Get a Strong Business Litigation Attorney on Your Side Before You Need One
The question is not if, but when. 60 percent of the roughly 20 million civil cases filed every year are contract disputes. In today's litigious business environment, it's not if, but when you will need a business litigator.
You don't want to be caught flat-footed when a legal dispute arises in your business. You need a strong business litigation attorney on your side to protect your legal rights. Good legal advice early in the process can often reduce or eliminate legal fees and costs. Sometimes, a quick resolution is better than a long, drawn-out legal battle. Other times, you need to be ready for battle.
With over 35 years of experience I have won court cases in a broad range of business disputes including settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeals throughout California. I have represented clients in almost every industry imaginable and coming from all over Southern California, and as far away as Brazil, Russia, and Italy.
114 Pacifica, Suite 450 Irvine, CA 92618
What Should You Be Looking for in a Business Litigator?
does your attorney have SIGNIFICANT JURY TRIAL EXPERIENCE?
If you end up in a jury trial, you do not want your trial to be your attorney's first rodeo. Even if your case does not go to trial, an experienced trial lawyer with a solid track record will be able to negotiate a better settlement for you and your business. Many lawyers who graduated high in their class from prestigious law schools, have never tried a case.
Mr. Chapman has tried numerous multi-million dollar cases to verdict, representing both defendants and plaintiffs. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients and saved other clients millions of dollars when the stakes are high and the case goes all the way to trial.
has your attorney won million dollar arbitration awards?
Sometimes business agreements require the parties to "arbitrate" their dispute, precluding a jury trial. Arbitration is a less formal proceeding than a trial, with its own set of rules and procedures. Has your attorney won large cases in arbitration, as well as at trial?
A franchise finance firm retained Mr. Chapman to represent them against a major bank in a breach of commission case. The case was taken to a binding arbitration before a retired Appellate Court Justice who awarded Mr. Chapman's client $1.1 million.
has your attorney won significant Breach of Contract trials?
Since more than half of all civil lawsuits arise out of a business dispute, you want someone who knows the law of contracts. Someone who can fight for you in court when the going gets tough.
In one of his breach of contract cases, Mr. Chapman was co-lead trial counsel representing and Orange County product designer in a case against a Chinese contract manufacturer. After a multi-month jury trial, the jury came back with a verdict in favor of Mr. Chapman's client for $10 million.
has your attorney won any federal court jury trials?
Depending on a number of factors, business cases can be tried in either state or federal court. Again, the rules and procedures for state and federal trial are very different. Federal Court is much more formal and judges are appointed for life. They can be very harsh and demanding. Federal court trials are not for the faint of heart.
A Sacramento law firm retained Mr. Chapman to represent it in a legal malpractice suit in Federal Court brought by the insurance company that hired the firm to represent its insured. Damages were claimed in excess of $1 million. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Mr. Chapman's client.
has your attorney won out-of-town business trials?
Sometimes lawyers get "hometowned" when they go out-of-town to try a case. When trying a case out-of-town, Mr. Chapman challenges the jury to do what is right even if he and his client are from out-of-town or from a different country.
In one such trial, Mr. Chapman represented a Brazilian distributor of software against a San Jose-based publicly traded software company. The opposing attorney frequently reminded the jury that he worked for a large firm in town and that Mr. Chapman was from out-of-town and his client was from South America.
In his closing argument, Mr. Chapman suggested that the opposing attorney wanted the jury to vote for his client because they were local. Mr. Chapman challenged the jury to decide the case on the facts and the law as the judge had instructed them, without any bias.
After the two-month jury trial, during deliberations, the jury asked the judge whether they had to find both fraud and despicable conduct to award punitive damages. The opposing attorney told Mr. Chapman his client wanted to settle immediately and would pay the full amount demanded by Mr. Chapman's client. The case was settled for the full $7.75 million prior to the jury rendering its verdict.
has your attorney won any judge trials?
Most attorneys are proudest of their jury trial victories. Jury trials are typically more dramatic and sometimes newsworthy. However, not all cases have the right to a jury trial. So, you may need an attorney that can not only win at trial in front of a jury, but who can be victorious if a judge is the one who decides your case.
In one example of his many court trials, Mr. Chapman was retained to represent a corporation in defense of a multi-million dollar lawsuit on a contract claim. Mr. Chapman argued that the corporate officer signing the contract acted in excess of his authority. A defense judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Chapman's client.
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