BUSINSS DISPUTES SAN JOSE

A LEADING BUSINESS ATTORNEY SAN JOSE LAW FIRM

business disputes nick heimlich lawWhen your relationship with a business partner or a shareholder goes wrong, your choice of attorney influences whether the situation progresses constructively, or the situation aggravates and additional problems are raised.

Business disputes often arise when shareholders of a company stop trusting each other and one shareholder suspects that the business profits are higher than reported. These disputes often fester and grow if there is not an open line of communication between officers of the corporation and the shareholders. Officers and Board Members should be open with providing important company information such as financial statements and an update of the progress of the business on at least an annual basis. Providing this information, including support information if needed can often resolve disputes.

Another point of contention is officer’s salaries and benefits. Best practices would be that for a CEO not to vote on his compensation. Sometimes that is not possible, but in all cases, people should consider whether the salary and benefits are reasonable for the industry and company and document the basis for any decision.

No attorney can guarantee the resolution of your situation. However, an attorney that takes a balanced approach. Attorney Heimlich is ready to provide a steady hand and progress the situation, or if needed then pursue litigation in court or arbitration.

Attorney Nick Heimlich chooses to approach situations as someone who is willing to go to court or to resolve things constructively and voluntarily, if possible. Attorney Nick Heimlich’s case history includes business disputes such as partnership disputes, contract disputes, accounting disputes, shareholder disputes, lawsuits, and arbitrations.

Many business disputes are a result of someone breaking a business agreement, such as failing to pay for goods or services or failing to deliver goods or services. Mr. Heimlich has represented persons seeking payment for goods and services. In addition, Mr. Heimlich has also dealt with defending claims for payment from breaking a business agreement. Sometimes, clients have legal or factual defenses that may help to either limit their liability or negotiate a resolution. Examples of contract disputes can be service providers for high tech services not paid for, such as software developers, hardware support, software support. Similarly, there are also traditional unpaid bills for services rendered such as medical providers, attorneys or others. To evaluate your case, contact Attorney Nick Heimlich.

Business disputes also come up from employees or former employees of businesses. Mr. Heimlich has dealt with disputes with former employees, such as in front of the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (“DLSE”). Mr. Heimlich has dealt with issues before the DLSE such as unpaid wages, overtime claims, penalty wages, waiting time penalties, minimum wage claims, failure to pay wages timely, failure to issue a final paycheck timely and other items. If you are facing a notice from the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement you should contact Nick Heimlich to assist you in the process and appear with you to represent your interests. Mr. Heimlich has appeared in the Santa Clara County DLSE office, which is located in downtown San Jose for clients and may be able to assist with your matter.

Mr. Heimlich has also dealt with Unemployment Claims and can advise on preparing a response if an employee of your has filed an unemployment claim.

Attorney Nick Heimlich has litigated in Santa Clara Superior Court, Alameda County Superior Court, San Mateo County Superior Court and San Francisco County Superior Courts, Contra Costa County Superior Court, Orange County Superior Court. He has also litigated in federal courts in the Northern District of California, and federal courts in Orange County, CA as well.

Attorney Nick Heimlich is admitted in the Northern District of California (San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco), the Central District of California (Orange County and Los Angeles County), and the Eastern District of California (Stockton, Sacramento).

OVERVIEW

Business and private enterprises are vulnerable to many civil liabilities, including claims, administrative proceedings and lawsuits. People who own small businesses will often face many legal hurdles as they tackle all of the daily tasks that go with entrepreneurship. This is why you need a good business litigation lawyer on your side.

Our services include alternative dispute resolution or ADR services, business dispute services, and civil suits.

Filing for San Jose business contract dispute
Discussing San Jose business contract dispute

ABOUT US

Nick Heimlich is a San Jose ADR attorney who can help you with your business litigation needs. His previous experience in handling business disputes and litigation can prove useful when your business needs it.

Our focus is on serving small businesses, emphasizing settling disputes through fair and honest litigation techniques. We can provide legal representation for mediation and arbitration services in cases where compromise is the goal or winning the legal issue is the goal.

