}
  • No one gets into business in order to become involved in a lawsuit. But litigation is sometimes both necessary and unavoidable. At Cornell Dolan, we focus on trying to help you avoid litigation. But if that is not possible, we help you succeed.

  • Business Disputes

    No matter how hard you try, business disputes can happen. When business partners cannot agree on how to reinvest operating capital, disagree on the direction to take a company, another business has violated a contract, or a business partner violates another partner's rights, business dispute lawsuits may arise. A business litigator can be a tremendous asset to any professional who encounters such a situation.
     

    Cornell Dolan is a Boston business law firm with extensive experience handling business disputes of all types. Our firm has handled high-profile business litigation ranging from fraud, breach of contract, employment disputes, and government investigation. We understand how time sensitive and financially draining such cases can be. It is essential for business owners, partners, and employees to know their rights under the law and what to do when business disputes arise.


    Trusted Legal Counsel for Assistance with Business Disputes


    When you choose a law firm, it is critical that you find an attorney with experience in resolving the type of dispute you are facing. If you are blocked from exercising your minority shareholder rights, your attorney should be able to break down the laws in this area. If you have a dispute with a partner at the ownership level and your professional relationship has become untenable, your attorney should be able to provide you with a full breakdown of your options, whether buyout or dissolution of your business partnership, or of the business itself.


    Contracts trigger some of the most common business disputes. The business world relies heavily on contract law, so if your dispute revolves around a contract, you should find a business litigation lawyer who has deep experience with contract law.


    Interpreting Business Contracts Within the Law


    When business owners come together to start their companies, they must draw up extensive contracts that detail each party's rights and responsibilities.

     

    Ultimately, the contract should serve as a guide on how to handle a dispute. However, some contracts have gaps, and some contracts can be interpreted in different ways. When this happens, the parties should contact business attorneys to settle their disputes and protect their rights.

     

    Contracts can take many forms, including partnership, property ownership, or employment contracts. If one party holds liability for breaching a contract, the injured party or parties can seek recovery through business dispute litigation. In some cases, a party may seek to compel the party to uphold his or her contractual obligations, while other cases may militate toward seeking recovery for liability for damages.


    Asserting Shareholder Rights


    When an individual purchases a stake in a company or offers investment capital to get the company started, that individual becomes a shareholder and has a right to a voice as to how the company proceeds into the future, even if the shareholder only holds a small percentage of the company. These minority shareholders still have rights under the law. Minority shareholders must understand all aspects of their shareholder contracts so they can identify when breaches occur. Many business dispute cases revolve around the assertion of shareholder rights, or other shareholders' liability in preventing minority shareholders from exercising their rights.


    Business Divorce
     

    Some business relationships are irreconcilable, and the parties involved decide to sever ties, close their company, and seek a legal remedy to determine how to divide their remaining property and assets. If one party carries any liability for the company failing, the other party may pursue damages through a business lawsuit. Business owners must settle these disputes according to the law, and the right business litigation lawyers will be instrumental in handling these situations appropriately.

     

    The break-up of a business can be a traumatic affair with severe financial and personal consequences for the company owners and employees. At Cornell Dolan, we help business owners resolve, through negotiation, mediation and litigation, the complex problems that arise when disputing business co-owners need a “divorce.”

     

    Just as every business organization is unique, every business divorce case presents unique circumstances and requires unique solutions. We take pride in making sure that your unique problem is explored and explained in great detail, and your solution is best for you.


    Business Buyouts


    In some cases, one business partner wants to leave the organization. This could be due to retirement, a desire to pursue other interests, or disagreements about the company. In these situations, the remaining partners will often buy out the leaving partner's share of the company. For example, if the leaving partner controls 50% of the company, the remaining partner must buy out that 50% to assume full control over the company.

     

    A business litigation lawyer will be an important asset during such a process, helping to ensure the leaving partner secures appropriate compensation according to the partners' original contract and contributions toward the current state of the company.


