proficient in business & commercial law cases with experience of providing legal advice to small businesses, Fortune 500 corporations as well as large financial institutions
The Pittsburgh law firm of Michael J. Betts LLC has extensive experience in handling a wide range of commercial litigation and business litigation matters and business disputes. Mr. Betts has handled numerous lawsuits and litigation matters in the federal and state courts in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, as well as matters submitted to arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA) and other dispute resolution administrators. Mr. Betts has represented a diverse range of business clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations and large financial institutions, and in cases where the amount controversy ranges from smaller matters to millions of dollars.
The types of commercial litigation matters we handle include:
Banking Litigation. Through his many years of experience in private practice handling litigation involving banks, as well as through his prior service to PNC Bank in the position as Senior Counsel – Litigation, Mr. Betts is knowledgeable concerning many types of banking litigation, including fiduciary litigation, lender liability claims, account and check fraud cases, and claims arising under Articles 3, 4 and 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Breach of Contract / Claims under the Uniform Commercial Code. Mr. Betts has substantial experience in reviewing commercial contracts to which his clients are parties and providing advice concerning the parties’ contractual rights and duties, as well as representing clients in litigation in breach of contract actions. Mr. Betts also is experienced with claims arising under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Business Torts. We are experienced in the handling of litigation involving the assertion of various forms of business torts, such as claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, interference with existing and prospective contractual relations, commercial disparagement and slander, conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition.
Consumer Litigation. Mr. Betts has extensive experience handling claims filed under various consumer protection statutes, including the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and various federal statutes such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Truth in Lending Act.
Employment Litigation. Mr. Betts is experienced in the handling of disputes arising in the workplace, including claims alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, and claims alleging the violation of restrictive covenant and “non-compete” provisions.
Franchise Litigation. We have experience with contractual and other disputes between franchisors and franchisees. The types of disputes that can arise between franchisors and their franchisees are many, and include intellectual property protection, royalty claims, enforcement of non-compete restrictions, franchisee claims arising out of the sale of the franchise and franchisee class action suits.
Insurance Litigation. