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Im in a dispute with my business partner i might have to sue him? would a lawyer work on my case on a contingency?

Glendale Heights, IL |

we have been in business for 15 years. It turned sour the past 7 months he told me not to come back to work that he was going to buy me out.He has turned all are employees against me. I had the business appraised and the warehouse we own 50-50.Im asking him to give me what its worth But he wants to low ball me. And he bought a competing business that hes runing out of our warehouse. i have some threatening emails against me telling me what hes going to do to me. He has taken money out of our bank account that i have proof of. what should i do?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Unlikely. value needs to be pretty high for a contingency.

    All comments on this site are 'in the cloud' and do not form an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Just consider them ideas for discussion. J


  2. Mr. Caldwell is correct in stating that contingency fee arrangements under the circumstances you describe are very uncommon.

    The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice. Additionally, nothing in this post may be construed to create an attorney-client relationship between the attorneys at Walters Dunn and any other person.


  3. here is the problem with asking the attorney to work on a contingency. A contingency is usually taken by an attorney when there is an a source of funds that he can be sure will produce income. think car accident and insurance company. in your case you would likely have to force the company into dissolution and sell the property there are other causes of action too complicated to explain here. all of this takes time and with great risk. perhaps you should seek out an attorney that will take the case in a blended fashion. part retainer and part contingency


  4. This is general advice only as I am a California lawyer and not really conversant with Illinois law. That said i would guess from what you have said that you have at least two business entities - an entity that owns your warehouse and an entity that operates the business. Remedies for dissolution of those entities can vary. Tenancy-in-common real estate ownerships are often practically terminated by partition actions - actions in which a court orders the sale of the real estate, the disposition of the proceeds to the creditors and the tenants-in-common. An attorney might do a partition action on a contingency fee basis - depending on the projected equity from the property.
    As other attorneys have opined doing the dissolution of a business on a contingency basis is problematical. Attorneys do not want to be directly involved in a business and the value of the business is generally in question - there can be issues of liens, contingency obligations, governmental, labor, and environmental issues (etc.). I suggest that you see a business lawyer and soon.

    This is a general answer only and you should seek the advice of counsel to address facts specific to your circumstances.


  5. If he is competing with the business, you can also bring an action derivatively on behalf of the company to get damages (which would go to the company, not you personally) and/or to have company dissolved. Courts often will order the corporation to reimburse litigant for fees incurred on its behalf.

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