    How to Handle Business Disputes Legally and Professionally


    If you encounter any type of business dispute and are unsure how to handle it, find a business litigation lawyer for assistance. The law pertaining to business disputes in the US is extensive, and it is vital to have experienced legal representation to navigate complex business disputes in a timely and efficient manner.


    The attorneys at Cornell Dolan have built a strong reputation as leading Boston business litigation lawyers, helping a wide variety of clients in the professional world handle their disputes quickly in accordance with applicable laws. If you are involved in any type of business dispute in the Boston area, you need legal representation as soon as possible to reach an acceptable resolution.

  • Securities Disputes

    The financial sector offers enormous potential to make money through wise investments. But it is also one of the most heavily regulated and supervised sectors of the economy. Securities laws exist to protect investors from exploitation and to maintain a fair playing field for all investors. When a securities issue arises, such as fraud, theft, or insider trading, securities litigation is the most likely result. Anyone who encounters - or is accused of - financial malfeasance in the securities industry should know what to do about the situation and the value of working with top-rated securities litigation lawyers.

     

    Cornell Dolan understands how complex the securities world is and has extensive experience helping clients navigate their securities cases. If you expect any type of securities litigation in the near future, it is essential to hire top-rated securities lawyers to protect your interests. A former member of the SEC's Office of Chief Counsel for the Division of Trading and Markets, Timothy Cornell can advise you on your best course.

     

    Major securities and brokerage firms operate in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. With so much financial activity concentrated in a small area, there is always a chance for brokerage firms or other parties to violate securities law and to face severe penalties including fines, professional discipline, or even jail time for substantial fraud or theft.
     

    A securities attorney can help a client defend against securities charges. Or, on the other side, prove a securities violation and recover any resulting damages. Due to the extraordinarily complex nature of the laws, statutes, and regulations governing the securities industry, anyone expecting a securities lawsuit should understand the importance of working with a top securities litigation lawyer for such sensitive cases.


    The vast majority of securities lawsuits result from financial exploitation, misleading investments, and theft. Over the years, many high-profile securities cases have made news headlines and resulted in financial ruin for thousands of people. Some of the most common types of securities law violations include:
     

    Breach of fiduciary duty. Brokerage firms who handle investments on behalf of clients may have a duty to make reasonable judgments in the best interests of the client when handling the client's money. Failure to exercise professional discretion or mishandling client funds in a negligent manner could constitute breach of fiduciary duty.


    Conflict of interest. Brokers have a professional duty to avoid potential conflicts of interest, such as using client investments to manipulate a market or exploit investments for personal gain.

     

    Churning. Some brokers collect fees on every trade they perform on behalf of their clients. When a broker engages in excessive trading at no benefit to a client to inflate fees, this is known as churning. The question is whether the trading was excessive, an issue a good securities lawyer can dive deeply into.


    Insider trading. Securities law prohibits trading stocks while in possession of insider information not yet available to the public. For example, if a broker owns stock in a company and learns the company will close in a month, but that information has not yet been released to the public, it would qualify as insider trading to offload the stock in advance of a public press release about the situation.


    Omission of facts. Brokers make money when investors pay them for their services. In most cases, they make money regardless of whether the investors' initial investments prove fruitful. When brokers misrepresent investments and effectively dupe investors into investing poorly for personal gain, this is a securities law violation.


    These are just a few of the most common types of securities violations that may lead to securities litigation, court trials, or arbitration. When these issues arise, it is very likely for at least one of the many securities agencies in the US to get involved, and experienced legal representation is an absolute necessity for anyone involved in such a situation.


    Regulatory Bodies Involved in the Industry.


    An inexperienced attorney will likely have a very difficult time handling any type of complicated securities case. Various government agencies and private institutions are involved in the securities sector. To successfully represent a securities lawsuit of any kind, experience in the industry is crucial. The agencies that typically come into play during Massachusetts securities lawsuits include:
     

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

    The United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission
    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
    The Massachusetts Securities Division.
     

