Trusted Civil Litigation Lawyer
Whether you have been sued or need to file a lawsuit to protect your business interests, you need an experienced trial lawyer on your side. Civil lawsuits range from simple breach of contract cases when a customer refuses to pay an invoice to complex fraud and trade secret court cases.
Lori Searcy regularly represents clients in civil cases filed in D.C. and Virginia courts. Examples of business litigation the law firm handles include breach of contract; breach of
non-compete agreements and
non-solicitation agreements; fraud and misrepresentation; negligence; defamation; misappropriation of trade secrets; business conspiracy; tortious interference with contracts;
EEOC complaints, and numerous other business and
When Winning Matters: Large companies across the nation rely on this firm to handle serious business lawsuits in Virginia and District of Columbia courts. Your case will be handled with the care and competence developed by the firm's principal attorney over years of representing clients in high-stakes business and commercial lawsuits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to common questions about civil court cases, protection of business interests, and some types of legal claims in business litigation.
What are the steps in a civil lawsuit?
Civil litigation starts with a plaintiff filing a civil complaint and serving the defendant with process (the complaint and summons). Defendants usually have a few weeks to respond by filing an answer to the complaint or other responsive document, such as a motion to dismiss the complaint.
If the lawsuit is not dismissed, the parties engage in discovery and other pre-trial proceedings. Discovery is the process in which the parties gather evidence through interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admissions, depositions, and other means to discover facts relevant to the claims or defenses in the case.
Most civil lawsuits settle or are resolved by motion before trial. If your case is not settled or dismissed, there will eventually be a trial before a judge or jury with a resulting verdict. Of course, if the plaintiff wins the case, the judge or jury will determine the appropriate relief, including money damages, to be awarded.
What is a breach of contract lawsuit?
Breach of contract occurs when a party to an agreement does not honor its contractual obligations. For example, if a customer refuses to pay an invoice, a vendor fails to provide goods or services promised, a dispute arises about a commercial lease, or a party otherwise fails to fulfill its obligations under a written or verbal agreement, the potential arises for a breach of contract case.
What laws protect a company's confidential information and trade secrets from disclosures by employees or former employees?
Common Law Duty of Loyalty: In general, employees owe employers a duty of loyalty simply by virtue of the employment relationship. Whether certain conduct by an employee constitutes a breach of the duty of loyalty depends on the specific facts and circumstances.
Employment Contracts: In addition to the duty of loyalty, employees are bound by the terms of their employment agreements (if any) and laws that apply generally to employment or business relationships. A typical employment agreement will include provisions governing the employer's intellectual property rights, confidentiality and non-disclosure of proprietary information, and various restrictive covenants like non-compete and non-solicitation provisions.
Trade Secret & Business Conspiracy Laws: Employees must also comply with all other applicable laws. For example, trade secret laws in Virginia and the District of Columbia expressly prohibit misappropriation of trade secrets. Virginia's conspiracy statute prohibits employees from conspiring with another person or entity to harm the former employer's business.
What is a business tort?
A tort is simply a legal wrong. Some business torts that arise often in civil cases include defamation, tortious (wrongful) interference with a business contract or business relationship, fraud, misrepresentation and other types of negligence.
What is defamation?
Defamation is a business tort or wrong. To establish a defamation case, in general, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false statement concerning the plaintiff, the defendant published the false statement without privilege, defendant's publication of the false, defamatory statement was at least negligent, and plaintiff was harmed by the false statement.
If you need to speak with an experienced attorney about a civil court lawsuit that has been filed against you or a case you are about to bring, call Lori Searcy at 703-644-4122 / 202-393-1443 or complete the
business case review form. We look forward to helping you.