General Civil Practice
What Is General Civil Practice?
Throughout life, we all encounter challenges that can sometimes seem insurmountable. Examples can include when your business partner wants to dissolve the business, your claim denied by an insurance company, your customer failing to pay what they owe you, or a business acting unfairly against you as the consumer. Sometimes these challenges are positive experiences, such as planning and creating a business, creating contracts for your business or personal transactions, or just reviewing an agreement you’ve reached to make sure all the details are taken care of. And sometimes these challenges are emotional and urgent, such as when there is harassment or stalking by a former friend or even a stranger.
Planning, Setup, Sale, Windup, and Litigation. We can help you set up your business, figure out the right entity type, and create governing documents to help you efficiently deal with issues that may arise in the future with creditors or other owners. During the lifetime of your business, legal counsel can help advise you as to the best avenues to take with various growth plans, including mergers and acquisitions. When you sell or wind up your LLC or S-Corp as you plan for retirement or another venture, it is critical that you follow the correct procedures and file the correct forms to maintain the liability and tax advantages of having that entity. Unfortunately, disputes can arise between business owners, and it is important to seek legal counsel before pursuing or settling claims, to ensure that your rights are properly protected.
Contracts form the fundamental framework for all transactions in our society, from multi-million dollar production bids to a handshake over who’s buying lunch if your team wins. Whether written or oral, large or small, we have probably helped people with contracts just like yours – promissory notes, contracts for services, private sales, and many other scenarios. Written contracts generally provide better protections for you in your agreement, and we are always ready to help you prepare a contract that reflects what you want while protecting you. We have significant experience litigating the enforcement of contracts, and that helps us know exactly what needs to go into a contract for your peace of mind – and also how to efficiently assist you against the other party if they breach their duties.
-Construction and Contractors-
We represent both contractors and customers as they navigate grievances related to construction work. Sometimes it’s a customer who’s been left with shoddy work and a large bill by a contractor who isn’t even licensed. Sometimes it’s a contractor who did great work but the customer is now unreasonable and refuses to pay. Sometimes it’s a big misunderstanding but both sides have stopped talking to each other. We have helped contractors enforce liens against property for work done, and helped customers go after contractor bonds and recover for their losses.
Unwanted contact. Harassment. Stalking. Other troubling behaviors by a former friend, co-worker, neighbor – unfortunately, anyone can be the victim of unwanted contact that won’t stop. On the other hand, you may also find yourself accused of harassment for what was actually innocent and appropriate behavior. Whether you need to file for protection or defend against an order that has been requested against you, our attorneys are very familiar with the new laws in Washington that govern these cases, and the procedures necessary to help you succeed. We work to be efficient and effective in achieving resolution for you. One recommendation we make in all of these cases: don’t go to court for a full hearing until you’ve at least talked with legal counsel – whether you retain them or not, whether it is us or another office, talk to an attorney familiar with the rules so you don’t get blindsided.
Washington law prohibits businesses from using unfair or deceptive trade practices that harm the consumer, and penalizes businesses that violate this law by requiring extra damages and attorney fees to be awarded to the consumer. Unfortunately, some businesses try to push the envelope on this, or they don’t even care, and the consumer is left economically harmed and uncertain of how to get relief against the business. Whether it’s a national bank or mortgage company, or a local service provider who thinks the rules don’t apply to them, we’ve handled these types of cases to help you get the relief you need.
-Insurance Claim Litigation-
Your insurance company has an obligation under Washington law to act promptly and fairly in the evaluation, administration, and payment of your claim. If they are slow to act, or if they deny coverage wrongfully, they can be held liable for additional damages and attorney fees. Many firms who do insurance claim litigation have a minimum claim amount based on their business model. We do not. Insurance companies should treat the consumer fairly no matter the size of the claim. (Note: we don’t do UM/UIM or PIP claims, as those are better handled by a personal injury attorney. Our work is devoted primarily to property damage, homeowners, and business owner coverage.)
Enforcement and Collection. What if you win your lawsuit and the other party refuses to pay? That means further action is needed to garnish wages, levy bank accounts, and attach and sell real or personal property. The cost of these enforcement actions are almost always added to the amount the debtor owes. Whether the judgment was obtained in this state or another, if there is property of the debtor in the counties we practice in, we can help to attach and collect on it.
How Can Richmond |Hill PLLC Help?
If you have a business, you know there is a lot to do and a lot that can go wrong. Having an attorney can make a large difference and keep you up to speed with current laws and regulations. If you need assistance with creating your business, negotiating contracts, hiring/firing employees, or other business needs not listed, we can help. We can also help with things such as judgments, protection orders, and more!
At Richmond | Hill PLLC, we want your business to succeed. Owning a business is a lifestyle and should be taken seriously. A lot of people can be impacted by decisions made, and having education and support regarding the laws and responsibilities required can make or break a company. Let us help you navigate the legal system and create a flourishing business!