Frequently Asked Questions - Commercial Litigation

What is commercial litigation?

When disputes involving businesses arise, litigation can result. Lawsuits may be brought by individuals or entities that feel they have been damaged because of a business's activity. Businesses may also sue or be sued if there is an allegation that contractual obligations have not been fulfilled. Because commercial litigation is often technical and complex, the assistance of an experienced commercial litigation attorney can help a party protect its business interests and reduce costs.

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What kinds of commercial litigation can Hessian & McKasy assist with?

The attorneys at Hessian & McKasy have experience litigating disputes in a variety of business settings. Common types of claims our attorneys can help with include:

•Class action
•Injunctions and extraordinary remedies
•Real estate
•Zoning and land use

Regardless of the type of claim and complexity your case, the experienced commercial litigators at Hessian & McKasy can help resolve the matter effectively and professionally. The attorneys at Hessian & McKasy have brought claims and defended cases in both federal and state courts. We have also represented clients in administrative matters and before administrative law judges at both the federal and state level.

Are there alternatives to litigation?

There exist numerous alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes that can be used to avoid or resolve ongoing litigation. Often business contracts specify that disputes are subject to arbitration or mediation rather than litigation. Once common ADR process is mediation, in which a neutral party (the mediator) will try to facilitate discussions and negotiations that lead to a settlement. Another common process is arbitration, in which the neutral party (the arbitrator) will hear both sides of the case and reach a decision. Arbitration is more formal than mediation and more closely resembles a trial. The arbitrator's decision can be binding, depending on the type of arbitration selected by the parties.

If a party does not wish to sue over a business dispute, ADR can be an effective tool to resolve the matter. Even if a party does file a lawsuit, many state and federal courts also have programs in place mandating that the parties attempt some form of ADR before the case can proceed to trial. For more information about litigation alternatives, call the office Hessian & McKasy today at 612-746-5770.

How long can a lawsuit last?

The length of a lawsuit will depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the claims, the number of parties involved, and the attitudes of the parties toward reaching a reasonable settlement. Predicting how long a lawsuit may last is therefore extremely difficult. A straightforward case with few legal and factual issues and clear liability and damages could take months to resolve. A complex case with hotly disputed issues could take years to wind its way through trial and appellate courts.

Who pays litigation expenses?

Under the "American Rule," each party is generally required to pay its own costs and attorneys' fees, regardless of who wins the case. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, such as when the parties have contractually agreed that costs and fees are recoverable. Additionally, state or federal statutes may provide for an award of costs or fees depending on the type of claims raised. In some jurisdictions, attorneys' fees may also be available when a party has been compelled to defend against claims that the court determines were frivolous.