    At Cornell Dolan, we know how these agencies operate, what to expect from a securities lawsuit, and how to navigate the complex nature of the securities industry to guide clients to positive outcomes.


    Court Trials vs. Arbitration


    Securities disputes can be incredibly lengthy. When one party pursues damages for securities violations and the case proceeds to a court trial, the issue may take years to reach a conclusion. This is incredibly expensive for all parties involved considering the amount of legal fees each party will need to pay to see a case so extensive to a conclusion. In many securities disputes, arbitration is the preferred method of reaching a solution due to how much time and money it can save.


    Arbitration has many similarities to a typical court trial. The parties involved will still go through the discovery process of sharing relevant evidence, can interview witnesses, and present evidence for consideration. Instead of a judge and jury, an arbitrator or team of arbitrators will handle judgment. After reviewing the facts of the case and hearing arguments from all parties involved, the arbitrator or arbitrators will deliver a legally binding ruling on the matter. Unlike a court ruling that is open to appeal when one party does not agree with the outcome, it is typically impossible to appeal an arbitration decision except in extremely limited circumstances.


    Hire an Experienced Attorney
     

    Securities litigation is notoriously time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating. When you encounter a securities law violation, you need top-rated securities lawyers to assist in your recovery. Any lawyer will not do; it is imperative to work with an experienced securities firm that understands the complexities of your case.


    The attorneys at Cornell Dolan have an extensive track record of handling successful securities cases, including high-profile cases worth millions of dollars. Our firm understands how the securities regulatory system works and how to identify securities violations.

  • Securities Regulation

    Our experience with securities matters, including Tim Cornell's time at the SEC's Office of General Counsel for the Division of Trading and Markets, has provided Cornell Dolan with a unique perspective and ability to advise clients on diverse market issues including:

     

    Investment adviser and broker-dealer registration and exemptions

    • Supervisory and compliance policies and procedures
    • Conflicts of interest and insider-trading policies
    • Sales, trading and operational issues

    We represent clients before the SEC on a number of matters including:

    • Insider trading and market fraud
    • The preparation of SEC reports and registration statements and related policies
    • Internal policies relating to matters such as insider trading, selective disclosure and related-party transactions
    • Beneficial ownership and Section 16 reporting
      Compliance matters

  • Real Estate Litigation

    Client and Industry Challenges

     

    The cyclical real estate industry has had more than its fair share of challenges. In good times or bad, however, this industry is always evolving. Cornell Dolan helps clients resolve disputes, achieve their objectives and gain a competitive advantage in the real estate industry. We are well-positioned to assist with any issues and disputes that arise during any phase of a real estate venture or project.

     

    We represent commercial developers, commercial property owners, REITs, real estate investors, lenders, commercial receivers, property managers, landlords, homeowners, brokers, appraisers, title insurers, escrow agents and other industry-related businesses with a diverse range of needs and interests.

     

    We can handle virtually any type of real estate litigation matter, including disputes relating to:

    • Acquisition and development: disputes arising under purchase and sale agreements, option agreements, development agreements, and land use and zoning disputes
    • Construction: disputes relating to agreements with general contractors, subcontractors and related liens
    • Management: litigation of property management agreements and prosecution of receivership actions
    • Real estate brokers and agents: contract disputes relating to brokers and agents, as well as their ethical, fiduciary and other common law obligations arising in civil actions and in administrative proceedings before state regulatory agencies
    • Litigation for banks and servicers: disputes relating to commercial loan agreements, promissory notes, deeds of trust, assignments of rent and personal guarantees, including loan workouts/restructurings, trustee's sales, deficiency actions and related bankruptcy proceedings, such as motions for relief from the automatic stay
    • Title disputes: easement, property line, adverse possession, quiet title, trespass, nuisance, partition and other title disputes and actions
    • Landlord-tenant disputes: eviction proceedings, complex lease interpretation issues and other landlord-tenant disputes
    • Eminent domain/condemnation litigation: litigating orders of immediate possession, valuation hearings, and the conduct of condemnation trials

    We are knowledgeable, innovative and connected, with a deep understanding of the real estate industry and the relationships in it. This allows us to offer clients situation-sensitive and forward-thinking solutions. and to strategically and efficiently advance our clients' interests.

