Chicago Business Litigation Lawyers Protecting Your Interests
The business world is fast-paced and filled with conflicts, and disputes arising out of business practices or professional agreements are common grounds for lawsuits. Business and commercial litigation is typically complicated, and an adverse ruling or verdict against a person or business can have a devastating impact. The sophisticated attorneys at DiTommaso Law focus our practice on the litigation needs of our business clients. Additionally, we represent businesses and individuals in defamation and legal malpractice lawsuits. We will develop a plan based on the unique facts of your case to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a successful outcome. We represent individuals and businesses of all sizes in litigation in Chicago and throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties.
Business disputes cover a broad spectrum, but many of them involve conflicts between partners. Each partner has obligations to the business and the right to share in any profits and the ownership of any assets. Typically, business partners will delineate the terms of their partnership in a written agreement. The terms of partnership agreements are not always clear, however, and disagreements may arise over the meaning and implications of certain words, phrases, or clauses. Additionally, even if a partnership agreement is well drafted, one of the parties bound by the agreement may fail to comply with his or her duties, causing financial harm to either the business or the other partners. If you are faced with a conflict over a partnership agreement or are contending with any other business-related dispute, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Chicago business litigation attorney.
It is a common practice for companies to trademark images or phrases used in conjunction with the sale and marketing of a product. Trademarks can be registered with the state or federal government, and once a company registers a trademark, anyone that uses that trademark or a mark that is substantially similar on competing goods can be liable for trademark infringement. Under both state and federal laws, whether a claim for trademark infringement is successful mainly turns on whether the allegedly infringing mark is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of the product and therefore; weakens the value of the trademark and harms the company that holds the trademark. Similarly, product disparagement is the term used for a false or misleading statement about a product, which can harm the financial health of the company making the product. Proving liability for trademark infringement or product disparagement can be complicated, and it often requires the assistance of a business litigation attorney in the Chicago area who is skilled at handling these claims.
Restrictive covenants are agreements between a company and an employee that restrict the employee’s right to engage in certain professional behavior once he or she is no longer employed by the company. Non-compete agreements are a type of restrictive covenant that prevents the employee from competing with the company by prohibiting the employee from working for a competitor or in a defined geographic area for a specified amount of time. Similarly, a non-solicitation agreement prevents an employee from trying to take clients after he or she leaves the company. Under Illinois law, a court weighing whether to enforce a restrictive covenant will assess whether it is necessary to protect the company’s legitimate business interests. A court will not enforce an agreement if it finds that the agreement unreasonably restricts competition.
In many business dealings, the parties will reduce their agreement to writing, which creates a binding contract. When a party fails to comply with the terms of a contract, that party can be held accountable for any harm caused by the breach. Under Illinois law, to establish a breach of contract, it must be shown that an enforceable contract existed, the party alleging the breach complied with its obligations under the contract, and the other party’s breach was material. The party alleging the breach must also show damages caused by the breach. While breach of contract cases may seem straightforward, they can be complicated and should be handled by a seasoned Chicago business litigation lawyer.
Physician partnership agreements are similar to other partnership agreements but are made between doctors forming or merging practice groups. These agreements are often vague and may not adequately address numerous issues that may arise when one physician seeks to leave the practice or when the practice is dissolved. Thus, disputes can arise over the interpretation of the agreement and the proper procedure for handling matters not covered in the agreement. Conflicts can also arise as to how the partnership assets and profits should be divided when one or more physicians wish to join an existing partnership.
Many people choose to buy a franchise, rather than assuming the risks associated with starting a business. When a person purchases a franchise, he or she typically must sign a franchise agreement, which establishes the terms of the operation of the franchise and the duties and rights of each party. Franchise litigation often arises out of a breach of the franchise agreement. A breach may involve a franchisee’s failure to pay royalties or fees that he or she owes under the terms of the agreement. In other instances, the franchisor may breach the agreement by failing to provide the franchisee with provisions needed to set up the franchise. If you are involved in a franchise dispute, it is critical to meet with a trusted business litigation lawyer in the Chicago area to discuss your options.
Although the Illinois courts generally move at a measured pace, some exigent circumstances may require emergency intervention. For example, in cases involving trademark infringement or a violation of a restrictive covenant, irreparable harm can occur while waiting for the court to issue a ruling. In these cases, there are measures that you can take to prevent any immediate harm. You may be able to petition the court for a temporary restraining order that will prevent a person or company from engaging in harmful activity. Additionally, a party can seek a declaratory judgment from the court prior to any potentially adverse conduct taking place, which can explicitly define the conduct that is permitted.
Defamation is a false statement that a person makes verbally or in writing that harms the reputation of the subject of the statement. Under Illinois law, defamation refers to written defamation (libel), verbal defamation (slander), and cybersmearing, which is defamation through statements on the internet. The burden of proof for establishing defamation relies in large part on the status of the person about whom the statement was made and the subject of the statement. Private figures and private matters are afforded more protection than public figures and matters of public interest. If the statement is true, it is not defamation, regardless of the damage caused by the statement.
Illinois consumers are protected from fraud and deceptive practices by the Illinois Deceptive Business Practices and Consumer Fraud Act. The Act imposes liability on businesses that engage in deceptive, fraudulent, or unfair business practices. Examples of behavior for which a business can be held liable under the Act include misstating or omitting facts and engaging in practices that are unethical or violate public policy. In many cases, more than one person will have been harmed by a business’ unethical practices. A business litigation lawyer in Chicago can help plaintiffs pursue a class action lawsuit against a business to recover compensation on behalf of anyone harmed by the business’ acts.
When a person or company relies on an attorney to provide legal services, it is anticipated that the attorney will provide competent representation. At times, however, attorneys do not act in a competent manner and cause their clients harm. Under Illinois law, a client that wishes to pursue a legal malpractice claim against an attorney must establish the existence of an attorney-client relationship and show that the attorney breached the duty owed to the client, resulting in the client’s harm. Since the standard of care is typically outside the understanding of the average person, expert testimony often is required to prove that an attorney should be held liable.
Contact Our Skillful Chicago Attorneys to Discuss Your Case
Conflicts and disagreements arise in businesses on a daily basis. If you are faced with a dispute, it is essential to retain an aggressive attorney who will work tirelessly to protect your rights. The skilled business litigation attorneys at DiTommaso Law are adept at navigating the Illinois court system, and we take pride in offering focused and effective representation. We have offices in Oakbrook Terrace and Chicago and regularly represent clients in disputes throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties. You can contact us at 630-333-0000 or through our online form to schedule a consultation with a business litigation attorney at our Chicago firm.
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