promise (or has a valid reason for nonperformance) 

  1. A breach of the contract (failure by one party to the contract to perform their obligations under the contract without a valid reason for nonperformance); and

  1. Proof of damages that resulted from the breach 

As long as these elements are present and the other party has failed (or will fail) to uphold their side of the agreement, you have the right to pursue compensation for any losses or damages that have resulted (or may result) from the breach. 

If you're involved in a contract dispute where the other party has not or will not deliver their promises, it's time to take action. Reach out to our commercial and business litigation attorneys in Texas or Louisiana to understand your rights and start seeking justice. We can guide you through the process of providing notice of breach and can develop legal strategies to fit your unique needs.  

Resolving a Business Dispute 

When you work with us, your goals are our goals. We understand how important your business is to you, which is why we want to help you to protect it and your bottom line through effective negotiations and resolution tactics. Expensive and time-consuming, going to court over a commercial lawsuit is often not our client’s preferred method of action. Luckily, our dynamic team of attorneys offers extensive experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution.  

Through our mediation and arbitration services, we can provide you and the opposing party the space and guidance to work together to build a sustainable solution to your contract or commercial dispute. These resolution methods are generally much more cost effective than traditional litigation. And, they can help preserve your relationship with the other parties involved.  

However, not all commercial controversies can be resolved through mediation or arbitration. When you’re entangled in a dispute that requires litigation, our seasoned trial attorneys will work diligently to build your case and argue zealously on behalf of your company’s best interests.  

In other cases, dissolving a business partnership or entity is the necessary tactic to resolve a dispute. If this method is deemed to be the best course of action for your specific case, our lawyers can walk you through the necessary steps and empower you with the tools and information you may need to move forward after the dissolution.  

No matter what, you can depend on us to advocate for your best desired result so you can maintain focus on what matters most: the present and future goals of your business.  

Commercial Litigation Attorneys Serving Texas & Louisiana 

At Cotten Schmidt, we’re committed to pursuing justice for every business we serve. While disputes are inevitable, they don’t have to set you back. Discover how our litigators can help you seek a fair and effective solution. We proudly serve clients throughout Texas and Louisiana, including the areas of Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, The Woodlands, New Orleans, and surrounding areas and cities. Schedule a call today.