McLaughlin & Nardi’s commercial litigation attorneys have decades of experience representing businesses in New Jersey commercial litigation at trial, and in mediations and arbitrations. We represent small businesses and multi-million dollar enterprises, local companies and multinational corporations.
The areas in which we represent businesses in commercial litigation are wide-ranging. Some of these areas are briefly described here. Call us at (973) 890-0004 or e-mail us to obtain more information about how we can assist your business.
Bankruptcy Litigation. When businesses file for bankruptcy protection, many times they can discharge or reduce their debt. However, in some instances creditors can file suit to prevent the debtor from avoiding certain debts. These suits are known as bankruptcy adversary proceedings. For instance, a debt incurred through fraud cannot be discharged. Likewise, there may be disputes as to whether collateral can be seized or about the priority of a debt in bankruptcy proceedings. We have successfully represented many businesses in prosecution and defense of adversary proceedings, and preference and dischargeability disputes.
Business Torts. We represent businesses in tort litigation. Torts are “civil wrongs.” They may be intentional, such as theft (known as “conversion” in civil litigation) or tortious interference, or they may be negligent such as negligent property damage or personal injury. Our attorneys represent businesses in the full range of tort litigation.
Collections and Creditors Rights. The basic premise of our economy is that when a business does work it is entitled to be paid. If it is not, it cannot pay its employees and creditors, collateral may be foreclosed on, and the company may eventually be forced out of business. Collection of a business’s receivables is therefore of the utmost importance. Our attorneys have decades of experience collecting money owed to New Jersey businesses. We utilize all legal remedies, and ensure compliance with state and federal law, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to collect our clients’ debts and recover their collateral.
Commercial Landlord/Tenant Litigation. We represent commercial landlords and tenants in tenancy disputes. We help negotiate conflicts so that all parties can maintain a profitable relationship. When negotiations do not yield a successful conclusion, our attorneys fight aggressively on behalf of our clients. Whether we represent landlords for eviction and collection of unpaid rent, or tenants suing for property damage, miscalculation of CAM charges, landlord’s harassment or constructive eviction, we are experienced, aggressive litigators who are committed to protecting our clients’ rights.
Construction Litigation. Our attorneys have successfully represented many construction industry general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and property owners in a wide variety of matters, including collection of invoices for services rendered, defense and prosecution of construction lien claims, disputes over change orders, latent defects, failure to do work according to plans, breach of warranty, and New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claims in home construction.
Consumer Fraud. New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act provides drastic penalties against businesses which make misrepresentations – even misleading omissions – in the sale of goods and services, even if the sales were to other businesses. New Jersey’s regulatory authorities have applied these regulations to a wide range of businesses including residential construction contractors and suppliers, auto dealers, fitness clubs, and many more. The requirements to meet these regulations are complex. We represent businesses in defense of consumer fraud claims by consumers, businesses and governmental agencies, and in claims where they have been defrauded.
Contract Disputes. Our New Jersey business attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing many businesses in contract disputes. We represent businesses which are suing or being sued for breach of contract. We represent companies in disputes over the interpretation of contracts. We represent companies which have been induced to enter contracts because of the other party’s fraud.
Disputes Between Owners. We represent business owners in disputes with their co-owners, and in disputes over whether someone actually has an ownership interest. We have considerable experience in all aspects of partnership litigation, shareholder litigation, and disputes between members in limited liability companies (“LLC’s”).
Employment Litigation. One of the busiest fields of business litigation is employment suits. We defend businesses being sued by current or former employees for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, breach of employment contracts, and failure to make proper wage payments. We also defend businesses in claims that their workers have been misclassified for pay purposes, whether those claims are by their employees or government agencies. We prosecute suits for breach of restrictive covenants, such as non-compete agreements, by former employees, owners and contractors.
Equity and Chancery Matters. The Chancery Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court hears complex business disputes. The Chancery Division’s main advantage is that it can issue “equitable” relief. For example, it can order forced buyouts of an owner’s equity, dissolve companies, appoint a receiver to run a business and issue restraining orders. For this reason, many business disputes, especially disputes between owners, are litigated in the Chancery Division. Our attorneys have successfully litigated many Chancery matters for our business clients.
Insurance Coverage Disputes. When a business is sued, the first place it looks for defense and payment of claims is to its insurance carrier. However, insurers often wrongfully deny coverage in an attempt to save money. We represent companies fighting to obtain coverage.
Lender Litigation. Our attorneys represent businesses in litigation with their lenders. For instance, often times lenders will have entered into lending agreements based on fraudulent assurances, misapplied payment (or didn’t apply payment at all), or have failed to fulfill their own contractual obligations. We have had significant success representing businesses in disputes with their lenders.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation and Arbitration. In mediation, a neutral third-party attempts to bring the parties together to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation can be voluntary, contractual or court-ordered. It is often successful. Our attorneys have considerable experience in mediation, and Maurice W. McLaughlin serves as a court-appointed mediator. In an arbitration, a neutral third-party will hear the parties’ arguments, examine their evidence, and make a final, binding, and unappealable decision. Our attorneys have successfully litigated many arbitrations for our business clients.
Real Estate, Land Use, Property and Zoning Litigation. We represent businesses on a wide range of litigation affecting property. For instance, we represent businesses in litigation over breach of contract to sell or lease property, over easements, boundary disputes, responsibility for contamination, adverse possession (or “squatter’s rights”), and disputes with the government over the scope of permitted uses on business property.
Replevin and Recovery of Collateral. When a company’s partner in a transaction defaults on its obligations, it may be possible to recover collateral securing the transaction, or to recover property held by the other party. For instance, property which was given as security for a loan may foreclosed on when the other party defaults. Likewise, if property is held by one party as part of their dealings (for example, unique supplies to a factory), it may be seized through a process known as “replevin” when the other party fails to honor its end of the bargain. Our attorneys help businesses recover property to which they are rightly entitled.
Restrictive Covenants. Restrictive covenants are often included in business agreements, such as contracts for the sale of businesses or employment agreements. They restrict a party’s actions as part of the contract’s consideration. For example, the seller of a business may agree not to compete within a certain distance for a specified time after the sale. Our attorneys represent businesses in enforcing restrictive covenants, or when they have been accused of violating them.
Solid Waste Industry Litigation. We represent solid waste companies and animal feed haulers in a wide range of litigation, from collection of unpaid debts, to competitors’ tortious interference with their stops, and wrongful termination of contracts by their customers. We have represented our waste industry clients successfully at trial, and in mediations and arbitrations.
Tax Litigation. Taxes are a fact of life for businesses. However, businesses are only required to pay the taxes they actually owe. We represent businesses in disputes with governmental taxing authorities over what taxes are actually owed. For instance, we represent businesses in disputes with the government over sales taxes. We also represent businesses when the government claims it has misclassified its workers as contractors rather than employees, thus avoiding payroll taxes.
Tortious Interference. One business cannot cause a third-party to breach its contract with another business or wrongfully interfere their economic relationship. This is known as “tortious interference,” and it is illegal. Our attorneys have represented many enterprises which have lost business because of a competitor’s tortious interference, or which have been accused of tortious interference themselves. For instance, Maurice McLaughlin and Pauline Young recently won a trial in Hudson County, including an award of punitive damages, against a waste hauling company which had induced their client’s customer to breach their contract.
To learn more about our business litigation practice, please e-mail us or call (973) 890-0004.