COVID-19 Update: Sowards Law Firm is open and ready to serve clients during regular business hours. At this time, we are doing remote trust signings via Zoom/GoToMeeting, mobile notaries, and drive-up notaries. Please call us at (408) 371-6000 or use our online form to set up a teleconference. Watch this video to learn more.


Trial Attorneys Serving the San Jose Area

Even when care is used regarding business or real estate transactions, disputes may arise. Litigation is often expensive and tends to have significant consequences. It is imperative to retain an experienced San Jose litigation lawyer to handle your needs so that your interests are protected throughout the process. At the Sowards Law Firm, our real estate and business lawyers can provide the experienced representation necessary to protect your business interests and your assets.

Litigation in Business

Business litigation may involve many different types of disputes, including those that arise from conflicts among partners, LLC members or shareholders, the theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, contract disputes, fraud, and intellectual property issues. Breach of contract disputes occur when one or both parties fail to perform under the terms of a valid, enforceable agreement. To recover damages for a breach of contract, a plaintiff needs to establish that there was a contract, the plaintiff performed or was excused from performance, the defendant failed to perform, the conditions required for the performance had happened or were excused, and the plaintiff was harmed by the defendant's failure to perform.

The purpose of a breach of contract lawsuit is to put the party that was harmed into the same position in which it would have been had the contract not been breached. Under California Civil Code section 3300, the damages should be the amount that compensates the aggrieved party for the harm legally caused by the breach.

Real Estate Litigation

Real estate disputes often turn on a breach of contract as well. Often, the contract at issue is a residential or commercial purchase-sale agreement. For example, a seller that refuses to perform after you pay a deposit may be subject to a breach of contract claim. In some cases, however, real estate litigation involves a disagreement with a real estate agent or broker.

A real estate agent or broker whom you retain owes you fiduciary duties. These are duties beyond those that your contract with the agent or broker specifically provides. A fiduciary owes to you, as a principal, a duty of the highest good faith and loyalty. They are not allowed to obtain any advantage over you in a transaction that they are handling on your behalf. As a professional with superior knowledge about real estate transactions, a broker is supposed to use reasonable care and skill in performing their duties, which means the same level of care that a reasonable real estate broker would use in a similar capacity. In California, an agent is supposed to disclose all of the material facts about a transaction that might affect a principal's decision.

For example, a mortgage loan broker has an obligation to make a full and accurate disclosure of loan terms to borrowers and always act in good faith toward a borrower who is their principal. If your broker has failed to disclose all of the material facts related to a transaction that might affect your decision, it may be possible to sue the broker for breach of fiduciary duty in addition to breach of contract. When a broker commits fraud, punitive damages may be available as well.

Seek Assistance from a Litigation Lawyer in San Jose

If you are looking for an experienced San Jose litigation attorney to protect your interests during a dispute, the Sowards Law Firm is here to assist you. We represent businesses and individuals in Campbell, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Berkeley, Oakland, Concord, Walnut Creek, San Rafael, Salinas, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. Call us at (408) 371-6000 or use our online form to set up an appointment. We also can represent people who need an estate planning lawyer or assistance in a wide range of transactional matters.