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Business and Corporate Law

CKC’s business litigation attorneys handle a wide variety of complex business issues for corporate clients and individuals locally, regionally, and across the country. We understand that litigation can be expensive and time consuming. As a result, we work with our clients to minimize litigation risks, reduce costs, and preserve important business relationships. At CKC, our primary focus is to get our business clients back to doing what they do best and handle their business disputes with as little intrusion into their business affairs as possible. Protecting our clients’ rights while preserving their valuable resources and time is one of the highest priorities of CKC.

 

Business Torts

The term “business torts” encompasses the full range of non-contractual claims and disputes that can arise in business transactions, business ownership, management, and employment relationships, and the competitive business environments in which individuals and companies operate. “Business torts” include claims for misrepresentation and fraud, deceptive trade practices, tortuous interference with contractual relationships, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary relationships, misappropriation of business opportunities, and conspiracy.

 

CKC represents plaintiffs and defendants in business tort claims in state and federal courts and arbitration proceedings. The breadth of our experience in handling these matters allows us to thoroughly analyze business tort claims, counterclaims and defenses, and to prepare and present our clients’ claims and defenses effectively and efficiently.

 

At CKC, we have years of experience delivering real results for our clients. Contact us and let our attorneys bring acute litigation strategies to every litigation matter from pre-suit through trial.
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Commercial Disputes

At CKC, in addition to handling business transactions and drafting, our firm handles a broad spectrum of commercial/ business disputes and litigation matters. Commercial disputes may include complex issues such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, civil conspiracy, partnership dissolution, and shareholder rights.

 

CKC attorneys have successfully represented all types of clients from individuals to small businesses and corporations. In business litigation, we represent both plaintiffs and defendants with a variety of legal fee arrangement structures from hourly-fee basis to contingency or hybrid-fee arrangements. CKC attorneys bring purposeful litigation strategies to every litigation matter from pre-suit through trial. Contact us a let us represent you.

Non-Compete and Confidentiality Suits

When drafted properly, non-compete agreements protect the employer as well as the employee. The right language in the contract can ensure that both parties are clear on what is expected of them during the period of employment and after the employment relationship has been terminated.

 

If you need help drafting, reviewing, revising, enforcing and/or defending against non-compete / non-competition agreements, your CKC attorney is ready to help you.

 

We have extensive experience drafting, reviewing, revising, enforcing and/or defending against non-compete / non-competition agreements for all types of employment relationships.

 

Many people think that non-compete agreements are simply a tool for employers to prevent key employees from working for a competitor. The truth is, the language in a non-compete must be reasonable in length of time and scope, including type of work and geographic region. We often work with professionals in the many fields who want to ensure that a current employer cannot restrict them from practicing in their chosen profession upon leaving employment.

 

Before you sign a non-compete agreement, or before you ask your employee to sign one, make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. The courts look at non-competition agreements as valid contracts, but only if they are properly drafted and meet the requirements of the Texas Business and Commerce Code. Contact us and let your CKC attorney explain all these details to meet your specific needs.

Employment Proceedings

At CKC, we represent clients through all phases and types of employment litigation and administrative proceedings, ranging from individual cases to broad-scale class and collective actions. We handle claims of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, whistleblower/qui tam, and other employment-related torts.

 

Due to its complexity, we highly recommend talking with an experienced attorney if you have any questions concerning your rights as a worker.

 

CKC is a professional, ethical and experienced team of lawyers representing people just like you: individuals, consumers and small business owners.
If you or a family member has been unfairly treated by an employer, please Contact us our office so that we begin helping you.

Intellectual Property

At CKC, you will always know that your intellectual property needs are our top priority. Our attorneys can advise you about protecting your intellectual property and teach you about the different avenues and vehicles of protection.

 

We have a successful record representing plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving Non-solicitation; Client lists and contact information; Pricing policies and lists; Proprietary information; Non-compete agreements; Copyright and trademark infringement; Distribution agreements; Work-for-hire doctrine; Non-disclosure agreements and more.

 

Our intellectual property attorneys have the skill and experience to assist our commercial clients in seeking any and all protections and remedies available to them. Contact us and our team will help you with this important decision.

Lender Liability

Lender liability law says lenders must treat their borrowers fairly, and when they don’t, they can be subject to borrower litigation under a variety of legal claims. The decade-long evolution of lender liability has resulted in most cases now involving breach of contract and/or fraud claims.

