What A Business Litigation Attorney Does
A business litigation attorney represents companies and individuals in civil and commercial matters, such as breach of contract lawsuits, business torts cases, bankruptcy and adversary proceedings, civil racketeering actions, oppressed minority shareholder disputes, mortgage foreclosure actions, product liability litigation, franchisor-franchisee litigation, qui tam actions, divorce actions and post-divorce judgment proceedings.
New Jersey Causes Of Action
In civil and commercial litigation in the New Jersey state courts and in federal courts situated in New Jersey, some of the claims which companies and individuals often bring are as follows. At the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC, we have substantial experience litigating, on behalf of entities and individuals, these claims and many others.
Breach Of Contract: To establish a claim for breach of contract the plaintiff must prove that (1) the parties entered into a contract containing certain terms, (2) the plaintiff did what the contract required him to do, (3) the defendant did not do what the contract required the defendant to do, and (4) the defendant’s breach, or failure to do what the contract required, caused a loss to the plaintiff.
Breach Of Implied Covenant Of Good Faith And Fair Dealing: In addition to the express terms of a contract, every contract in New Jersey contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that, even though not specifically stated in the contract, it is implied or understood that each party to the contract must act in good faith and deal fairly with the other party in performing and enforcing the terms of the contract.
To act in good faith and deal fairly, a party must act in a way that is honest and faithful to the agreed purposes of the contract and consistent with the reasonable expectations of the parties. A party must not act in bad faith, dishonestly, or with improper motive to destroy or injure the right of the other party to receive the benefits or reasonable expectations of the contract.
Civil RICO: To make out a claim under section 1962(c) of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), a plaintiff must show (1) conduct (2) of an enterprise (3) through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity. RICO defines “‘racketeering activity’” as behavior that violates certain other laws, either enumerated federal statutes or state laws addressing specified topics and bearing specified penalties. Among the numerous federal statutes the violation of which constitutes racketeering activity are 18 U.S.C. § 1341 (concerning mail fraud) and 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (concerning wire fraud).
In order to demonstrate a pattern of racketeering activity, the plaintiff must show that the defendant committed at least two predicate acts, and that the predicate acts related to each other and amount to, or otherwise constitute a threat of, continuing racketeering activity.
A person who proves a claim under section 1962 of RICO may recover treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
State courts have concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts over civil claims brought under RICO.
New Jersey RICO: To prove a cause of action under section 2C:41-2(c) of the New Jersey Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“New Jersey RICO”), N.J.S.A. § 2C:41-2(c), the plaintiff must demonstrate (1) the existence of an enterprise, (2) that the enterprise engaged in or its activities affected trade or commerce, (3) that defendant was employed by, or associated with the enterprise, (4) that he participated in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise, and (5) that he participated through a pattern of racketeering activity. New Jersey RICO defines “racketeering activity” as including, among other things, bribery, extortion, forgery and fraudulent practices, securities fraud, and all crimes set forth in chapter 21 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
In order to demonstrate a pattern of racketeering activity under New Jersey RICO, the plaintiff must show (1) that the defendant committed at least two predicate acts and (2) that the incidents of racketeering activity embrace criminal conduct that has either the same or similar purposes, results, participants or victims or methods of commission or are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents.
A person who proves a claim under section 2C:41-2 of New Jersey RICO is entitled to recover threefold the damages sustained by him, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Conversion: The elements of conversion are (1) that the property and right to immediate possession thereof belong to the plaintiff and (2) the wrongful act of interference with that right by the defendant.
Consumer Fraud Act: The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. §§ 56:8-1 – 56:8-184, renders it unlawful for any person to use or employ any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or to knowingly conceal, suppress, or omit any material fact with intent that others rely on that concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise or real estate, or with the subsequent performance of such person as aforesaid, whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby. To maintain a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act, a private litigant must establish (1) unlawful conduct by the defendants, (2) an ascertainable loss on the part of the plaintiff, and (3) a causal relationship between the defendant’s unlawful conduct and the plaintiff’s ascertainable loss.
A private litigant who proves a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is entitled to recover three times the damages sustained by him, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Fraud: The elements of legal fraud are (1) material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact, (2) knowledge or belief by the defendant of its falsity, (3) an intention that the other person rely on it, (4) reasonable reliance thereon by the other party, and (5) damages.
Interference With Contractual Relations: The elements of the tort of interference with contractual relations are that (1) a contractual relationship existed, (2) the defendant intentionally interfered with that relationship, (3) the defendant’s interference was without justification or excuse, (4) the interference caused the loss of the prospective gain of the contract, or at least there is a reasonable probability that if the wrongful acts had not occurred, the agreement would have been performed, to the plaintiff’s benefit, and (5) the interference resulted in some damage.
Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage: The elements of the tort of interference with prospective economic advantage are that (1) the plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of economic advantage, (2) the defendant intentionally interfered with that anticipated economic advantage, (3) the defendant’s interference was without justification or excuse, (4) there is a reasonable probability that if the wrongful acts had not occurred, the plaintiff would have obtained the anticipated economic benefit, and (5) the interference resulted in some damage.
Negligence: The elements of negligence are that (1) the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, (2) the defendant breached that duty, either by action or inaction, and (3) the defendant’s breach proximately caused (4) injuries to the plaintiff.
Slander Of Title Or Product Disparagement: The elements of a cause of action for slander of title or product disparagement are (1) publication (2) with malice (3) of false allegations about the plaintiff’s product or property (4) that cause pecuniary harm.
Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act: To make out a claim under the New Jersey Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, N.J.S.A. §§ 25:2-20 – 25:2-34, a creditor must show that a transfer made or obligation incurred by a debtor, whether the creditor’s claim arose before or after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred, was made or incurred by the debtor with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor.
If your company wants to bring, or needs a law firm to defend it in, business litigation in New Jersey, contact a business litigation attorney from the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC.
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