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Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Miles & Stockbridge  has a comprehensive litigation practice comprising over 70 lawyers at all seven of our offices in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Our litigators have extensive experience in complex matters, having tried hundreds of cases at all levels of state and federal courts and in commercial arbitrations throughout the mid-Atlantic region and many other jurisdictions around the country. We provide litigation counsel to businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Miles & Stockbridge offers all our clients the services of practices focused on specific litigation concerns, including alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditors' rights, mass torts and product liability. The lawyers of the commercial and business litigation practice work with these groups, as well as colleagues in such practices as securities, tax, real estate, employee benefits and employment, to handle commercial and business disputes involving contractual issues, business torts, trade practices and regulation disputes, financial institution litigation and corporate governance and compliance, among many other topics.

Our commercial and business litigation lawyers, like all of the Firm's litigators, have one primary focus — to secure the best results for our clients. We are aggressive advocates in and out of the courtroom. Because of our extensive trial experience we frequently are able to craft the most favorable trial approach based on our knowledge of the jurisdiction involved. When a lawsuit first arises, we undertake a swift and thorough investigation of the facts, after which we advise clients on litigation strategy based on our assessment of cost and risk. We try more cases than many large firms, and are not reluctant to pursue trial rather than negotiation and settlement. Our litigation services are cost-effective, and while we staff cases efficiently, our rates still allow for substantial involvement of our experienced partners without substantial additional cost. Speed and flexibility are also hallmarks of our practice, and we excel at securing (and defending against) emergency injunctions to protect our clients' interests and assets.

The key areas of focus in our commercial and business litigation practice include:

Commercial Litigation

We assist clients with contractual claims arising from a wide variety of business and trade relationships, including disputes over business acquisition and disposition agreements, disputes among partners and shareholders, Uniform Commercial Code issues in the sale of goods and services, and distribution and franchise disputes.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Miles & Stockbridge is an aggressive advocate for our clients in the courtroom and has a long record of success in bench and jury trials. However, we recognize litigation is often time-consuming and always costly, and that even a victory at trial may not be the best way to meet a client's objectives. Our lawyers have significant experience in alternative means of dispute resolution involving a wide range of matters. A number of our lawyers are certified in Maryland as general civil mediators and several litigators from the Firm have been appointed to serve as mediators by Circuit Courts in various Maryland counties as well as co-chair of the Montgomery County District Court Mediation Program. We have also handled dispute resolution in non-judicial forums, such as securities arbitration before both the NYSE and NASD and securities industry employment arbitration.

The three key areas of our alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice include:

  • Arbitration before a panel of experienced arbitrators with appropriate legal and technical training is faster and less costly than civil litigation because arbitration involves no appeals or re-trials and most pre-trial discovery and procedural wrangling are not allowed. Our lawyers have handled numerous arbitrations on behalf of our clients, and can help them decide which controversies are best settled by arbitration.
  • Mediation may take many different forms, and mediators often follow their own unique paths to develop an understanding of a dispute and supervise settlement discussions. Our Firm has participated in numerous mediation procedures, and our experienced lawyers are often able to reach a favorable result that clients might not accomplish in a courtroom.
  • Mini-trials are short-term forums presided over by a neutral advisor (often a retired judge or a respected lawyer from a panel). After each side has a fixed time to present its case, the advisor supervises settlement discussions based on the evidence presented. We have the experience necessary to make an effective mini-trial presentation and to manage the decision process to produce the most effective results for our clients.

Most cases in litigation settle, and Miles & Stockbridge's reputation for thorough trial preparation and aggressive courtroom strategy often maximizes the ability of our clients to reach a settlement during trial proceedings. However, there are matters for which alternative dispute resolution is the best option. Our lawyers have the experience to evaluate the most appropriate and effective strategies to follow in the best interests of our clients, and the skill to produce the best possible results.

Business Torts

We regularly litigate business tort claims involving fraud and misrepresentation (including their application to contractual claims), unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duties, theft, interference with existing business relationships (including misappropriation of trade secrets) and business asset dispositions.

Corporate Governance and Compliance

We defend class action securities and shareholder derivative claims against corporations, their officers and directors. Such litigation is just part of our substantial capabilities at conducting internal corporate investigations of alleged illegal conduct, including securities fraud, commercial fraud, bribery and embezzlement.

Financial Institution Litigation

A large part of our commercial and business litigation practice involves the representation of financial institutions. These cases often involve the defense of our financial institution clients against claims made under state and federal consumer protection statutes, lender liability claims, negotiable instrument claims under Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code and inter-bank conflicts. We also frequently represent our clients in litigation to enforce their rights as secured or unsecured lenders against borrowers and guarantors.

Trade and Business Practices and Regulation Disputes

Our substantial work in this area involves a wide range of statutory, tort and business practice litigation, including:

  • Antitrust and trade regulation issues arising under the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts (including monopolization and predatory pricing allegations).
  • Contested business dissolution cases involving the members of limited liability companies, limited partnerships, S corporations and a variety of other entities.
  • Dealer, distributor and franchisee termination disputes.
  • Intellectual property litigation involving litigation related to software licensing, trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, licensing and business use, "cyber-squatting," unauthorized access and breach of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
  • Real estate and title litigation, including all matters related to commercial leasing, land use and permitting, titles, title agents and title insurance, riparian rights and fraud.
Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice is divided into 3 groups to more efficiently serve our clients' needs: Products Liability & Mass Torts, Commercial Litigation and Real Estate & Construction.