Corporate Governance Litigation
These lawsuits include claims by shareholders, partners, and LLC members, collectively referred to as the “constituents” of the business. The legal doctrines that underlie corporate governance lawsuits are explained – how courts apply the concept of fiduciary duties, how direct and derivative suits proceed, and circumstances in which a court will allow claimants to pierce the corporate veil. That discussion is then followed by a practical list of ten sources of corporate governance claims and a discussion of how these lawsuits can be reduced.
2. Contract Disputes
Contract claims are the most common type of commercial litigation and overlap with other categories of claims. The book discusses how common contractual terms play out in litigation, how courts interpret and enforce provisions, or set aside contract terms because of public policy and other considerations. A chapter explains the six questions addressed in every commercial contract claim followed by a chapter outlining strategies to address risks of litigation from a contracting counterparty.
3. Customers Claims
Customers – both commercial counterparties and consumers – present a broad range of potential lawsuits. Businesses that sell products or provide services to consumers are vulnerable to class actions, which aggregate small damage claims, creating a multi-million dollar liability. Business-to-business transactions can spawn breach of warranty claims. Customers sustaining injuries to property or persons bring product liability. Several checklists and strategies are outlined to address these litigation risks from customers.
4. Competitor Lawsuits
The book next discusses the eight distinct categories of claims brought by competitors, those with a pecuniary motivation to bog the company down in protracted litigation. Competitor lawsuits – whether for interference, misappropriation of trade secrets or unfair competition – present heightened risks, including the possibility that proprietary information will be disclosed to a competitor in the litigation.
Crewmember (Employee) Claims
The fifth and final of the five Cs is the most common – lawsuits brought by the “crewmembers” – the employees in the company. These plaintiffs benefit from robust statutory protections and legal doctrines that expand each year. This chapter lists 22 of the most common employee claims and provides practical ideas on how to reduce the number of lawsuits filed by employees as well as claims for renegade employees who engage in tortious and other wrongful conducted imputing liability to the company.