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Business Disputes

Most business relationships start out with positive feelings and good will.

Unfortunately, there are times when disputes arise -- when one party feels the other hasn’t lived up to an agreement or contract. Sometimes these disputes can be resolved by direct negotiation between the parties. Other times, negotiations break down, or one party refuses to negotiate, and other ways of resolving the dispute are needed.

We assist businesses with the following commercial disputes:
  • Real Estate disputes involving Commercial Leases, Purchases and Sales

  • Business disputes involving Breach of Contract, Representations and Warranties

  • Collection of Monies

  • Employment and Discrimination

  • Unfair Competition

  • Corporate Litigation (Shareholder Disputes, Management & Control)

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Mergers & Acquisitions

In general, business disputes can be resolved either in court (litigation) or outside of court, using what’s known as “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR). There are two main forms of ADR: mediation and arbitration.

“Litigation” means a lawsuit, which may be tried in either state or federal court. Most cases are heard in the state court system; about 30 million cases a year are heard in state court systems, versus only one million in the federal court system.

Cases that may be tried in federal court include ones where the US government is a party, the parties are from different states and the amount in dispute is over $75,000, and cases involving federal law such as wrongful termination and discrimination, copyright, patent, or maritime law. Some cases may be litigated in either state or federal court, in which case the party filing the lawsuit can choose where to file.



Mediation uses a mediator (typically an attorney, sometimes a former judge) to help the parties reach an agreement. The mediator tries to help the parties find a compromise solution that is acceptable to both. Mediation is not binding – neither party is forced to accept a solution recommended by the mediator.



Arbitration is very similar to litigation, except it takes place outside the court system. An arbitrator, or a panel of arbitrators, hears the case. Procedures may be similar to those used in court. The arbitrator or arbitrators have powers similar to the those of a judge, and are often former judges.

Sometimes business agreements or contracts contain an arbitration clause, which requires the parties to submit to binding arbitration. Arbitration clauses generally specify what rules are to be followed and where the arbitration is to be held. When there is binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision usually cannot be appealed to a court.

Arbitration can be a more expensive option than litigation in the long term, since the parties have to pay the fees of the arbitrator(s) as well as those of the lawyers. However, arbitration often resolves disputes faster than litigation, and thus can be less expensive for disputes that might drag on.


Commerce Court


Philadelphia has a “Commerce Court”, which is a specialized Business Court hearing only business and commercial cases that fall within the following categories:

  • Uniform Commercial Code transactions

  • Shareholder Disputes

  • Purchases or sales of businesses or the assets of businesses

  • Sales of goods or services by or to business enterprises

  • Purchases or sales or leases of, or security interests in, commercial, real or personal property

  • Franchisor/franchisee relationships.

  • Actions relating to trade secrets or non-compete agreements

  • ''Business torts'' such as claims of unfair competition, or interference with contractual relations or prospective contractual relations

  • Actions relating to intellectual property disputes

  • Class actions, and products liability class actions

  • Declaratory judgment actions brought by insurers, and coverage dispute and bad faith claims brought by insureds where the dispute arises from a business or commercial insurance policy, such as a Comprehensive General Liability policy

Personal Injury & Property Damage


We assist clients who are pursuing and defending claims involving personal injury and property damage. We work with our clients’ primary and excess insurers to secure insurance coverage to defend and settle claims within policy limits.

We also pursue insurers for claims involving personal injuries from defective products and negligent acts or omissions and property damage resulting from the negligence of third parties.

We are licensed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and represent clients in mediation, arbitration, and litigation matters in both federal and state courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and across the country with the assistance of local counsel.



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