San Jose Business Contract Dispute Services

Our law firm focuses in legal advocacy for franchise and partnership disputes. We also offer support in areas involving business and corporate law. Our legal services can cover anything from contract breaches to collection for monies lent (generally over $25,000). Our goal is to protect you and your business so that you can move forward and prosper.

Business disputes can occur between business partners, but they can also happen between companies and shareholders. There may also be times when conflicts happen with your customers. These disputes that occur between individuals or organizations are usually centered around breached contracts or lost revenue.

Disputes are not unusual, and sometimes you cannot avoid them. To resolve a dilemma of this magnitude, you will need the skills and expertise of experienced corporate dispute lawyers in San Jose.

San Jose Alternative Dispute Resolution Services For Businesses

Finding alternative dispute resolution or ADR services in San Jose can be difficult. Our experience and expertise in business dispute resolution can help move your business forward. Nick Heimlich law is here to provide you with an attorney with a strong and balanced approach.

Nick Heimlich law understands how business disputes can happen. They can be a direct result of trust issues that arise among shareholders and CEOs. Communication is the main ingredient in keeping trust going, and when it fails, everything else fails. Good communication is needed to build trust between the two parties.

San Jose business contract dispute
Business mediator for San Jose business contract dispute

There are several ways on how you can keep good communication between parties. One example is providing annual financial statements such as tax records and profits. Being open about your company revenue, expenses and debt will also be helpful. Maintaining transparency with your shareholders by providing them access to significant financial records of your business can help prevent disputes.

Nick Heimlich Law has proven experience in lawsuits and other civil cases. We can also provide legal support for accounting problems and payroll issues. Should you experience any problems, we can assist you in resolving these problems in a court of law or administrative proceedings.

 

If your company is seeking financial compensation for the goods and services you provide, we can help you. Our business litigation attorneys serve clients from every small business and help them with their financial issues when selling products or services. We can offer sound legal advice for collecting payments from your clients. We cannot guarantee results, but we have helped many clients recover monies.

If your business is in real estate, we can help you recover delinquent payments. Our lead attorney, Nick Heimlich, can help you in those areas. He can help you receive payments from a breached contract or agreement from another party. He can offer alternative resolution disputes and will help you achieve them as smoothly as possible. At Nick Heimlich Law, we aim to help clients receive compensation for their business claims.  We cannot guarantee results, but we have helped many clients recover monies.

Disputes of wages, misappropriation of corporate funds are some examples of claims that our clients encounter. There are also other claims, such as financial fraud, where someone claims they need to be paid back for expenses that never happened.

In some cases, claims can also involve a breach of contract between two parties. You can call our office and speak to a reliable attorney when you encounter these things.

CAN I FILE A CLAIM FOR NONPAYMENT?

Before going to court, it is best to send your customer an invoice by mail first and then wait. If nothing happens, the next step is to send them a copy of the invoice by email. Doing this multiple times will give your customer a record of invoices. They would not be able to say that they did not receive a bill. Doing this will also give them several reminders before the bill goes into collections. Your hope is that your customer pays voluntarily.

When your customer is several months behind payment, aside from sending invoices by mail and email, try to give them a call first. Doing so will allow you to discuss the bill with them and come up with a solution. In most cases, both of you can make a payment arrangement to pay off the balance. If these things don’t work, you may need to look into filing a claim.

Can I hire a business dispute lawyer near me for a mediation hearing? Do I need a mediation lawyer near me?

Yes, you can have a lawyer present during a mediation hearing. You are not required to have a lawyer, but it is advisable.

Arbitration involves the use of a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator. This person acts as someone who hears both sides and then decides who should prevail (just like a Judge in Court) based on the evidence presented. Arbitration happens in cases where two or more parties cannot agree and need the services of an outside party.

There are two kinds of arbitration: binding and non-binding. Binding arbitration is where an arbitrator’s decision is final. The disputing parties have agreed so and are not going to be able to reject the arbitrator’s decision (called an Arbitration Award). On the other hand, non-binding arbitration allows both parties to ignore the Arbitration Award and go to trial if they disagree with the arbitrator’s decision.

