Civil and Business Litigation
Experience shows that most business disputes could have been prevented with the appropriate documentation establishing expectations and requirements, such as owners’ agreements, employee agreements and contracts with outside business relationships. However, when such documentation is not completed or missing certain provisions, a business may find itself in litigation. Business “litigation” is a catch-all term lawyers often use to describe disputes that arise between a business and its customers, vendors, competitors, employees, or even between its shareholders and owners. Importantly, litigation does not have to mean that a lawsuit has been filed in court or even that a lawsuit or legal proceedings are imminent. Often, a business owner’s preferred resolution takes place outside the confines of the courtroom and the public eye of litigation.
Cost-Effective Business Litigation Advice
Our attorneys find that taking time to understand each client’s business – going beyond just the initial structure or the dispute at hand – is critical to a collaborative approach to preventing and resolving issues which inevitably arise in today’s commercial marketplace. As a small firm, HOLLINGSWORTH ROBERTS MEANS is able to provide cost-effective legal advice and the level of responsive service that small business owners expect and deserve. Our structure also allows us to offer alternative fee arrangements, including contingency fee agreements for plaintiffs in certain commercial matters when warranted. The size of our firm, however, should not be confused with our attorneys’ capacity to provide legal counsel and service to companies of all sizes. Our clients indeed range from entrepreneurs to multinational companies.
Practice Areas and Experience
The attorneys of HOLLINGSWORTH ROBERTS MEANS have more than 40 years of combined experience representing small to mid-sized businesses as well as the individual business owners in a broad range of matters, including owners’ agreements, business contracts, complex leasing transactions, sales of business interests, noncompetition (or, “non-compete”) agreements, unfair business practices, fraud, and employment discrimination. Our attorneys represent businesses both before a dispute arises with the creation of appropriate documentation and after a dispute arises usually from the lack of documentation or unanticipated issues.
Take a Proactive Approach to Finding Creative Solutions to Disputes
We find that many business owners struggle to identify the appropriate time to contact an attorney, fearing fast-accumulating legal bills, cumbersome and disruptive discovery or a public trial, all of which can easily get in the way of the owner’s primary objective – to operate the business. While our attorneys have ample courtroom experience and are prepared to represent our clients at a bench or jury trial, we also encourage our clients to pursue alternative and creative means of proactively resolving a dispute. Many of those methods can be effectively employed before the first legal paper is filed in court, and can include pre-suit negotiation, private mediation or formal arbitration proceedings. Not only do such strategies allow our business owner clients to better manage the publicity and control the outcome of a dispute, but oftentimes commercial contracts require such alternative means of dispute resolution. Our attorneys frequently work with our clients to resolve disputes pre-lawsuit. We have also represented our clients at private mediations, judicial settlement conferences, and at full-scale arbitration proceedings.
Efficiency and Referrals
Our philosophy as a law firm is to accept only cases and matters that fall within our attorneys’ experience and tailored practices. That principle ensures efficiency, which our business clients demand and we expect of ourselves. Our attorneys’ diverse professional backgrounds, community involvement, and professional affiliations have allowed us to forge relationships with lawyers at the top of their respective practice areas. We do not hesitate to refer our clients to trusted counterparts should a client’s particular need falls outside of our attorneys’ defined skill set or breadth of experience. We are confident in our abilities but are never too prideful to direct a client elsewhere in the event that practice efficiencies dictate.
In turn, we welcome referrals from and co-counsel opportunities with our fellow legal professionals in the event a conflict of interest, when a lead or local counsel is needed, or in any other situation where we may assist with a single engagement on a particular client matter.