Learning About Business Torts and Declaratory Judgements

business-torts-and-declaratory-judgmentsWHAT YOU MIGHT ASK AN ATTORNEY

What are Business Torts?

Business torts, aka economic torts, refers to legal cases that are based specifically around areas of law that deal with civil cases when one party to a business transaction does another wrong. This can happen between two businesses, a business doing a customer wrong, or a customer doing a business wrong. The individual details of each case are going to vary but the general idea remains the same. Business torts are civil cases involving business and law, with the very word “Tort” having long legal history and roots in English (and therefore American, Canadian, Australian, etc.) business civil law.

When Do Torts Come Into Play?
There are many specific situations when a business or contract disagreement could lead to an in court tort case. The key for these cases is proving there is a deliberate and intentional movement by one party to do harm to another in a way that hurts the business in question.

Some classic examples of situations that often fall under tort law include intellectual property infringement, violation of collective labor law, and unfair competition laws or rulings. These are fairly general when it comes to case types, but they give a basic idea of the foundation of cases that make up tort cases in most nations.

A few slightly more specific types of cases that fall under this case of law include: negligent mis-representation of goods or services, breach of contract, conspiracy to do (business) harm, trade libel, intentional aggressive economic harm, and more!

There Are Many Modern Cases Of Note
One thing that’s important to realize is that the United Kingdom, Canada, and United States all have very different tort laws and because of that the exact rules and precedent set in these cases can be radically different from one nation to another. Looking up the important modern tort cases in each nation’s courts can give a better sense of what the laws and rules are.

Why Declaratory Judgment Is An Important Litigation Tool

A declaratory judgment is an important tool for litigation. It involves the litigant seeking the court’s guidance early on within a commercial or any other business dispute. The aim of the declaratory judgment is determination of the kinds of legal obligations or rights that may follow future action. The role of a declaratory judgment is clarifying any legal ramifications that would follow a future course of action before the initiation of the course of action.

Declaratory judgments offer legal knowledge that can guide the future actions of the litigant. Here are some situations where it would be applicable.

1.    Trademark & Copyright Infringement

If an entity plans to use a trademark similar to another entity’s or is worried about overstepping the copyright bounds, the entity can seek declaratory action to ensure that it doesn’t infringe on another entity’s copyright.

2.    Insurance Matters

An Insurance company can request a declaratory judgment to confirm that it isn’t responsible to cover a claim that one of their insured entity has filed. This action ensures that the insured cannot appeal the insurance company’s denial and succeed.

Declaratory judgments are however not applicable if rights have already been infringed upon, damages have already been incurred, or actions are already in motion. Some entities use them as preemptive strategies in case of further litigation. Such entities will attempt using them to claim the position of the plaintiff, while in legal reality; this position belongs to the adversary. Courts usually strike down those kinds of judgments.

Final Thoughts

If you have concerns regarding the legal ramifications of a particular future course of action, you should consider seeking a declaratory judgment.  Find a lawyer who specializes in litigation and one who is familiar with them. A good litigation lawyer can assess your case properly and advise you on whether the declaratory judgment is the best tool for litigation for your situation or not.