We have represented companies and business people in matters big and small and in various jurisdictions. These representations have involved cases in state and federal court in the Knoxville area but also other areas and jurisdictions where required to protect our clients. This representation includes cases pending across the country in Washington, California and Nevada, and cases pending closer to home in Nashville. This broad geographic range gives us the ability and experience to effectively represent our clients in new venues but also to be familiar with local Judges and Chancellors.
Arbitration clauses have become prevalent in many types of modern contracts. But arbitration requires the same aggressive representation as court litigation in that significant damages may be at stake. We have secured multi-million dollar awards through arbitration. Further, the enforcement of arbitration clauses may add complexity to the dispute. We have represented clients in fighting about arbitrability of disputes to enforce or avoid arbitration and have participated in arbitrations conducted by AAA and JAMS.
Civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act are complex and dangerous – the Act permits recovery of treble damages. Because of the liberal application of the Act, it is essential to have counsel with an understanding of the way courts have applied civil RICO. We have successfully represented clients in defending against civil RICO cases and have asserted them on behalf of our clients.
Commercial Litigation and Business Torts
This broad category encompasses much of our practice: representing those in business. Many of these subcategories are described separately on this page. This representation often involves breach of contract suits of a wide variety and a string of business torts that can accompany such breach claims.
Although negotiating a fair lease before execution is critical to protecting both the landlord and tenant, disputes often arise during the lease term. From as simple as failure to pay rent to more complex issues such as violating restrictions prohibiting new construction from obstructing visibility from a busy traffic corridor and constructive evictions, we have experience in litigating these disputes at a high level.
Construction and Mechanic’s/Materialmen’s Liens
Construction disputes can be fact intensive and complicated. For subcontractors, the law provides for a strong remedy for non-payment – a lien on the property. But filing these liens requires compliance with strict deadlines or the right to assert a lien can be lost. We have the experience to file such liens or to fight them. We have also handled claims for defective construction, breach of contract, breach of warranty, personal liability claims based upon construction, and more.
Director & Officer Liability, Fiduciary, & Entity Management Disputes
We have advised and litigated disputes involving termination of executives, minority interest holders, and founders of businesses. These disputes require careful consideration and planning to avoid protracted litigation.
Many disputes can arise in the workplace that result in litigation. These disputes tend to focus on differing versions of facts. In today’s modern world, the prevalence of technology helps corroborate or rebut the versions of facts through e-mails, phone messages, and text messages.
In some cases, clients require immediate relief to avoid irreparable harm. But this extraordinary relief is not routinely granted and requires strategic planning and work. The return can be tremendous as, many times, achieving interim injunctive relief will result in quick resolution of a case.
Personal Liability and Piercing the Corporate Veil
For small businesses, the owners typically use limited liability entities to protect their personal assets. Some litigation seeks to impose personal liability on the owners despite the corporate form, which can have a devastating effect on the owners’ assets. We can fight efforts to impose personal liability.
Real Estate Litigation
Real estate disputes require a clear understanding of real estate law as these disputes are often resolved based upon law or contract. Through a range of cases, our team has experience in real estate law that has developed a clear understanding of this law.
Unfair Competition, Trade Secrets, and Restrictive Covenants
When a business succeeds as a result of its secrets, ideas, and business processes, it is critical to protect them from use by departing employees. Conversely, many businesses seek to quash valid competition through lawsuits meant to entrench the company’s market share. These battles can be “bet the company” litigation. We have experience both in prosecuting and defending these suits.