Business litigation lawyers can resolve partnership conflicts, protecting your business from unwanted and harmful legal actions or disruptions.
Utilizing a lawyer’s expertise, you can avoid costly damage to your business through lawsuits by using alternative solutions.
Do I Need a Business Dispute Attorney?
Even the best business partnerships have tensions and conflicts. If you can’t find a common ground, the wisest thing to do is to get a legal expert involved who can help find a resolution without the need for litigation.
A business litigation lawyer is not a weapon used against another partner. They are a tool to help the partnership find a resolution in the best interests of the company.
Read Related: 10 Ways to Avoid and Resolve Partnership Disputes
Here’s how our business litigation lawyers help:
Ways Business Litigation Attorneys Resolve Partnership Conflicts
1. Identifying the Key Legal Issues and Legal Understandings
You can resolve partnership conflicts, or better understand them by looking at what the laws say. That’s because each partner in a business has rights and responsibilities that should be followed as per Florida’s Uniform Partnership Act.
While you or your business partner may believe they understand the statute properly, having someone make an impartial assessment can resolve partnership disputes such as:
- Authority and liability of partners
- Breach of contract
- General rules regarding conduct
- Misappropriation of assets
- Transfers of ownership interest
2. Finding Solutions to Move Forward Successfully
Once the disagreement’s standing in law is understood clearly, a solution can usually be found.
A business litigation lawyer can offer productive answers, laying options on the table that are fair and offer a route to move forward.
Too often we see business partners take counterproductive stances where they try to one-up the other. That’s not the goal here. The goal is to find a solution that is fair, given the circumstances, and benefits the best interests of the business.
Avoiding or Taking Legal Action
If a resolution can still not be found, then the next route forward is often to take some form of legal action.
Litigation is always the last resort, as it’s expensive and difficult to recover from, both internally (with working relationships) and externally (with brand image and reputation).
However, alternate dispute resolutions can provide a less hostile option.
1. Private Mediation or Arbitration
Mediation is a process where an impartial, third-party mediator helps business partners find a resolution to a conflict. Doing so can allow them to remain in business together, without the need for litigation. Perhaps best of all for the partners is that Mediation allows them to still have a voice in the outcome (unlike when relying on a judge).
Our business mediation attorneys use negotiations and expert communication methods to help improve the running of businesses, allowing partnerships to move forward together better.
However, mediation requires both parties to participate. Unfortunately, if one person declines, you will have to consider raising the stakes.
2. Court Ordered Mediation or Arbitration
If a lawsuit is filed, then court-ordered mediation or arbitration may be required.
This option is similar to the private version mentioned above but instead is ordered by a judge before the court schedules the dispute for trial.
It’s becoming a common option in Florida, as it can allow courts to save time by finding agreements in advance.
Often, mediators or arbitrators have the authority to enter settlements as binding court orders or to make decisions that are entered as court orders.
This option is considered cheaper and faster than formal litigation and offers the chance to appeal a decision to the court.
3. Civil Litigation Lawsuits
If there is still no agreement found in the prior steps, then business partners still have the option to file a lawsuit.
A lawsuit will see the conflict resolved by a judge or jury. It typically takes months to schedule, and months more to complete. During that time, profitability, assets and business reputation can take a big hit.
Litigation also often ends a business relationship, as resentment lingers on.
Litigation is often used in situations such as:
- Misappropriation of assets
- Breaches of Duties
- Irresponsible behavior
By using a business partnership dispute lawyer, you gain a strong opportunity to avoid the need for civil litigation. We recommend you at the very least consider the prior mentioned alternate options, before filing a lawsuit.
What to Do If the Partnership Can’t Continue Any Longer?
If the business owners have hit a dead-end in their business relationship, you can consider options such as:
- Dissolution of the Business: Ending the business is often a disappointing but suitable option for business partners who can no longer see the road ahead and don’t want either side to continue without the other.
- Buy The Other Partner Out: Partners can agree to a buyout, where the seller sells their interest in the company. A business attorney is advised for the negotiations and terms.
- Selling the Business to New Owners: An option that can give both partners something to walk away with, while ending their connections with the business.
Is Litigation Damaging to a Small Business?
Small businesses are particularly at risk of damage from litigation. The consequences of bad publicity, emotional strains, legal fees and changes to business operations can take time to recover from. Insurance involvement can also impact the small business’ future coverage options.
However, with an experienced business litigation lawyer, you can minimize this damage. Firstly, by finding a less impactful alternative resolution, or through an efficient and damage-limiting litigation approach.
Consider Using a Business Partnership Agreement
Ideally, you should use a business partnership agreement from day one. This document will outline the way the business will operate and the roles and fiduciary duties of each partner. For example, it can include:
- The share of ownership for each partner
- How profits and losses are divided
- How decisions are made
- How conflicts are resolved
- What happens in certain events
- How long the partnership should last
- An exit plan
Contact a Business Partnership Dispute Lawyer in Florida
If you need legal support for a partnership dispute, then contact our experienced Florida business partnership dispute lawyers today. From meditation to tackling lawsuits, we’ll help you mitigate the damage your business may suffer while also providing a satisfactory and fair resolution.
Caitlin Szematowicz at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. has extensive experience that can help you in every step, from document drafting to litigation.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.