 

For years, lenders were the ones who typically sued borrowers for breach of loan agreements. With the arrival of lender liability, borrowers became just as likely to sue lenders for those breaches. Banks and other lending institution have come under tremendous scrutiny for predatory and usurious lending practices that victimize individuals and small businesses. If you have been victimized by a bank or lending institution, you are not without recourse!

 

A loan agreement is like any other contract. If the agreement was fraudulently induced or there was an absence of mutual consent, the agreement cannot be enforced. If the loan contract was breached, the lender can be sued if it was the breaching party.

 

The most common remedy pursued by borrowers when a breach of a loan agreement has occurred is the recovery of damages. This can include both the difference between the loan amount and the costs for obtaining a replacement loan, and any lost opportunity or lost profit damages.

 

CKC attorneys have the experience necessary to assist in a positive outcome for our clients. Contact us and let us assist you with any Lender Liability issues you may have.

Real Estate Disputes

CKC attorneys have extensive experience with all areas of real estate law. We litigate real estate disputes, including boundary disputes, contested appraisals, suits arising out of breach of contract, condemnation proceedings, failure to close, title defects, breach of warranty, construction defects, liens, foreclosure, adverse possession, condemnation and recording issues. CKC offers a full range of services for buyers, sellers and management companies of commercial properties. Contact us and allow our firm to assist with all your residential or commercial real estate law needs.

Class Actions

A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or more members of a large group, or class, of individuals or other entities sue on behalf of the entire class. Often, a class action is the only way for plaintiffs in certain types of cases to recover any compensation. Class actions are common when the actual harm is consistent among members of the class, and the damages are not high enough to pursue individual lawsuits. Class action cases are common with defective toys, false advertising of consumer products, and defective consumer services. Closely related to class action cases are “mass torts,” in which each individual plaintiff has their own case.

 

Class action lawsuits may offer a number of advantages because they aggregate a large number of individualized claims into one representational lawsuit. Our attorneys have years of experience in class action litigation. When you work with an attorney at CKC, you can be assured of professional and experienced representation. If you think you might have a case suitable for a class action, you are encouraged to Contact us and speak to an attorney.

Corporate Formation and General Counsel

Chrisman Kelley & Clarke offers counsel to a variety of corporations and other types of businesses at all stages of development to assure the integrity of the corporate form. We protect investors and make sure corporate operations run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. We can advise business clients from the initial stages of their business, including entity selection, by reviewing our clients’ goals to recommend the best entity, selecting from sole proprietorships, general partnerships, S and C corporations, non-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and family limited partnerships.

 

In addition, we have broad experience in drafting, negotiating, and enforcing contracts in a wide variety of subject matter. From business acquisition and sales to licensing and insurance contracts, CKC has the experience you need to advise you on your contract questions. We work extensively with established businesses in areas such as maintaining corporate or business record books and filings; the contract issues; and business litigation. To learn more about the ways in which we can help you and/or your business succeed, contact your CKC representative.

Contract Disputes

Texas courts take contracts very seriously and so do the lawyers here at CKC. Most judges generally hold parties to the four corners of the contract. If you are a business owner, customer, or medical provider involved in a dispute involving a breach of contract, make sure you have the right legal experience on your side.

 

The Texas commercial law attorneys at CKC have successfully litigated a wide variety of commercial matters in both state and federal courts. We have provided counsel for contract disputes, purchase agreements, wage and hour disputes and more. Protecting your interests is our number one goal at CKC and our experienced lawyers are ready to make sure you’re protected. We would be happy to arrange a consultation with a member of our commercial litigation team to discuss your contract dispute. We will analyze your agreement and give you a clear understanding of your options for settling or litigating the dispute. Contact us and let us begin working for you

Director’s and Officer’s Liability

Claims for breach of fiduciary duty typically arise when a company’s directors and officers cause the company to violate the law, exposing the company to criminal or civil penalties, massive losses, and to damaging litigation, such as securities fraud class actions. The fiduciary duties owed to a corporation by its directors and officers include the duties of due care and loyalty, and require directors and officers to obey the law (and cause the corporation to obey the law).

 

If you are a shareholder of a corporation which has been harmed through a breach of fiduciary duty by its officers and directors, and you held your shares continuously from the period during which the wrongs occurred through the present, you may be eligible to bring a claim on the company’s behalf against the directors, officers and third parties, such as the company’s auditors, who harmed the corporation.

 

CKC offers a professional, ethical and experienced team of lawyers representing people just like you: individuals, consumers and small business owners. Contact today. CKC can provide you the comprehensive legal support you need in these matters.

