Civil and Business Litigation
Tollefsen Law PLLC (TL) focuses on complex business
and commercial litigation.
We also know that businesses usually do not make money
litigating. We know litigation usually take valuable time and resources
that you would prefer to use elsewhere. Unlike some law firms that tend to find a way to create large fees
before looking for a solution, TL is focused on settlement from the
onset of the case. Over 95% of civil cases settle before trial. You
can expect an honest assessment of your case when we open your file.
You will have an opportunity to fully discuss your case and evaluate
Controlling litigation costs
Litigation can be very expensive. TL works hard
on minimizing fees. Hourly rates are reasonable. Expensive downtown
offices and marble staircases are avoided. Litigation plans attempt
to achieve maximum result with minimum cost. Tasks are automated.
Files are paperless. The most advanced legal management software is
Practical difficulties with finding a fair settlement.
Regardless of your motivation to
find a quick solution, there are many barriers. If you are the one
bringing the action (plaintiff or claimant), the defendant is often
unwilling to admit error or that your case has any merit. Plaintiffs
should not go forward with litigation unless they are prepared to go
to trial. Expecting a defendant to pay a significant amount of money
without convincing proof of liability. Don't expect litigation to be
easy for the plaintiff.
It is often difficult to settle as
a defendant even if you think you did something wrong. Plaintiffs
and their lawyers can have unrealistic expectations.
Types of Cases
Business and Contract Litigation.
Typically, business litigation involves
contracts that have an attorneys' fee clause. The loser pays the
winner. Both sides have an incentive to minimize costs and
risks. Expect to spend a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum in
six figures. International arbitration and litigation can be even
Law suits in bankruptcy court are called
adversary proceedings and generally follow the federal rules of
procedure. In addition to its federal court litigation experience, TL is experienced in obtaining non-dischargeable
judgments in cases of financial fraud.
Collection of Debt.
Usually the reason the debt is not paid is
the financial straits of the debtor (defendant or respondent).
If you are bringing an action against an insolvent defendant for
a clearly documented debt, you will probably obtain a judgment
but may never collect it. Expect legal fees if there is no
defense or a limited defense to range from $2,500 to $10,000.
Securities and Other Financial Fraud.
Often these cases are handled on a
contingency fee agreement. A minimum of $200,000 of money lost
is required to justify the cost and risk of TL taking a contingency
This is true with court cases and FINRA and other arbitration. The greatest difficulty with these cases is finding a
solvent defendant. If you bring this type of action with your
own funds, expect to spend a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum in
TL takes selected Sarbanes Oxley and False Claims
Act whistleblower actions on contingent fee basis. These case are
inordinately expensive because the defendant is usually a large
public company that has no incentive to settle. Expect legal fees
and costs to start at $100,000 and often to exceed $500,000.
SEC whistleblower cases usually involve completing a few forms and
are much less expensive.
There are times
when an investigation must be done by a professional and be kept
confidential. Only an attorney can provide the protection of the
attorney-client privilege. An attorney who is a Certified Fraud
Examiner and Certified Controls Specialist offers an additional dimension of professionalism and
Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation is usually voluntary
and involves the litigants meeting with a neutral professional
who attempts to reason the parties into settling. It can be very
effective. The mediator is paid hourly by the parties. It is
Arbitration occurs under
contractual agreement and in smaller court cases. Unfortunately,
it has is often as expensive as court litigation and has none of
the safeguards. There is no right to jury and practically no
right to appeal. It is often used by big corporations to
eliminate class actions and make it impossible for consumers to
afford a lawyer to handle the case.
Small Claims Courts
Small Claims courts are the suggested
solution for cases with claims under $10,000.
Litigation in Washington