Employment and Business Litigation for Small
Ames Law Firm has substantial experience providing aggressive, ethical, and cost-effective litigation representation and advocacy for small businesses.
For example, attorney Ames recently represented a company and its owner that provided merchant credit card services that had been sued by a former employee for slander and other business torts. After discovery, Ames obtained a complete dismissal of all charges. Then, on behalf of his clients, Ames filed a malicious prosecution against the attorneys who represented his clients. See abs Tentative Rulings – Online Services – LA Court. The malicious prosecution case settled confidentially.
In another on-going matter, attorney Ames represents a small massage studio that was sued for misclassifying its therapists as independent contractors rather than as employees. After protracted litigation and a trial, the Court has issued its proposed decision in the case adjudicating the therapists as independent contractors, not employees. See here.
And Ames achieved a $6.5 million jury verdict against So. Cal. Edison after a six-week jury trial. See shenouda proposed statement of decision 11-22-16.
These are but a few of the many cases in which Ames has successfully, aggressively, and ethically represented small companies in Court.
Breach of contract
A breach of contract claim may provide significant litigation benefits to the non-breaching party.
If one party materially breaches the contract, the other non-breaching party may be excused from further performance, or may take other available remedies. This is a fact-specific inquiry that the non-breaching party should only undertake after consultation with an experienced attorney in this area, such as Doug Ames, Esq..
The non-breaching party can sue for damages, potentially including consequential damages, and/or for specific performance on the contract. Other claims, including statutory claims and business torts, are often joined by the plaintiff with a breach of contract lawsuit.
Intentional interference in contractual relations
At common law, a defendant is liable to pay damages in tort for actions intended to interfere with the plaintiff’s contractual relations with a third party.
While it may surprise you, parties to a contract are not the only ones who can be liable for a breach of the contract. If you take part in helping a party breach a contract, you can also be liable. This is called “intentional interference with contract.”
A company’s business relationships is an important part of their business. The law says that contractual relationships are a crucial property interest. Laws protect individuals and organizations from unjustified tampering with contracts. When such tampering occurs, it may constitute a tort of interference, and may harm the success and property rights of the business. Individuals and organizations must act swiftly to ensure their rights are protected and not forfeited. Should the intentional interference threaten to damage the business interests, the business will likely need to consult with an experienced business attorney.
Fraud and Concealment
In the business setting, a plaintiff can recover from a defendant on the grounds of fraudulent concealment where a party to a contract (1) concealed or suppressed a material fact; (2) had knowledge of this material fact; (3) that this material fact was not within reasonably diligent attention, observation, and judgment of the plaintiff; (4) that the defendant suppressed or concealed this fact with the intention that the plaintiff be misled as to the true condition of the property; (5) that the plaintiff was reasonably so misled; and (6) that the plaintiff suffered damage as a result.
“Defamation” is a catch-all term for any statement that hurts someone’s reputation. Written defamation is called “libel,” and spoken defamation is called “slander.” Defamation is not a crime, but it is a “tort” (a civil wrong, rather than a criminal wrong). A person who has been defamed can sue the person who did the defaming. Defamation law tries to balance competing interests: On the one hand, people should not ruin others’ lives by telling lies about them; but on the other hand, people should be able to speak freely without fear of litigation over every insult, disagreement, or mistake. The truth is a defense to a defamation action.
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
If you obtain or publish a company’s trade secrets, the company may have a legal claim against you for trade secret misappropriation. Generally speaking, a “trade secret” is secret information that confers a competitive business advantage on its owner by virtue of not being known to its competitors. The trade secret owner must exert reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of this information, or it ceases to be a trade secret. When a person obtains a trade secret improperly (such as by theft, bribery, or breach of a confidentiality agreement) or publishes it, knowing that someone else acquired it improperly, he or she has “misappropriated” the trade secret. This is the legal wrong against which trade secrets law protects.