Business Law and Disputes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Every aspect of doing business implicates the law at some point or another — in fact, an entire law library would not be enough to hold the myriad of state, local, and federal statutes and regulations that come into play at just about every juncture. In addition to the public law that binds everyone equally, there is private contract law that governs private relationships between parties.

Businesses face two unique difficulties when tackling the legal disputes that constantly face them. First, enforcing legal rights takes time and money — resources that, if used inefficiently, can drive a company into bankruptcy. Second, companies walk a tightrope when they need to enforce legal rights against another company with whom they would like to continue doing business.

Cooperation Versus Combat

Since every business dispute is different, a dispute resolution strategy must be crafted that is responsive to your real-life business needs, as opposed to an ivory tower “lawyer’s solution” that looks good on paper but harms your company in the long run.

I will work with you to assess the most comprehensive and cost-effective strategy to achieve a common-sense solution to your problem. I have found that in most cases, it is best to seek to resolve an issue informally before resorting to the expense and trauma of litigation. If that doesn’t work, however, I am ready and willing to duke it out in court — and the recognition I have received demonstrates that I know what I am doing.

A Word from a Satisfied Client

“Jonathan represented myself and 6 partners with our employment contract. He was extremely thorough in his review. We were well prepared for our contract negotiations and, with Jon’s council, we achieved our goals.”

December 29, 2013

Some of My Practice Areas

I practice in a wide variety of business law subfields, including:

  • Business litigation
  • Construction litigation
  • Contract litigation
  • Business formation
  • Employment litigation
  • Breach of contract
  • Negligence
  • Fraud
  • Landlord/tenant law

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some alternatives to a lawsuit when a business dispute arises?

The most common forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) include:

  • Administrative action (seeking civil sanctions, for example);
  • Binding arbitration (if both parties agree);
  • Mediation (non-coercive intervention by a third-party facilitator); and
  • Negotiation.

What is a “material breach” of contract?

A “material breach” is a serious, rather than trivial, violation of contract terms. Although it is not always clear exactly which breaches are “material”; if a breach is material, the non-breaching party may have the right to quit the contract without penalty. If the breach is non-material, the breaching party may still be required to compensate the nonbreaching party, but the non-breaching party must still perform the contract.

Can I stop my business partner from setting up a competing business?

Maybe. If your business partner used your company’s trade secrets, you might file a lawsuit or seek a restraining order based on

  • breach of a fiduciary duty;
  • infringement of patent, trademark or copyright; or
  • breach of a non-compete clause (if such a clause was included in the partnership agreement).

What is the best way to avoid a contract dispute?

The single best way to avoid a contract dispute is to write a good, tight contract in the first place. The contract must delineate expectations, which are clarified and spelled out in such a manner that it is nearly impossible to find ambiguity or to twist the contract language to mean something that was not intended.

Will corporate bylaws play a role in a shareholder dispute?

Probably. Since corporate bylaws are like a corporate constitution that sets the corporation’s internal law (how often directors are elected, for example), shareholder disputes often hinge on the meaning and interpretation of various bylaws.

The Next Move is Yours to Make

A good business lawyer is an indispensable part of any effective business team. With so many lawyers out there, however, it is hard to know which one to choose. Any lawyer can promote himself – but not just any can back it up with recognition from his peers (including competitors):

  • In 2017 I was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a designation offered to only one in 40 Iowa lawyers.
  • I am rated “Distinguished” in both the 2016 and 2017 edition of the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.
  • I am rated 10/10 by the Avvo legal rating service.

Contact Me Today

The business law environment is a minefield. When a dispute arises, getting your attorney involved early on is critical if you want to avoid a mistake that could put you in a disadvantageous position. If you do business in the Cedar Rapids area (or anywhere in Eastern Iowa), or if you are involved in a dispute that arose here, feel free to contact me online or call my office at (319) 774-6078 so that we can schedule an initial consultation.