Business litigation covers a wide variety of disputes between and among businesses or their owners. The types of disputes includes breach or violation of employment, shareholder or partnership agreements; fraud or deceit in the purchase, sale, or operation of the business; theft of trade secrets; violations of non-compete agreements; acts that constitute “unfair competition;” infringement of patents, trademarks, or copyrights; interference with contracts with vendors, suppliers, or customers; defamation (libel or slander); and violations of privacy rights (public disclosure of private facts; intrusion into private matters; misappropriation of person’s name or likeness; portraying a person in a false light).
BREACH OF CONTRACT
Breach of contract requires (1) the existence of the binding, enforceable contract, (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) defendant’s breach, and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff. A contract exists, in general, when there is acceptance of a definite and firm offer.
FRAUD AND DECEIT
Tortious breach of contract in the ordinary commercial setting (where parties have relatively equal bargaining power) is rare. In other words, when a business party breaches a contractual term or condition, the injured party can recover the “benefit of the bargain”.
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
Breach of fiduciary duty is best illustrated by Ali v. Fasteners for Retail, Inc., 544 F.Supp.2d 1064 (C.D. Cal. 2008). The firm represented an inventor of software and circuitry that can track electronically the number and type of products removed from or remaining on store shelves.
Defamation claims often arise out of business disputes. Defamation occurs when one party publishes to a third-party provably false and disparaging comments about another’s character for honesty, integrity, or the like. Legally speaking, it’s the intentional publication of a false statement of fact that has a natural tendency to injure the plaintiff’s reputation or that causes special damage
Defamation claims will often trigger an anti-SLAPP motion. SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. A SLAPP arises when a party is sued in retaliation for exercising a first amendment right of free speech or right to petition for the redress of grievances (i.e., right file claims or lawsuits).