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Civil Litigation Attorneys

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Civil litigation is the practice of law when at least two parties have a legal disagreement that usually doesn’t involve criminal misconduct. Cases often end up in trial where a judge decides the verdict, but many are settled out of court by a judge who decides the verdict based on the case put forth by a civil litigation attorney.

If your case goes to trial, our civil litigation attorneys will guide you through the entire process. Civil cases require years of experience in leading a thorough investigation, filing pleadings, crafting an answer to any accusation, presenting evidence, and leading an in-depth discovery process. The pre-trial discovery phase encompasses legal research, document reviews, and expert witness interviews.

Our civil litigation attorneys are led by Bart Calhoun and Scott Richardson. If we can assist you with any civil litigation matters, please call us today at 501-954-8000, or submit an inquiry via our contact form available here.

civil litigation attorneys

Employment Litigation

Labor and employment law are often complicated. Legal disputes can be highly emotional, embarrassing, and can cause serious financial exposure. Employment litigation involves a large spectrum of laws and regulations often changed and amended at the state, federal, and administrative agency levels.

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act - Protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) - U.S. labor law that forbids employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age or older.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - U.S. labor law that creates the right to a minimum wage, “time-and-a-half” overtime pay when people work over forty hours a week, and prohibits employment of minors in “oppressive child labor.”
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - U.S. labor law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) - Federal law that aims to protect investors by making corporate disclosures more reliable and accurate as well as providing whistleblower protections.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) - U.S. labor law governing the federal law of occupational health and safety in the private sector and federal government.
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) - Federal tax and labor law that establishes minimum standards for pension plans in the private sector.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) - A congressional act designed to prohibit some types of genetic discrimination.
  • National Labor Relation Act (NLRA) - U.S. labor law guaranteeing the right of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining, and take collective action, such as strikes.
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) - U.S. labor law that protects employees, their families, and communities. It requires most employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60-day advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs of employees.

Arkansas Labor Laws

Arkansas labor laws regulate issues regarding the rights and responsibilities of workers and the relationship between employees, unions, and employers. Normally, labor law is thought to refer to unions and collective bargaining. These laws, however, cover a number of issues related to individual employee rights, working conditions, wages, and employer rights.

Issues like minimum wage, overtime, meals, and breaks are covered by wage and hour laws. The type of time off allowed for employees, like vacation, sickness, holidays, jury duty, and voting, fall under leave laws. Labor law addresses payment upon separation from employment for employees who are fired, discharged, or terminated; quit or resign; suspended or resigned due to a labor dispute; and laid off.

Failure to comply with these laws can lead to investigations by the Department of Labor. Arkansas has an employment-at-will doctrine that allows employers to fire employees for any reason. There are restrictions in place that do not allow discrimination, including age, sex, race, or religious beliefs.

Many types of disputes over employment can lead to civil cases and litigation, like:

  • Discrimination;
  • Harassment;
  • Failure to pay final commissions or severance;
  • Unpaid vacation benefits;
  • Wage claims for unpaid wages and overtime pay;
  • Failure to keep wage and hour records; and
  • Failure to comply with labor regulations.

Business Litigation

Business litigation is the result of a company or business filing a complaint in a court of law against a separate company, government entity, or groups of individuals. The dispute is normally a result of the commercial and business relationship between the two parties. The litigation of business disputes can quickly become very complex and can hinge on the business litigation attorney’s comprehension of their client’s business.

Common Types of Business Litigation

  • Breach of Contract
  • Fraud Disputes
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Non-Compete Issues
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Insurance Coverage Disputes
  • Employment Disputes
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Product Liability Cases
  • Personal Injury Claims

How to Prepare for Business Litigation

Lawsuits can create serious PR problems for companies, damage reputations, and cause long-term financial harm. It’s important to properly prepare for such a lawsuit to protect your company.

The first step in preparing is to employ experienced business litigation lawyers as soon as a complaint is filed or threatened. Once you engage experienced lawyers, review your business with them to uncover any vulnerabilities especially in regards to the complaint.

After you have completed the initial preparations with your civil litigation attorneys, they can help you decide what kind of actions to take or prepare for next. Possible next steps include discovery, motions, administrative hearings, mediation, arbitration, trial, and appeal.

Business Dissolution

Dissolution vs Winding Up

Dissolution is the procedural and legal process of closing a business. Winding up is the collection of debts, selling of assets, and payment of debts prior to closing a business. These processes often requires help from attorneys to:

  • Take care of all debts and obligations;
  • File all the proper paperwork; and 
  • Make all necessary announcements and notices.

Process of Dissolution

Dissolution of a corporation is often the most complex type. It varies in complexity depending on corporation size. A normal process involves:

  • Voting to close the business;
  • Dissolving your business with the government;
  • Canceling permits, licenses, and fictitious business names;
  • Paying your taxes and debts; and
  • Notifying your creditors, employees, and customers.

In a sole proprietorship, the process can be much simpler and just involves filing paperwork with the state or locality. If the owner dies, the assets become part of his or her estate.

One difference from the examples above is that in a partnership one partner can buy out the other.

Determining Contractual Rights and Duties

Contracts perform a vital function for businesses and people. A well-written contract protects both parties involved by clearly describing both of their obligations in a legally binding agreement. Whether simple or complex, a contract ensures that provided services are done according to the scope of work and that all payments are made appropriately.

What to Include in a General Contract

Duty to Indemnify

A duty to indemnify requires a party to the contract to legally ensure the information they have provided is true. It requires them to recuperate any losses as a result of false information. This is especially common in insurance contracts.

Right to Rescind

Right to rescind is the right to terminate a contract. This section of the contract outlines specific conditions that would cause the contract to be terminated, or rescinded. A basic contract rescission occurs when one party misses deadlines, fails to complete duties outlined in the scope of work, or fails to make appropriate payments. 

Services Rendered

Paramount to any contract is the scope of work or services to be performed by one or both parties of a contract. Without a clear scope, it can be difficult to hold either party accountable for disputes over a breach of contract that occur during the time period of the agreement.

Payments Due

Arguably the most important section for a company or individual performing services is the payments due. This section should outline how and when payments are to be made and what determines withholding payment. If a party refuses to pay, this section allows legal action to claim payments in court.

Reasons a Contract Can Be Legally Broken

Unfortunately, there are times when a party of the contract needs to break the contract and be freed from the responsibilities contained within. A contract can be broken by a material breach, lack of capacity, right of rescission, and termination provisions in the contract. You should always consult civil litigation attorneys before breaking a contract.

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