Business Lawsuits: Causes of Action

Feb 28, 2014   |   by admin   |   Uncategorized  |  No Comments

How Business Relationships Are Formed

Many business relationships start (and end) with a contract.

  • Partners are governed by a partnership agreement
  • Suppliers are governed by a purchase order
  • Landlords and tenants are governed by their lease agreements

These are all contracts that, when violated, create a cause of action for breach of contract. When a contract is breached, the plaintiff has to prove that a contract was created in the first place, that the plaintiff fulfilled his role in the contract, that the defendant did not meet their obligations, and that the plaintiff was harmed (damaged) by the breach of contract.

Other causes of action include:

  • Interfering with an existing contract between two other parties
  • Interfering with potential of economic gain, which involves a potential contract between two or more parties

California business litigation is a complex arena with its own set of rules. Almost all business disputes include one of these or a combination of the causes of action mentioned above. An experienced business litigation attorney can hear the facts about a dispute and determine which causes of action and statutes apply.

When Fiduciary Relationships Don’t Work

You might see certain cases where business people will enter into special relationships with other business people in whom they place their trust, faith and care. This kind of relationship can evolve into that of a fiduciary. The most common examples of fiduciary relationships are among board members, shareholders, real estate brokers and partners in partnerships. A couple examples of the breach of fiduciary duties include stealing clients, customers or employees or a selfish director on the board of directors who has benefited by self dealing. In the same vein as the contract lawsuit, the plaintiff in this kind of action has to prove that a fiduciary duty existed, that the duty was breached and that the breach caused the plaintiff harm (damage).

Valid and Invalid Fraud Accusations

A fraud case is built around a lie. The lie might represent an intentional distortion of the facts or it might be a cover up for the concealment of information that shouldn’t have been concealed. The plaintiff must in this case prove that he or she actually relied on the misrepresentation, their reliance was justified, and the misrepresentation caused harm. If you knew it was a lie and you went along with it anyway, you can’t sue for fraud.

If a normal and reasonable person would not have went along with it and believed it, you can’t sue for fraud. If you were lied to but were not harmed from the lie, there is no cause for action for the fraud.

These are some of the major causes of action in business litigation. Now that you know what they are, you are ready to work with an experienced business litigation attorney in San Jose. Visit for more specific information on these causes of action and our practice.