blog post default


Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law Oct. 12, 2020

The assistance of experienced business counsel can be valuable in creatively resolving legal disputes in business.

A wide variety of business disputes are in motion in Ohio at any given time. From large corporations to medium-sized commercial concerns to small, closely held family businesses, similar problems can arise, just on different scales and sometimes with unique concerns.

For example, The Plain Dealer reported in November 2014 that tire giant Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. of Akron filed a lawsuit in Ohio federal district court against Sears Roebuck and Co. for an almost $20 million breach of contract claim.

Reportedly, Goodyear alleges that Sears backed out of their agreement in which Goodyear manufactured "co-branded" tires for Sears to sell exclusively, leaving Goodyear with more than 200,000 tires made based on Sears purchasing projections - tires that Sears will allegedly neither accept nor allow Goodyear to sell elsewhere. The suit also alleges breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

While this business dispute is between two very large companies, the same type of commercial disagreements could happen between businesses of any size.

For medium or small companies that are more local in nature or family owned, disputes with other businesses like shippers, manufacturers, distributers, suppliers and more can be daunting because of the difficulty of replacing a trusted local business partner or the financial impact a business disruption or loss can have on individual owners of a relatively small concern.

In January 2015, the Akron Beacon Journal published the story of another Ohio business dispute, this time an internal disagreement between two business partners. In this situation, reportedly, local celebrity speed-eater Dave O'Karma, known professionally as Coondog, filed a lawsuit in Ohio state court in Akron against his business partner alleging that in violation of their contract to equally co-own their eating contest promotion company, the partner had filed documents in Wisconsin to create a limited liability company without including O'Karma's name on the application. The plaintiff seeks more than $25,000 in damages.

When internal disputes arise between owners or partners of small- or medium-sized business entities, it can be particularly sensitive because there are fewer colleagues to absorb the stress and financial loss, and sometimes because the parties are long-time friends or relatives. Not working out the problem could mean the end of the business concern if the parties have to settle the matter in expensive litigation.

These stories point to one important thing: at the first sign of problems in a business relationship of any kind, internal or external, an involved person should seek experienced business law counsel. A knowledgeable commercial law attorney can advise a business owner or partner about his or her legal rights in the situation and alternatives for dispute resolution short of litigation, such as negotiation or mediation.

A skilled business lawyer will understand how to resolve such a dispute while keeping in mind any unique goals of preserving business-to-business relationships or smoothing ruffled feathers of family members in business together.

The business attorneys at the law firm of StachlerHarmon in Dayton, Ohio, have decades of valuable experience in resolving business disputes in small- and medium-sized Ohio businesses of all types.