Articles Posted in Contracts

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After you’ve signed your commercial contract and you’ve done the work your contract prescribed, you expect to be paid what you’re owed under that agreement. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, which may necessitate bringing a breach of contract lawsuit. An experienced Atlanta breach of contract lawyer can help you to get everything you owed in your contract breach action if litigation eventually proves necessary.

Achieving full success in this kind of case often means acquiring and presenting to the court a variety of forms of proof.

Take, for example, this breach of contract case from the federal court system. The case involved two corporations that signed a written contract in which one party, the service provider business, agreed to complete certain repair work on property owned by the other party. The agreement also came with a cost estimate of $86,000, “subject to a 10% increase.”

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For many commercial ventures — both great and small — business is a multi-state and, often, multinational venture. Even if your company doesn’t directly conduct business activities in a given state, that doesn’t automatically mean that you might not find yourself in a position where you need to sue in that state. When that state is Georgia, make sure you act swiftly to retain a skilled Atlanta commercial litigation lawyer to help you defeat efforts by the defense to derail that lawsuit.

In Georgia, as in other states, there is something known as a “Certificate of Authority to Transact Business” that shows that your non-Georgia business entity is authorized by the Secretary of State to do business in this state.

Not getting a certificate comes with various risks, which include potentially barring your business from pursuing a commercial litigation action in the Georgia courts. That is only true, though, if your business’s activity in the Peach State exceeds a certain minimum threshold.

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Commercial contracts allow you to include a variety of clauses, including one that dictates where disputes will be litigated. Even if you agreed to this kind of forum selection clause, you may still desire to litigate your case somewhere other than the forum required in your contract. If that’s you, it is important to recognize that you potentially may be able to get this done. Successfully doing this requires many things, and those things often include representation from a skilled Atlanta commercial contracts lawyer.

One way you can succeed in litigating outside the forum required by your contract is if the other side waives its right to demand enforcement of the forum selection clause.

So, what does this kind of waiver look like? A recent breach of contract case in federal court makes a good illustration. The dispute pitted a generator manufacturer and distributor against the Pennsylvania software developer and the California software installer it retained to create and install new software that the manufacturer needed.

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Signing an agreement to license your intellectual property is, not unlike signing a lease to rent your commercial real estate, something you enter into with high expectations. You’ve put in lots of work prior to the execution of that contract, and you expect the arrangement will be profitable for both sides. Of course, that doesn’t always happen. If your licensee has failed to pay you what you’re owed, it may be time to sue to collect that money and perhaps collect interest on top of it. When that becomes necessary, look to an experienced Atlanta commercial litigation attorney to help you get the most from your case.

A great many things in this world can be big business, including camouflage patterns. Indeed, one such designer, who had copyrighted an array of camo patterns, was able to make money by granting licenses to use its designs.

One licensee obtained a license agreement to put the patterns on its energy drink containers. Later on, the energy drink’s sales began to decline, and it fell behind on its royalty payments.

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The law of contracts allows entities to contract for many things. You can stipulate where disputes will be litigated, and you can declare what state’s laws should be used for resolving the arguments made in that litigation. When it comes time to negotiate and draft your next commercial contract, deciding on the venue and the law for resolving disputes will be among many vital considerations. Count on an experienced Atlanta commercial contracts lawyer to help you through every step from negotiation to litigation.

So, what happens if your commercial contract contains a venue selection clause but no choice of law provision? This contract dispute from the federal court in Atlanta offers a good illustration.

The parties were “a provider of consulting and sales services to educational institutions” and a provider “of data and analytics products and services to educational institutions.” The parties’ sales referral agreement said that the consulting firm “would act as the exclusive referrer for all of [the data analytics company’s] solicitation of business from the Houston Independent School District.”

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There are lots of ways that a knowledgeable Atlanta commercial litigation attorney can help your Georgia case. Some are things that you probably can identify readily, while others are less obvious. For example, what if a statute that impacts your case gets changed by the legislature while your lawsuit is going on? What happens then? You reasonably might not know, but rest assured that your experienced lawyer will, and will know how to use that change to your optimal benefit.

