St. Louis Business / Contract Dispute Attorneys
Our close-knit group of commercial litigators, based out of St. Louis but representing clients all over the country, collectively provide your business with more than 60 years of experience and success representing small to medium sized businesses in breach of contract lawsuits involving their employees, contractors, vendors, suppliers, buyers, service providers, etc.
With few exceptions, the founders of those businesses speak fondly of the days when a deal was made by a handshake, and reputations took priority over profit. Today, with fewer and fewer parties able to resolve issues themselves, even simple deals must be well documented.
However, no matter how well a deal is documented, no contract remains “iron-clad” forever, and contract disputes will arise in a myriad of circumstances. Unexpected events occur, or the mere passage of time creates ambiguity where certainty once existed. Sometimes, a party simply experiences a change in costs or leverage in the market, and wants a second bite at the proverbial apple. Other times, your written contract will simply be the target of a “frivolous lawsuit,” i.e. one that is filed simply because it is cheaper for you to settle than to fight.
Contract Litigation Strategy
Whatever the particulars, when a contract dispute arises, you need an experienced lawyer to help you evaluate your options, and get you back to business as quickly, and efficiently, as is possible.
More specifically, a simple letter followed by immediate and aggressive “discussion,” often serves to prevent the costs of filing or responding to suit entirely. Similarly, preliminary motions to dismiss can defeat a frivolous suit before costly discovery occurs, and more commonly shapes/truncates the suit, thus limiting both discovery costs and the length of trial. Dispositive motions for summary judgment can effectively serve as a last line of defense against the costs of trial.
However, negotiating a favorable settlement, as a tool, is often the right one for the job. As an outcome, it is overwhelmingly the actual result in contract disputes. As such, having an experienced attorney is just as necessary to settle a claim as it is to prevail at trial. Without an honest assessment of costs, and their likelihood, your settlement negotiations will be no better than guesswork.
Of course, that is not to say that we prefer settlement. We fully understand and embrace the proposition that not all decisions show short-term gains on a spreadsheet. Sometimes, scorched earth is unavoidable; other times, it’s just business. If you want a law firm filled with lawyers worried more about their social calendars than fighting for every piece of a fixed pie, look elsewhere. If, instead, you demand an attorney that prepares for, expects, and delivers a fight, while at all times evaluating this plan of action to keep you apprised of their honest assessment of the strength of your position…..
Attorneys who specialize in commercial litigation: Joshua M. Schindler, and Brian P. Doty.