Fiduciary Duties

A fiduciary relationship is one in which one person–the fiduciary–owes special duties to another person, and must look out for that other person’s interests with special care. If a lender-borrower relationship is kept at arm’s length (the typical debtor-creditor scenario), the relationship is not fiduciary.

 

At CKC, we have extensive experience handling breach of fiduciary duty claims in a variety of contexts. We represent plaintiffs and defendants in matters involving partnership disputes, trust administration disputes, mismanagement of investment funds, and professional misconduct by financial advisers, trustees, executors and other professional fiduciaries. We also represent parties in other situations in which a breach of fiduciary duty may occur, such as in claims among trusted business associates, partners, and owners of closely held corporations. Contact us and allow our firm to assist with all your fiduciary law needs.

Trade Secrets

CKC attorneys have experience representing clients in all types of disputes and litigation matters relating to intellectual property, proprietary information and trade secrets.
You worked hard and spent considerable resources to develop trade secrets that will give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace. You know how important it is to protect your intellectual property, but laws regarding infringement and misappropriation of trade dress and trade secrets keep changing. Competitors are getting more sophisticated and judges are unpredictable with their decisions.

 

Turn to a CKC litigation attorney for sound legal advice about protecting your most valuable asset. In the event there is no non-compete agreement in place, the use of trade secrets to alter or employ a copyrighted or trademarked product or service may constitute infringement of intellectual property laws. Further, your company’s customer lists, customer contact information, marketing strategies, business methodologies, and other trade secrets may be protectable and enforceable against infringers. Contact us about federal and state infringement and confidentiality laws. CKC represents plaintiffs and defendants in all types trade secret litigation. Whether defending or pursuing judgments, temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions, permanent injunctions, or enforcement of a judgment or order, our attorneys have the skill and experience to assist our commercial clients in seeking any and all remedies available to them.

Partnerships and LLCs

So you’re thinking about buying or starting a business and forming a partnership or LLC. Congratulations! You are on the verge of starting something that most people can only dream of. But now what? How can you make sure your dreams don’t turn into a financial headache and expose your personal assets?

 

CKC has helped hundreds of companies meet their business goals. When we sit down to talk about business formation, we will discuss your short-term and long-term goals. Every successful business venture comes down to asking one important question: What do you want to accomplish? From there, we work to protect you and your interests every step of the way. We truly understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to forming a business. That’s why when you Contact us , we will customize solutions to meet your exact needs.

Professional Liability

CKC represents professionals accused of malpractice, breaches of fiduciary duty, disciplinary violations or other misconduct. We offer experienced, aggressive and discreet representation in professional liability cases, and fully appreciate the heavy responsibility of defending the reputations and livelihoods of our professional colleagues.

 

Our reputation for excellence in this area is widely recognized. CKC’s professional liability practice includes malpractice defense, general ethics consultation and advice, representation in disciplinary proceedings, special counsel regarding disqualification and sanctions motions, expert testimony, and appeals. There’s a reason leading businesses and professionals turn to CKC. Our discretion, expertise and results truly speak volumes for our clients. Contact us and let us begin working for you today.

Insurance Coverage and Recovery

When facing litigation with the insurance industry, many people find themselves overwhelmed at the obstacles placed in their way. At CKC, we are highly trained and have vast experience representing policyholders in disputes with their insurers. As former insurance defense attorneys, the partners at CKC understand the methodologies and practices of insurance companies, their strategies for denying claims, and the best way to posture your case for maximum value.

 

We also counsel and educate our clients with respect to the insurance policies they have purchased to protect their businesses, professions, families, and other assets. Unlike most corporate assets, liability and property insurance policies are renewed and change every year. Many of these policies, though presented as “form” policies, are anything but standard. There are subtle differences in the language used in key provisions that dramatically can affect the coverage afforded. Thus, a business that adequately was protected one year could unknowingly be unprotected the next. Contact us today. Retaining CKC to work with your broker and review the proposed policies is the solution to this problem.

 

We also counsel and educate our clients with respect to the insurance policies they have purchased to protect their businesses, professions, families, and other assets. Unlike most corporate assets, liability and property insurance policies are renewed and change every year. Many of these policies, though presented as “form” policies, are anything but standard. There are subtle differences in the language used in key provisions that dramatically can affect the coverage afforded. Thus, a business that adequately was protected one year could unknowingly be unprotected the next. Contact us today. Retaining CKC to work with your broker and review the proposed policies is the solution to this problem.