  • Defamation

    Wrongful damage to a person's or company's reputation from false statements can have a dramatic financial impact, ruin business opportunities, or diminish an innocent person's standing within a community.

     

    Defamation is the act of maliciously and knowingly damaging another person's reputation through false claims. Defamation in written form is libel while spoken defamation is slander. Massachusetts defamation law is particularly difficult. Understanding how Massachusetts defamation law works and the importance of hiring top-rated experts when faced with a defamation case is crucial.


    The attorneys at Cornell Dolan understand the sensitive nature of these cases and strive to help clients preserve their reputations. If you suspect another party has engaged in defamation against you or your business, here's an outline of what constitutes defamation and what you can do about it.
     

    An Expert Will Help Protect You
     

    People get into heated disagreements for countless reasons. Though frustrating, a person simply saying something false about you is not grounds for a lawsuit on its own. To qualify for legal action, defamation must meet several legal criteria.


    The defaming statements must be published to a third party. The defaming statements must be false. You cannot take legal action against any party for publishing true information about you simply because it damages your reputation. The statements in question must be injurious. This means you must have experienced some type of physical, emotional or financial harm due to the defaming statements. Finally, the defaming statements must not be privileged. In many cases, it can be difficult to sue another party for making false statements about you or your organization due to the free speech afforded by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.


    If you encounter a situation that satisfies these criteria, you may have grounds to file a defamation lawsuit against the party responsible for the defamatory statements against you. A seasoned defamation lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your case, thoroughly uncover the full extent of the damages resulting from the defamatory statements and provide you with legal guidance throughout your case.


    Defamation Against Public Figures


    Defamation laws do not apply to every individual on the same level. If an individual holds public office or is a noteworthy public figure, it is much more difficult for that person to bring a lawsuit. People have the right to criticize those who govern them, and people who are in the public spotlight such as celebrities and influencers have the ability to counter false statements with their own public statements. Public officials and some types of celebrities must prove actual malice or reckless actions that caused harm. For example, if a journalist publishes defamatory claims about a public official but made no effort to check if the claims were true before publishing, this would likely constitute actual malice.


    Free Speech


    The First Amendment of the US Constitution establishes American citizens' right to free speech. Existing laws strive to strike a balance between the rights afforded by the First Amendment and individual rights against false claims that damage a person's reputation.


    Defamation law is an extremely complex area of the law that requires the attention of an expert. If you intend to pursue a lawsuit, your attorney must prove that the defendant in your case did not exercise the free expression of ideas allowed by the First Amendment, but rather engaged in the destructive expression of false claims intended to harm your reputation.


    Potential Damages


    Calculating damages in a defamation case can be tricky, which is another reason why it is so important to hire an expert to bring your case to court. The plaintiff has the right to compensation for all damages resulting from defamatory claims made by the defendant. These damages could include:
     

    Financial losses, such as lost business opportunities or lost customer patronage resulting directly from the defamation. The plaintiff will need to provide evidence that financial losses resulted directly from the defendant's defamatory statement.

     

    Medical treatment costs. If the defamation in question resulted in physical or psychological harm to the plaintiff, the plaintiff can claim the cost of medical and psychiatric treatment as damages in the case.


    Defamation is extremely complicated. Anyone who is a target of defamation should seek top-rated lawyers to help. The right firm can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a defamation lawsuit and help restore a client's reputation. If you need assistance with a defamation case, the team at Cornell Dolan can help you protect your reputation and recover your financial losses resulting from defamation.

     

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Nothing on this page constitutes legal advice. And it isn't direct solicitation, either. If you need legal advice, though, by all means, call us at (617) 535-7763.