Legal counsel for business litigation in North Carolina
Any commercial or business dispute has the potential to result in litigation. The following are common legal issues from which business litigation can arise.
Breach of contract
Contracts are common in the business world, and therefore, so are contract disputes. When contract disputes arise, provisions of the contract regarding breach should prevail. However, not all contract disputes are easily resolved. The main types of contract breaches are:
- Anticipatory: An anticipatory breach occurs when a party to a contract demonstrates through actions or words that it does not intend to comply with one or more obligations under the contract.
- Fundamental (or actual): A fundamental breach of contract occurs when a party fails to complete a contractual term so essential to the agreement that the other party cannot complete its responsibilities under the contract.
- Material: When one party receives a significantly different result or significantly less benefit than specified in the contract, a material breach has occurred.
- Minor: A minor breach of contract is less severe than a material breach. Although it gives the harmed party the right to sue for damages, it does not excuse that party from further performance under the contract.
In business, fraud can occur as deception or misrepresentation through claims or omissions. Fraud litigation can encompass several claims and legal issues, including:
- Omission and non-disclosure
- Fraudulent concealment
- Tortious interference (improper inducement of breach of contract)
- Intellectual property issues
In non-compete agreements, employees agree not to compete with their employers for a specified period of time. The terms of the contract may prohibit the employee from disclosing confidential information or soliciting business from customers of the former employer. Non-compete agreements must be properly drafted to be enforceable and provide businesses with adequate protection.
Breach of fiduciary duty
This type of litigation usually arises with allegations that a professional or other person breached a fiduciary duty to someone else. A fiduciary has an ethical or legal relationship of trust and is held to a high standard of care. As fiduciary duties arise in many contexts, litigation for breach of fiduciary duty often includes claims of fraud or other business torts (wrongful acts or infringement of rights leading to civil legal liability).
Insurance coverage disputes
Coverage disputes arise when an insurer refuses to cover a claim because of non-coverage, breach, or misrepresentation of the policy or coverage. Today's typical business carries different types of insurance coverage, including liability, property loss, business interruption, malpractice, commercial multiple peril, and over-redemption. Disputes can arise over ambiguities, interpretation differences, burdens of proof, and other issues.