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Who Will Hear Your Commercial Litigation Case?

Commercial litigation takes many different forms. Some of the different types of cases classified as commercial litigation can include securities litigation; claims of unfair competition; intellectual property disputes; claims of interference with contracts or business relationships; and antitrust matters. Who Will Hear Your Commercial Litigation Case?

Your commercial litigation case may be resolved through alternative dispute resolution, through a negotiated settlement or by a judge or jury if your case ends up in court.  It is important to understand who will hear your commercial litigation case and what laws apply to resolve your dispute. An experienced Irvine, CA business lawyer can assist you throughout filing or responding to a complaint and during the process of dealing with your legal issues. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to speak with an attorney who can help.

Who Will Hear Your Commercial Litigation Case?

If you have entered into a binding arbitration agreement, then an arbitrator will hear your commercial litigation case and make a decision on the legal issues. Many contracts contain an arbitration clause and this clause will be enforced in almost all cases. As a result, if you have agreed to arbitration and you try to go to court, your case will be dismissed so the dispute can be moved to arbitration. The decision that is made by the arbitrator is going to be final when you submit a dispute to binding arbitration, unless you are able to successfully appeal.  Courts will review the actions of the arbitrator, but give deference to the arbitrator’s decisions and will not invalidate the decision unless there were significant problems with the way the decision was made.

If you have not entered into a binding arbitration agreement and you cannot resolve your dispute on your own through negotiations or mediation, then your case is likely to wind up in court.  There are two different court systems where your commercial litigation case could be decided: state court and federal court.

State courts are courts of general jurisdiction. They can hear all different kinds of claims including cases arising from state contract laws.  State courts may also have concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts to preside over cases that arise from either state or federal law. For example, a state court could hear an employment discrimination case or could preside over securities litigation when the claim arises from the Securities Act of 1933. A federal court could also have jurisdiction over employment discrimination cases arising out of Title VII and securities cases arising out of the Securities Act of 1933.

Federal courts, unlike state courts, are courts of limited jurisdiction. A federal court has jurisdiction over cases involving questions and issues related to federal laws, including the Constitution. A federal court also has diversity jurisdiction if the plaintiff and defendant are from different states or countries and more than $75,000 hinges on the decision that is made.

You must file your commercial litigation case in a court with jurisdiction to hear the case. If you try to file a state court case in a federal court, for example, the court will not be able to hear your claim. If there is concurrent jurisdiction, the plaintiff decides whether to file a claim in state or federal court. The defendant has the opportunity to remove the claim to federal court (request that it be moved) if the plaintiff files in state court.

An experienced Irvine, CA business lawyer can help to decide where to file a suit and can assist with choice of law issues. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to schedule a consultation and learn more.