There are pros and cons to arbitration, which can help you decide if it’s right for your case. Several good takeaways include:

  • It can be faster and more efficient than Court. While it could take years to secure a court date, arbitration typically takes less time. They can be scheduled a lot quicker when all parties are present.
  • Arbitration is flexible and can be scheduled at a time that’s convenient for everyone.
  • Arbitration may be cheaper and also less time-consuming than going to court.

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

An alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, is a way of solving a dispute that does not involve the going to trial in Court. They use two main methods: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation in San Jose is something to think about when weighing your options. This is because business disputes in San Jose may require legal mediation services by contract. Further, mediation may be a better and less expensive way to resolve your dispute.

You can consider mediation when both sides can come to a compromise. However, both parties must appoint a neutral third party known as a mediator before mediation can happen. The mediator acts like an umpire to witness both sides involved in the dispute. They can listen and help both parties seek viable solutions that don’t need the time and experience of a seasoned litigator.

You can consider mediation when you want a faster, easier approach to settling a dispute. With mediation, you can resolve the conflict outside of court. Having a lawyer at mediation is also advisable as they can help guide the negotiation that happens at mediation and put together a better brief of the key elements of your case.

In cases where there are personal relationships involved, mediation is the better option. With this, both parties with a history of personal relations can keep everything intact while resolving their issues. Mediation can prove very effective for conflicts between family members, friends, or neighbors. It is also excellent for situations where emotions are intense and can interfere with conflict resolution.

However, mediation is not appropriate for situations where one party holds too much power over the other. It is also unsuitable for cases where one side refuses to compromise. Mediation in San Jose is something to think about when weighing your options in resolving a conflict. In some instances, this may be a better option than going to Court and trial. Mediation can also be used after a court case has been filed and often is used and promoted by the Courts to help resolve disputes.

Finding A Mediation Attorney Near Me

If you need a mediation attorney for your claims or other dispute resolution needs, give us a call at Nick Heimlich Law. We will help you write and send a letter demanding immediate payment. After the demand is sent and no settlement is reached, we will assist you if you choose to file a lawsuit against the customer. Or, we can assist with mediation if that is agreed to by the parties.

Having written records is great for providing evidence of your claim. The other party involved may still file a claim against you even though you were the one who filed a lawsuit first. There may also be some other factors that can prevent you from getting a settlement.

If you have any questions or you need more information about alternative dispute resolutions, we can help. Reach out to us and speak to one of our attorneys today. They are ready to assist, address your concerns, and answer your questions.

FAQ

Should I sue my customer?

I often get this question from potential clients. There are a number of concerns to consider. First, I usually advise my clients to try to professionally and politely remind the customer of their obligations. Second, It is also advisable to send the bill a few different ways, such as email, mail, fax. If it is sent a few different ways, then that avoids the issue of the client just missing it or not getting it by accident. Third, I would also suggest after the customer is either behind a significant amount (or beyond the regular payment period) to politely call the customer to ask about the bill. Sometimes, small questions arise that can be dealt with over the phone that people may not raise in response to receiving the bill until they are contacted. Fourth, I would suggest offering a payment plan (if that works for your business) or trying to be flexible with the client. Fifth, if all of the above doesn’t work, then contact Nick Heimlich and we can see about sending a demand letter for payment to see if that works. If the demand letter does not work, then a lawsuit can be considered.

What are the advantages of suing?

The advantages of suing is mainly that it can force someone potentially to pay that would not have paid without the lawsuit.

If I sue, am I guaranteed to get paid?

No. There are situations where you can win a lawsuit, but not get paid. Sometimes the person you are suing has no money, files bankruptcy or evades collection of a judgment.

Can I lose even if I have a written contract?

Yes, sometimes. The lawsuit can sometimes change and include claims against you even if you sued first. Further, sometimes there are legal or factual defenses to your claim that might prevent you from winning.

When should I sue?

Consult an attorney as soon as possible, because the statute of limitations (the time deadline to sue) depends on the type of claim that you have. Some claims have very short deadlines to file claims. Only after an attorney has determined what types of claims you have can the attorney tell you how long you have to file suit. For example, in California, a party has 4 years from the date of breach of a written contract to file suit (this can be changed in the contract or based on other facts). However, if there is no writing, then it is only 2 years. Other claims have different deadlines and sometimes even require filing administrative claims before filing suit.

What is Partnership or Shareholder Disputes?

