Business Litigation

The Philadelphia Small Business Law Center Offers a Variety of Litigation Services for Business Owners.

Just the word “litigation” can be scary for a business owner. It typically conjures up thoughts of endless hours spent reviewing documents, phone calls and meetings with lawyers, missed days of work due to being in court, and worst of all, large unexpected legal bills. Nobody likes for there to be a dispute that requires litigation. At the Philadelphia Small Business Law Center, we try and make litigation a little more pleasant. Yes . . . we did just say “litigation” and “pleasant” together in the same sentence. We go about this by addressing many of the most common complaints that business owners have regarding their lawyers. For instance:

  • We strive to be available and responsive to all of your questions and concerns and promise to keep you apprised of your matter every step of the way.
  • We don’t engage in endless rounds of litigation simply to drive up legal bills. Our aim is always to offer you practical and cost-effective advice. While this usually results in a lower legal bill, we believe it is far more important to have happy and satisfied clients.
  • For certain types of litigation, we will offer flat fees to help you avoid the uncertainty of hourly billing and unexpected legal bills.
  • We understand what it is like to be a small business owner and how difficult it can be to have your business operating funds being held as a retainer by your lawyer. For most matters, we do not require the large retainers that are typically required by traditional law firms.

We Can Offer Assistance with the Following Business Litigation Matters:

Breach of Contract and other Contractual Disputes

Commercial Litigation

Partnership and Shareholder Disputes

Collections and Payment Disputes

Employee Disputes

Get In Touch

If you are interested in working with us or learning more about us, give us a call at 215-914-6880 or send us an email.

Contact Us!

Specific Performance of a Contract

For most instances of a breach of a contract, damages are sought as a remedy. Usually, the payment of money is sufficient for the person harmed by the breach. However, this is not always the case. If this is true, a special remedy known as specific performance may be ordered by the court. Existence and Breach of Contract In order for specific performance to be possible, it must be shown that a valid contract was entered into and that there was a breach of that contract. Contracts do not need to be in writing to be enforceable, though it is usually advisable to form written contracts, particularly when it comes to business-related matters. In order to establish the existence of a contract, the following must be proven: Both parties demonstrated an intent to be bound by the terms of the agreement; The terms were sufficiently definite to be specifically enforced; and Both parties received consideration. A breach of contract may occur if one party does not perform on time, does not perform according to the terms of the agreement, or fails to perform altogether. The breach must also be material. The court examines several factors in determining whether a breach is material, including the following: The extent the non-breaching party will be deprived of a benefit reasonably expected; The extent to which the obligations of the contract have already been completed (if few or none of the obligations have been met, the more likely it is that the breach is material); and The extent to which the breaching party comported with the standards of good faith and fair dealing.... read more

Copyright Infringement

For writers, artists, and other creators, protection of their work is critical in achieving success. If people’s original, creative work is allowed to be copied and sold by others, the incentive to create diminishes. As a result, federal law provides protection for creators from copyright infringement. As a creator of original works, it is important to understand your rights when it comes to your creations. Basic Elements of Infringement There are two basic elements to demonstrate that copyright infringement has occurred. The first is that the plaintiff must allege and prove that he or she has ownership of a valid copyright. The clearest and best way to demonstrate this is through a certificate of registration issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) before publication or within five years after first publication. This certificate is prima facie evidence of the ownership and validity of a copyright. Prima facie evidence is a fact presumed to be true unless proven otherwise. Importantly, even if the presumption that comes with a certificate of registration is not available because the five years have already passed copyright owners of U.S. works must register before filing an infringement lawsuit. Therefore, it is often advisable for copyright owners to register, even if no infringement has occurred, in order to gain the benefits of the presumption of ownership and to avoid having to register later if infringement is suspected. The second element in an infringement case is that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant violated one of the exclusive rights reserved to the copyright owner. Under 17 U.S.C. §106, these rights include, but are... read more

Employee Time Off for Medical Reasons or Death in Family

One of the most important issues for employees is the time off that they are given in order to take care of medical issues or a death of a family member. This time off is considered particularly important because it often needed during a very sensitive period of a person’s life. While paid time off may not always be required to be granted by law, providing it can often be an effective way of fostering the goodwill of employees. Family Medical Leave Act Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), certain employers are required to give qualified employees the ability to take an unpaid leave of absence for specific family and medical purposes. During this unpaid leave of absence, group health insurance continues for the employee as if he or she had not taken a leave of absence. Upon completion of the leave, the employee must be returned to the same position or one that is nearly identical. A position that is nearly identical is one with: Identical pay and benefits; The same shift or work schedule; A similar location or geographic proximity; and The same or similar duties, responsibilities, and status. The unpaid leave of absence may be for 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for the following purposes: Birth of a child and the care for a newborn within one year of birth; Care for an adopted child or a child under foster care within one year of the placement of the child with the employee; Care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; An employee’s own serious health condition which causes the... read more