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Commercial Litigation: Know Your Enemy

When faced with a commercial dispute, knowing your enemy is crucial to understanding what kind of litigation you can expect. Many litigants are business people who merely want to resolve a problem. Other parties who bring their case to court are trying to send a message. If you look across the table and realize you’re up against someone fighting on principle, be prepared for a long road ahead.

What is Commercial Litigation?

Commercial litigation involves a dispute between businesses, partnerships, or corporations and the partners, shareholders, customers, and vendors that make up those businesses, partnerships, or corporations. Although these types of cases proceed through the legal system in the same way as other civil matters, commercial cases specifically involve issues that arise during the course of business transactions or those involving business relationships. For instance, breach of contract cases, LLC membership disputes, and business fraud are all examples of commercial cases.    

What to Expect if You’re Engaged in a Commercial Dispute with a “True Believer”

In commercial litigation, it’s easy to deal with a business person. They simply want to recover their damages. However, no amount of money will placate a litigant who wants to prove a point. Thus, these types of cases require fortitude, determination, a calculated approach — and a commercial litigator who won’t back down.  

It’s important to understand that cases, where the opposing party won’t budge, can be costly and lengthy. While judges can require parties to have good faith settlement discussions, they can’t actually force a party to settle. Nevertheless, there are a few tools that can be utilized to move a case forward, including motion practice, depositions, and vigorous negotiations. In the event the matter cannot be resolved, it will proceed to trial.

Resolving Commercial Matters with Alternative Dispute Resolution

If the parties can reach an agreement, business conflicts can be expeditiously resolved. For business people who wish to close deals and solve problems quickly, alternative dispute resolution may be helpful in achieving their objectives. However, these methods rarely work when a party is determined to continue fighting on principle alone since both parties must give and take in order to be successful.

In commercial litigation, the following forms of alternative dispute resolution are commonly used:


A common alternative to litigation, mediation uses a neutral third party to facilitate communication between the disputing parties. Mediation is not meant to be adversarial, and parties are encouraged to work out the terms of their settlement agreement between themselves.


Arbitration is another option parties may have to resolve commercial disputes. With this method, a neutral party called an arbitrator evaluates evidence, listens to the parties arguments, and makes a binding decision in the case.


Resolving complex commercial disputes with negotiation requires considerable skill and adeptness. But as long as both parties are willing to compromise, negotiation can be effective in reaching a settlement without protracting litigation and proceeding to trial.

The method used to bring a dispute to conclusion can largely depend on the mindset of your opponent. It’s essential to know their objectives, their weaknesses, and their intentions to know what strategy is best to pursue.

Contact an Experienced New York Commercial Litigation Attorney

If you are engaged in a commercial dispute, it’s imperative to have a seasoned commercial litigation attorney on your side to achieve the best possible results in your case. Providing aggressive advocacy and knowledgeable representation, the attorneys at Brinen & Associates are experienced commercial litigators who are committed to resolving your dispute efficiently and effectively. Call (212) 330-8151 or send us a message to learn how we can assist you.  



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