The term “commercial litigation” is an all-encompassing expression of any type of business litigation. In the course of my practice, I am engaged in many different areas of commercial litigation, which means one business suing another business for money. A lawsuit starts with a summons and complaint. The next step is that there will be an answer from a lawyer or a defendant in person. We then commence discovery proceedings. The objective is to obtain evidence which will help you prove your case against the defendant, whether it be that they violated a covenant not to compete, failed to pay for services rendered, or for goods sold and delivered, or another business issue. Discovery requests must be issued in order to obtain the response that you are looking for, and occasionally you may have to make applications to the court to compel defendants to supply information they are reluctant to supply. In a civil lawsuit, every participant is required to supply all the material they have pertaining to a specific case, provided the other party has requested it. The standard for discoverable information is all documents or information material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action, which is a broad standard. Civil trials are supposed to proceed without surprises. Civil discovery rules are very liberal.

Sometimes people refrain from providing the other side with legitimate evidence. In this instance, you’ll need a lawyer who knows how to ask the correct questions to obtain the materials you need for your individual case. When one party refuses to produce legitimately discoverable material, the other party has to make a motion to compel production or sanction a defendant for failing to make an appropriate production.

In one case a recalcitrant Defendant was so vigorous in denying any knowledge of the facts that he answered 57 questions at a deposition with “I don’t know,” or “I don’t remember.” Eventually, after conducting post-judgment enforcement proceedings and suing his wife as the recipient of his fraudulent conveyances, we were able to settle the case for our client’s benefit.

Justice's scales, illustrating a website about collections services in New York State.