Sometimes, the owners of a business get into disputes with each other. Some disputes can be caused by differences in business strategy such as what type of business to conduct, marketing goals, or operational issues, such as expenses. I often get contacted because the ownership relationship has broken down between owners.

That dispute then gets to the point where the question is what to do next. There are often concerns about liability and lost profits or return of monies invested in the business by the departing party. Or, sometimes both parties are still running the business, but they cannot get along and are constantly fighting against each other.

What are Typical Types of Claims?

The claims could be breaches of fiduciary duties, failure to provide corporate inspection records, failure to pay employees, self-dealing, or using corporate monies for personal purposes or expenses. Other times, there is fraud in that one party may claim reimbursement for expenses that did not occur, or failing to report sales as income for the business on cash sales or other items.

What is Amicable Resolution by Voluntary Agreement?

Once a dispute has occurred, there are multiple ways to try to resolve the dispute. The easiest solution, but not always practical, is for the parties to share a complete picture of the businesses financials and to negotiate one person buying out the other person’s interest including any equity and paying back any loans due or other monies owed. If that can’t be worked out, sometimes a voluntary winding down or closing of the business could work by paying all creditors and returning profits to the owners based on their percentage ownership.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

If the parties cannot come to a resolution amongst themselves, then sometimes bringing in other parties can move the dispute toward resolution. There a multiple forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, and arbitration.

What is Mediation?

A mediation is basically where both parties agree to meet with a mediator (who is a third party) to help negotiate a voluntary resolution of their dispute. The mediator, which is usually agreed upon by the parties is often an experienced attorney or a former judge who is familiar with situations such as the one that the parties are involved in. The mediator has no power to force the parties to accept any resolution, but rather tries to help explain information and persuade the parties to reach some resolution. If one or both parties cannot agree on a solution at mediation, then there is no settlement and the parties will have to consider alternatives to resolution, or consider mediation at a later date. If the mediation is successful, then a formal settlement agreement should be drawn up on the day of the mediation and signed on that day. This is critical that a fully signed agreement is done that day. If it is not done, then the parties could be spending days or weeks negotiating those terms after the mediation. Below are some typical questions about mediation.

Can I be represented by an Attorney?

Yes, parties can have an attorney present for mediation. However, it is not required.

What happens before a Mediation?

Often, the parties should have summaries of their dispute written up, along with key documents and legal points and provide this in a Mediation Statement or Brief to the Mediator for review. This should also be provided to the opposing side. While certain parts of the Brief (such as settlement proposals) might be only shared with the mediator, most of the brief should be shared with the other side. Failure to share a brief often results in an unproductive mediation because the parties do not understand each other’s position.

Do I have to file suit to have a mediation?

No, a mediation can be done either before or after a lawsuit is filed. Mediation does not require that a lawsuit or arbitration is pending.

What is the cost of a mediation?

The cost is based upon two main factors, the preparation for the mediation and the mediation itself. The preparation will include the time needed by you and your attorney to prepare a summary of your case and relevant documents and provide that brief to the mediator. Additionally, the mediator will often charge on a hourly (or per day) basis for their time both for preparation and on the day of the mediation. Then, you attend with your attorney the day of the mediation and there is time on the day of the mediation.

Why should I consider mediation?

If the parties would like a flexible approach that might resolve their dispute outside a court or arbitration and in a faster manner, then mediation should be considered.

When should I not consider mediation?

If the parties are extremely far apart in their positions and show little or no flexibility, then mediation may not work, or may need to take place later. Additionally, if one or both parties do not have the information that they need to resolve the dispute, then mediation may be premature.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a private forum for disputes. It is an alternative to a Court and allows the parties to present their dispute to an Arbitrator. The Arbitrators have a set of rules set by their organization that they belong to and will basically act as Judge and Jury for any case. Arbitration can be flexible in how it is administered. Sometimes, Arbitration can allow for a more economical forum, although that is not guaranteed depending on the parties needs and the dispute. Arbitration also typically involves fees to initiate the arbitration and fees of the Arbitrators at their hourly rates and possibly additional administrative fees or charges. Sometimes, the Arbitration fees are greater than Court fees would be for similar proceedings.