Litigation

Be Picky When Choosing A Commercial Litigation Attorney

February 15, 2022

If you find yourself in a dispute and think you need an attorney, recognizing the type of dispute it is and who you need to hire is the first step.  

  • Commercial litigation involves at least one business entity.
  • Commercial litigation is more complicated than lawsuits only involving individuals.
  • It requires an attorney who can identify the business’s core legal problem and the most efficient way to solve the problem.
  • Not every attorney has the right blend of attention to detail and creativity.

What’s so special about commercial litigation?

Commercial litigation is an unofficial sub-category of civil litigation where the parties to the proceedings are businesses or the dispute revolves around a business debt or obligation. 

Commercial suits go through the same processes and procedures as all civil suits but tend to be much more complex.  Businesses and their dealings are far more complicated than lawsuits among individuals because of layers of corporate governance, obligations, contracts, electronically stored documents, and the presence of many more stakeholders in the process. 

Why can’t I use any attorney for my business’s needs?

Simply put, effective commercial litigation requires an attorney who can manage unusually complicated matters with speed and efficiency, is comfortable sifting through thousands of documents, can distil complicated problems into simpler questions, and identify the best legal tool for the situation.  This is fewer people than you would think.      

“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” Sun Tzu

A good commercial litigator knows that businesses want to avoid the time, expense and lack of closure involved in long lawsuits and must help the business pick a legal strategy which gets them what they want as quickly, and cost-effectively as possible.  In this environment, the legal strategy and advice that an attorney offers can make or break a case before it begins.

Other Benefits of a Skilled Commercial Litigator

The right attorney for a business’s needs will be useful even before a legal contest begins.  They can review potential vulnerabilities in contracts or structure to strengthen the business’s position in the event of future litigation or eliminate that risk altogether. 

The right commercial attorney will also be able to advise the business on how to respond to new developments in the law and current events.

E-discovery, now a common component of commercial litigation, means that vast quantities of data and documents need to be available for a potential suit.  The judiciary looks unfavorably on parties who are not able to provide all necessary documents during discovery.  Without consulting a lawyer, it can be difficult to know what documents need to be preserved.  This kind of consultation and preparation for a potential (in today’s climate, perhaps inevitable) lawsuit can help a business end a dispute quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion

It is always recommended to obtain legal counsel when involved in legal proceedings.  This is doubly true in commercial litigation. 

However, where the right attorney can save their clients time, money, and unwanted attention. The wrong one attorney can make everything worse at greater cost.