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Business Disputes

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Business Lawsuits

Business lawsuits, also known as commercial litigation, involve virtually every type of dispute that can arise in a business context, but it usually involves a business relationship or contract gone bad.

Mr. Doerr represents individuals and businesses of various sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants.  Although Doerr Law Firm is a small law firm, Mr. Doerr frequently takes on Michigan's largest law firms with success.  In 2020 and 2021, Super Lawyers identified Mr. Doerr as a Top 100 attorney in Michigan for business litigation.  He was also a Co-Chair of the Oakland County Bar Association's Business Court Committee in 2021, winning committee of the year.

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Here are examples of business disputes handled by Mr. Doerr:​

  • “Bet-The-Company” Lawsuit (2021)

    • “Bet-the-company” litigation refers to lawsuits that could end in a company being forced out of business.  These cases are unlike most commercial lawsuits because they’re not just about money, they’re about whether a company can continue to operate. The plaintiff, typically a competitor, may also seek to acquire the attacked company’s assets and intellectual property.
      In 2019, a Michigan company retained Joe Doerr and Derek Howard to defend a “bet-the-company” lawsuit.  In addition to seeking millions in money damages, the plaintiffs sought an immediate TRO – asking the judge to enjoin the defendants from conducting any business or contacting its own customers.  In a very short timeframe, Doerr and Howard filed written responses and appeared in court – ultimately convincing the judge that plaintiffs’ request should be denied.  Following the hearing, the defendants counter sued.  After attending several days of unsuccessful court-ordered mediation, the parties deposed numerous high-profile executives, both in and outside of the United States.  Although the stakes were high, Doerr and Howard readied for trial and made it clear they were confident and prepared to take the case all the way to a verdict.  Shortly after the close of discovery, the plaintiffs appeared to accept that defendants were not going to back down and sought to end the lawsuit.  Ultimately, the defendants not only continued to do business, but they retained full ownership and control of the company and its assets, paying no money to the plaintiffs. 

  • Hamood v. ZenMuse, LLC, 2020 WL 5739690 (Mich. App. 2020)​​

    • The Michigan Court of Appeals described this case as "the product of a contentious dispute between Nathan Alexander Hamood, Jamal John Hamood, Anita Baker, and ZenMuse LLC (ZenMuse), a limited liability company that was created by Baker, who is its president and sole shareholder."  In the trial court, plaintiff obtained a $165,014 default judgment against ZenMuse.  Almost a year later, ZenMuse filed a motion to set aside the default judgment pursuant to MCR 2.612(B), "Defendant Not Personally Notified."  The trial court denied the motion, finding that ZenMuse was properly served.  The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed, holding "because personal jurisdiction over ZenMuse was necessary and acquired, because ZenMuse (via Baker) has asserted without contradiction that it had no knowledge of this lawsuit, because ZenMuse entered an appearance within one year of the final judgment, because ZenMuse has demonstrated meritorious defenses to both of Nathan's claims as currently pleaded, and because there has been no showing that setting aside the default judgment will prejudice any innocent third parties, ZenMuse satisfied all five elements to be entitled to relief from judgment pursuant to MCR 2.612(B)." 

  • Complex Landlord-Tenant Dispute​ (2019)

    • A commercial tenant filed a 13-count complaint against a landlord seeking over $130,000.  Doerr Law Firm represented the defendant landlord. After filing counterclaims and several dispositive motions,  Mr. Doerr obtained orders dismissing all 13 claims and a judgment against the tenant exceeding $200,000.​

  • Setting Aside Default Judgment (2018)

    • Plaintiff​ obtained a six figure default judgment against a business and its guarantor.   Doerr Law Firm successfully set aside the judgment and negotiated a settlement reducing payments by over $100,000.

  • J-Bob LLC v. Mike's Garage / LaRocca's Towing, LLC​, 2017 WL 395288 (E.D. Mich. 2017)​​​​​

    • Successful defense of a lawsuit filed by parties claiming a towing company wrongfully converted and acquired title to a motorhome valued at $350,000.  The plaintiffs asserted claims of conversion, replevin, fraud, and abuse of process, seeking treble damages exceeding $1 million.  In lieu of answering the complaint, Doerr Law Firm, on behalf of the company, filed a motion to dismiss.  In the motion, the company argued that Plaintiff’s exclusive remedy was governed by Michigan’s abandonment statute, MCL § 257.252a, et al, which the plaintiffs failed to honor.  The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan agreed, finding that parties could not circumvent Michigan’s statutory scheme by putting different labels on their claims.  The court granted the motion and dismissed the case with prejudice.

  • Oxford Inv. Group v. Fourslides, Inc., 2012 WL 2913616 (Mich. App. 2012)

    • The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Oakland County Circuit Court finding various companies liable on a breach of a contract claim seeking over $1 million in damages. The courts rejected the companies’ argument that the transaction documents were ambiguous because they were not specifically identified in the documents.

The above case summaries are for informational purposes only.  Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

"We hired Joe for a large business dispute.  His work ethic surpasses all others.  His knowledge, passion, dedication and drive gave us all the comfort we could ask for.  He always goes the extra step to make sure nothing is missed.  I would recommend Joe to anyone who needs a litigation attorney.  You can sleep at night, knowing he is up working for you."

Client, 2016

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