Our business clients are counseled in the areas of corporate, employment and tax law, and products liability. Our services in business law are designed to keep businesses operating lawfully and to protect their interests in cases of civil disputes. We represent generations of businesses and families. We treat every client as if they are our only client. We understand the pressure of high stakes litigation. We provide a balance of superior legal knowledge with compassionate advocacy. Our representation encompasses most types of sophisticated litigation. We can handle cases involving consumer fraud, breach of contract, accounting, shareholder and investor rights, class actions, insurance, business torts, executive compensation, partnership disputes, civil rights, real estate, product liability, defamation, trade secrets, patent, trademark, copyright, professional liability, RICO, and most other significant commercial issues.
Additionally, we represent clients at all stages in the life of a business from inception to formation through growth, transition and winding down. We analyze which corporate structure is best suited for your needs and we put the pieces together for you so that you can focus on your passion. We counsel and handle complex litigation for our business clients in disputes with other businesses, government entities, and individuals. We have extensive experience in drafting formation agreements, confidentiality agreements, independent contractor agreements, buy-sell agreements, as well as to negotiate contracts, resolve partnership disputes and advise on the tax implications of various business dealings. We are committed to developing solutions to help our clients solve their toughest problems, and we approach each new challenge as an urgent business matter to be resolved expeditiously and cost-effectively. Some of our business litigation practices include but are not limited to:
We represent private and public sector employers in a wide variety of industries and can represent our clients before federal, state and local administrative agencies and in federal and state courts. We remain on the cutting edge of the emerging and changing employment laws including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage-and-hour matters, reductions in force, non-competition agreements, trade secrets and employment contracts. We understand the value of preventing disputes and avoiding governmental and regulatory investigations, and can counsel clients on how to remain in compliance with state and federal employment laws.
We can assist with the following employment law issues:
A mediator is a person, often a lawyer, who has special training and experience to try to settle legal disputes by remaining a neutral party. The mediator has no power to force a settlement or decide an issue, but helps resolve a dispute by facilitating communication between the parties.
When lawyers are involved, normally each opposing party is in a separate room, along with his or her lawyer. After a brief introduction to the process and the signing of a mediation agreement, the mediator goes back and forth between the rooms to discuss the issues and try to reach agreement on each one of them. When lawyers are not at a mediation, sometimes the opposing parties meet together with the mediator, and sometimes the mediation is in separate rooms, depending on the wishes of the parties. Even when the parties start out in the same room, there are times when the mediator may want to meet separately with each party to candidly discuss certain issues, some of which may remain confidential. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will either write a letter summarizing the agreement, or prepare a short agreement that the parties will sign before they leave the mediation.
If no agreement is reached at mediation, then nothing is binding, and the court cannot hear about any offers you may have made during the mediation. If you reach an agreement on some or all of the issues, you can: (a) have the mediator draft an agreement at the end of the mediation, for the parties to sign; (b) have the mediator prepare a letter after the mediation, summarizing the agreement; or (c) let the parties tell their attorneys what the agreement is, and let the attorneys prepare the final documentation. If nothing is signed by the parties, then the agreements reached may not be binding. If an agreement is signed by both parties, and someone changes his or her mind and refuses to comply with the agreement, then it will be up to the judge to decide if the agreement is binding, just like any other contract. Decisions about division of assets and debts are more likely to be binding than decisions about the children, which can always be reviewed by a judge. In any event, you should go to mediation with the intent to reach a binding agreement, and to comply with that agreement after the mediation. Otherwise, you are only wasting your time and money.
If some or all of the issues in your case do not settle, then you can go to trial in front of a judge, who will decide the issues for you. The judge is not allowed to hear about any offers you may have made to the other side during the mediation process. Further, the mediator is not allowed to testify about what happened in mediation.
Attorney Shanthy Balachanthiran served as a Mediator for the Attorney General's Office in cases between consumers and businesses and has the experience and knowledge to assist you with your mediation needs, whether it is as your attorney representing your interests in a mediation or as the mediator. Call (239) 823-4541 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal. A tribunal may consist of any number of arbitrators though some legal systems insist on an odd number for obvious reasons of wishing to avoid a tie. One and three are the most common numbers of arbitrators. The disputing parties hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator(s). Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding). The object of arbitration is to obtain a fair resolution of disputes by an impartial third party without unnecessary expense or delay.
Arbitration, while being nicknamed the ‘businessman’s method of resolving disputes’, is governed by state and federal law. Most states have provisions in their civil practice rules for arbitration. These provide a basic template for the arbitration as well as procedures for confirmation of an arbitrator’s award (the document that gives and explains the decision of an arbitrator), a procedure that gives an award the force and effect of a judgment after a trial in a court. Many states have adopted the Uniform Arbitration Act, although some states have specific and individual rules for arbitration.
Supporters of arbitration hold that it has a multitude of advantages over court action, including the following:
Typical Steps in an Arbitration
The process of arbitration differs among cases. The following is a list of the main steps in arbitration, however it should not be viewed as an exhaustive list.
Attorney Shanthy Balachanthiran has the experience and knowledge to assist you with your arbitration needs, whether it is as your attorney representing your interests in an arbitration or as the arbitrator. Call (239) 823-4541 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.