Evanston Business Litigation Attorney
Creative legal solutions for companies & Individuals.
Our Evanston business litigation attorneys help small and medium-size businesses handle problems before they turn into court battles.847-556-8846
We Help Chicagoland Businesses
We work towards cost- and time-efficient solutions.
O. Long Law assists businesses in Evanston, the North Shore, and Chicago with a wide range of legal services.
Closely-held businesses are more vulnerable to disputes and threats in areas where family matters and business concerns intersect. Our experienced small business lawyers provide legal guidance to avoid costly court battles.
O. Long Law Helps
- Enforce Employment Agreements
- Protect from Intellectual Property Theft
- Litigate Breaches of Contract
- Resolve Disputes Among Shareholders
- Fairly Divide Family-Owned Business in Divorce
Holiday Custody Dispute Resolved Quickly
After more than a month of being denied visitation, our attorneys were retained and secured the requested parenting time for our client in time for Christmas.
Negotiated Custody Plan for Special Needs Child
We facilitated a mutually agreed upon parenting agreement for an LGBT couple that aligned with the child’s special needs and the client's overall goals.
Preserved Parenting Time
Preserved status quo parenting time for parent after false allegations of alcohol and drug abuse.
Why Our Firm?
Our founder and principal attorney, Olivia St. Clair Long, worked as a commercial litigator for large firms for years before opening O. Long Law. Along with a team of business-minded legal professionals, O. Long Law takes a holistic approach to address your legal issue while maximizing results and reducing your business’ exposure.
Clients Benefit From
- Extensive litigation background in federal and state courts.
- Skilled negotiators and mediators for all kinds of business & family law matters.
- Personalized financial guidance from our in-house MBA and economic strategist.
- In-depth knowledge of Illinois business statutes & requirements.
- Clear & consistent communication, so you’re never out of the loop.
It’s how O. Long Law became the business litigation attorneys you deserve.
Meet Your Family's Team
Illinois Business Laws & What To Consider
The Long & Short of It…
More than two dozen statutes govern businesses in Illinois. Failure to comply could result in thousands of fines, not to mention potential revenue loss.
A closely-held business (or corporation) consists of five or fewer individuals who own 50% of the stock. These small, typically family-run companies are not immune from legal disputes, theft, shareholder arguments, and lawsuits.
Breach of Contract
Whether it is a disgruntled employee or a litigious contractor, all breach of contract plaintiffs must legally establish that:
- A valid written or oral contract exists.
- The plaintiff fulfilled their obligations under the contract.
- The defendant breached the contract by failing to fulfill their obligations.
- The plaintiff suffered financial damages as a direct result of this breach.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property (IP) is anything created using your mind. Therefore, IP can be a song, a book, a computer code, a new agricultural process, a logo, and more. The United States Patent and Trademark Office issues four types of legal protections for intellectual property.
Patents exclude competitors from manufacturing, selling, or using the invention.
- Utility Patents: Protects machinery, article of manufacture, process, or composition of matter.
- Design Patents: Protects new, original, and ornamental designs.
- Plant Patents: Protects any variety of asexually-produced plants.
A trademark consists of a word, symbol, phrase, or design differentiating a business from its competitors.
A trade secret is private business information such as a process, formula, recipe, or device.
Examples of trade secrets:
- Cosmetic & Skincare Formulas
- Computer Algorithms
- Food Recipes
A copyright can protect anything created by authorship, such as:
- Computer Software
- Literary Works
- Artistic Works
Minority Shareholder Disputes
Minority shareholders in a closely-held business have several legal instruments to make their wishes known.
In addition to voting at shareholder meetings, minority shareholders can:
- Request an inspection of a company’s records, books, and accounts.
- Maintain a derivative action.
- Dissent and receive payment for their shares (under specific circumstances).
- Seek statutory remedies for shareholder oppression.
- Pursue legal remedies for breach of fiduciary duty by the majority.
Dividing Family Business in a Divorce
When a married couple jointly owns a business, it is considered marital property. Like other jointly-held assets, such as property and bank accounts, a family business must be equitably divided under Illinois law.
There are remedies for dividing a family business in a divorce, depending on whether one spouse was more involved than the other. These can include the following.
The spouse with the greater involvement keeps the business and buys out the other party.
Sell & Divide
Sell the business and divide the profits between both spouses equally.
Although legally divorced, both parties jointly own and operate the business.
Business Litigation FAQ
Honest Answers & Practical Solutions from Your Advisor.
What If a Shareholder Wants to Divest?
The line between business concerns and family unity in a closely-held business is razor-thin. For that reason, we encourage shareholders to find common ground through negotiation, arbitration, or mediation. We are skilled business and family law negotiators with experience in dispute resolution. If it is clear that we cannot reach a mutually agreeable settlement, we can take your case to court.
How Can I Keep a Family Business Out of My Divorce Settlement?
Unless you owned the business before you married and prove it is a separate asset, family-owned firms are part of a divorce settlement. You could buy out your spouse's share and continue running the business. You could also sell the business and use your portion of the profits to start a new business. Our attorneys can give you specialized advice for your own situation, and our financial strategist can help you understand the benefits and challenges of each scenario after divorce.
Can We Protect Our Business from Breach of Contract Lawsuits?
Several defenses are effective against a breach of contract by an employee, vendor, or other entity. Our first step is carefully reviewing the contract and related addenda. In our experience, many plaintiffs fail to read the fine print and have a weak case against you. Our attorneys can assist you in finding legitimate defenses against breach of contract claims.
What's the Best Way to Address Theft of a Trade Secret?
There are many ways to address the misappropriation of trade secrets. Our business litigation attorneys can create an appropriate strategy to defend your trade secrets while maintaining their secrecy and, therefore, their value.
We're a Small Business. Can We Afford a Lawyer?
Frankly, you'll probably spend more in the long run when you don't have a lawyer looking out for your best interests. As a small business ourselves, we understand and respect limited financial resources. We always work to achieve the most time- and cost-efficient solution.
What Areas Do You Serve & How Can I Contact You?
O. Long Law is based in Evanston, on Chicago's North Shore. We serve businesses Northbrook, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka. Our business litigation lawyers handle cases in Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties.
You can reach us at 847-556-8846. We can set up a 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys. We'll listen to your needs and offer advice to make an informed decision about moving forward.
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm. Currently, we're meeting with clients via telephone or Zoom.