Often, a lawyer is imagined a legal defendant in the case of a car crash, assault, or civil lawsuit, but attorneys can often handle larger, business to business cases when one business or corporate individual believes that they have been wronged by another party. White collar crime, nonviolent crimes involving business matters and money, can often harm the financial well being of other business professionals and can damage a company’s reputation, so litigation attorneys are often called into action when fraud or other white collar crimes have been committed. Litigation attorneys and their firms are ready to help when business dishonesty and theft have taken place. A business can call for legal defense in its own local state; in Baltimore, for example, a Maryland securities fraud lawyer may be called upon, and a fraud case in Los Angeles will probably be handled by a California firm.
White Collar Crimes
What business malpractices call for litigation attorneys, and what are examples of white collar crime? Securities fraud, according to Investopedia, this sort of white collar crime can take various forms but usually involves presenting false information to investors. These crimes can be committed alone, such as by a stockbroker, or by a whole brokerage firm working together on the same scheme. Acting on inside information, giving deliberately bad advice, and misrepresenting or withholding information can all constitute this fraud, and when another party has become the victim, a securities fraud lawyer may be called upon. In the year 2014, for example, 633 total corporate fraud cases were pending, and security and commodity fraud cases amounted to 1,639 in that same year. A business attorney will have his or her hands full dealing with cases like that.
Litigation Attorneys and Fraud
Committing securities fraud involves lying on accounting work, lying on filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and manipulating stock prices, among other practices. This can lead investors into disastrous deals that were painted as profitable, and this sort of damage could certainly inspire litigation against the fraudulent individuals or company for the damage done.
Litigation is, as explained at Free Advice, the proceedings where two opposing parties are seeking to protect or enforce a legal right. The parties negotiate until an agreement is reached, but contrary to some popular belief, litigation is not just what happens in court before a judge, but rather, anything involved in reaching that settlement. Some litigation never even makes it to a courtroom, instead being settled privately. Litigation can also cover the proceedings done after a court case.
One party carries out pre-suit litigation, where they will create a demand letter for the other party to make amends and compensation for the harm done, and investigations are carried out to collect the details of what happened. Often, the harmed party, or plaintiff, will call upon litigation attorneys to try and handle the case with the other party without a costly court proceeding and lawsuit, and insurance companies on one or both side may prefer this route.
Litigation attorneys can also handle litigation once it becomes a full lawsuit. Litigation attorneys on the plaintiff’s side file a complaint to the court, then notify the other party, or the defendant, which gives an answer. Both sides meet at court, and details from investigations are presented as evidence, and these lawyers can also request questioning of relevant party members and reproduce documents as needed. This is all considered the “discovery” stage. Then, in rare instances, a trial follows, although in most cases both parties would rather not face the costs and risks of this phase. If a trial is carried out, the case is presented to a jury by each side, and once closing arguments are made, the jury works toward a verdict.