Cases involving complex commercial litigation are too often approached as if they will be tried in the boardroom as opposed to the courtroom. At Bland Richter, LLP, we believe what is essential in the successful prosecution of these matters is to transform a complicated subject matter into a story that is comprehensible and interesting to both judge and jury. In short, like all other cases, what is most important is not simply to tell “a” story, but to tell “your” story. The winning party will most typically be the one who has best communicated their story to the jury.
Our approach to these cases is simple – we always try to write the “script.” When successful, the opponent is left trying to attack our story, but it is “our” story that becomes the storyline of the trial. Writing the script involves a full exploration of the claims and defenses, preferably in advance of any claim being brought. It means working in close concert with in-house accountants and other company representatives, and it means working with leading experts to synthesize and condense complicated financial information.
Of course, writing the script and telling the story is not possible without knowing the audience. Too often, commercial litigators bring their “penthouse” dialogue into the courtroom only to insult the jury by talking over, around or at them. At Bland Richter, LLP, we make a concerted effort always to know the audience, to communicate with them on terms they will understand and to earn their trust. Judges, jurors or arbitration panelists all deserve respect and require a deft touch to walk the fine line between earning respect and demanding it.
A brief exemplar of complex commercial matters we have handled over the past several years includes, but is certainly not limited to, the following:
- Litigating the value of a minority share interest in a corporation which owned and operated 7 fast-food franchise restaurants
- Litigating a tax-shelter scheme involving the sale of a $27M corporate division and the alleged purchase of approximately $5M in “tax credits”
- Litigating a multi-million dollar contract involving prison industries
- Litigating a failed development contract to purchase $12M in raw land
- Litigating multi-million dollar contacts in the amusement gaming machine industry
- Litigating the shareholder’s rights in a $14M + hotel limited liability company