Commercial / Business Litigation

Litigation is the foundation of Cowles & Thompson.  Our business acumen and courtroom experience gives our clients a distinct advantage, while our size allows us to provide the kind of personalized service and attention they expect: 

  • Client focus.  We work to understand the client’s business and client-specific needs and goals.

  • Nimble, personalized service and attention.

  • The ability to dive deeply into complex business issues and strategic challenges that characterize business litigation.

  • The ability to respond on short notice, to seek or oppose an emergency restraining order or handle a short-fuse court proceeding.

We have the experience to respond effectively.

We represent commercial clients in disputes involving contracts, securities, employer/employee issues, real estate, construction, environmental issues, unfair competition, and creditors’ remedies. We aggressively handle all types of commercial cases from small contract disputes to complex class-action matters. 

First, understand the client.

Our trial attorneys are trained to listen first, and to learn the client’s business and objectives.  We know that handling difficult litigation matters requires not only a thorough knowledge of relevant areas of law, but also a complete understanding of our clients’ goals. We work with each of our clients to assess the issues and risks, and devise a litigation plan that is most suitable for them.

Representative matters:

  1. Representation of a major U.S. retailer in class action, commercial and construction litigation.

  • Tried to verdict and recovered seven-figure damages against general contractor for defective subgrade construction;

  • Successfully defended a putative collective action challenging the overtime classification of assistant store managers;

  • Tried, appealed and successfully defended a putative class action suit by medical professionals;

  • Successfully recovered damages from a national manufacturer for deficient membrane roofs.

  1. Defense of an international law firm in a putative class action alleging billions of dollars in losses related to a financial fraud case. 

  2. Ongoing representation in state court litigation against commercial landlord in wrongful eviction suit where our client, a national fast-food franchisee, was wrongfully evicted for an alleged non-monetary breach of lease. 

  3. Represented the owner of a commercial building in a multi-party dispute over defective construction.  Tried to a jury verdict in federal court in Mississippi against the architect, geotech engineer, and general contractor.  Obtained a seven-figure judgment and settlements in favor of the client.

  4. $48 million Judgment, affirmed on appeal, for defrauded investors in a dispute involving several failed real estate developments.  

  5. Defended client in federal court litigation in Dallas, Texas arising out of dispute over possession to cell phone tower, including claims of successor liability to previous owner of towers.  

  6. Take-nothing Judgment in favor of a major developer of wind-powered electricity in defense of a $30+ million liquidated damage claim for breach of a power purchase agreement. 

  7. Successful trial of claims brought by a motion picture company for breach of a licensing agreement to exploit the Academy Award-winning film Monster

Key Areas of Commercial Litigation Experience:

  • Contract disputes: breach of warranty, defective products, failure to perform, noncompete agreements, and collections

  • Business tort claims: fraud, deceptive trade practices, defamation, duress, breach of fiduciary duty/duty of good faith, tortuous interference, and unfair competition

  • Complex litigation: multi-party cases, multidistrict litigation

  • Construction litigation: defective design and construction, environmental contamination, lien claims 

  • Intellectual property litigation: trademarks, trade names, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets

  • Technology litigation: breaches of computer hardware, software, or computer services contracts

  • Employment litigation: retaliatory discharge, sexual harassment, breach of contract, unfair competition, racial discrimination, noncompete agreements, and theft, misuse, or misappropriation of assets or confidential information

  • Environmental law

  • Ownerehip Disputes between shareholders, co-tenants, and partners

  • Lender-borrower disputes: usury, lender liability, real estate valuation, and deficiency suits

  • Real estate litigation: lien claims; construction defects; boundary, easement, or possession disputes; condemnation; and landlord/tenant claims

  • Oil and gas litigation

  • Extraordinary and equitable relief: temporary restraining orders; temporary and permanent injunctions; distress warrants; and writs of re-entry, attachment, garnishment, possession, sequestration, and execution

  • Municipal litigation: eminent domain, zoning disputes, and land use

Section Head:  Sim Israeloff