That’s exactly what happened in one breach of contract case from Savannah. A large manufacturer and supplier of industrial-use sulfuric acid sued the Tampa, Florida-based contractor it hired to renovate a storage tank at the supplier’s Savannah facility.

Allegedly, the Florida firm committed multiple errors, resulting in sulfuric acid leaking from the base of the tank. The Florida entity did its work from 2000 until January 2002. The supplier discovered the leak almost 10 years later, in July 2011. It filed suit in January 2012.

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When your company is sued for a business tort and/or breach of contract, you inevitably have many concerns. One of those is making sure there’s fairness, including fairness concerning the appointment of people who will make factual findings. If an improper person is named in your case, you can take action, but you must know how to take action. Having an experienced Atlanta commercial litigation attorney on your side can pay invaluable benefits to you and your business when it comes to ensuring that your process is a fair one.

Here in Georgia, the court rules allow a judge to appoint what’s called a “special master.” A special master, under the rules, may potentially address the parties’ pre-trial motions, conduct accountings, hold trial proceedings, and make recommended findings of fact, among other things. In other words, this master may have many jobs similar to things a judge might do.

The person holding this role should be free of conflicts. If that’s not the case, then you can potentially use the appointment of an improper master as the basis for a successful appeal, as a recent business tort case from South Georgia illustrates.

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When you are locked in a dispute that leads to commercial litigation, there are several things that go into a successful outcome. Some of those are related to the facts of the dispute, but others are wholly unrelated to the factual matters. Instead, they turn solely on issues of the law and the rules of court procedure. Success, then, relies on not simply having a strong command of the facts of your case but also issues of law and procedure and how to use those to protect your business. This is one of the many reasons why it pays to rely on an experienced Atlanta commercial litigation attorney to handle your case.

If you have brought your lawsuit in state court, you have obviously done so because you and your legal team have concluded that the state court is the best place to litigate and to obtain a fair outcome that will fully compensate you for the harm you suffered. Given that, what you may have to overcome is an effort by the other side to move the case to federal court.

Fortunately, though, there are several potential ways to attack an effort by the other side to relocate your case from state court to federal court. As a recent breach of contract case illustrates, one of those relates to something called “diversity jurisdiction.”

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Whenever you’re preparing to enter into a commercial contract, there are several things that must be done right. Two of these are (1) proper negotiating to get a satisfactory deal and (2) making certain that the written agreement reflects the deal that you negotiated. Each of these steps (and more) is a place where an effective Atlanta commercial contracts attorney can help you advance your business interests. Retaining the right attorney and getting the right contract are vital because once you sign, the courts are probably going to enforce whatever the terms are in the written agreement.

For an example, consider this federal court case between a Florida-based CBD oil distributor and a Central American hemp-based biotechnology supplier. The supplier and the distributor inked a deal in 2014 making the Florida company the exclusive distributor of the supplier’s products.

The relationship went south quickly. Four months after signing, the distributor canceled the contract, accusing the supplier of shipping impure CBD oil in contravention of the agreement’s requirements. The supplier fought back by demanding arbitration of its claims of breach of contract, conversion and tortuous interference. The dispute went to arbitration, where the supplier scored a resounding victory.

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Business and commercial venture breakups are a bit like marital breakups… you hope that everything will proceed smoothly and amicably, but it often doesn’t. When you’re a member of an LLC who has decided to leave the company, you may often simply want to go your own way. Sometimes, though, the LLC won’t let that happen. When that happens to you, make sure you have the legal protection you need from a vigilant and experienced Atlanta commercial litigation attorney.

J.O. was one of those kinds of LLC members. Back in 2014, he was one of the members who formed a Conyers-based multi-level marketing LLC. In 2017, after experiencing concerns about his compensation as well as the company’s leadership, J.O. decided to leave the company. Around the same time, J.O. signed up as a customer of another multi-level marketing entity.

After J.O. left the company, the LLC sued him on the basis that he had breached the LLC’s operating agreement. According to the LLC’s complaint, J.O., who had been a vice president of sales, had breached his contractual obligations by working for a competing company.

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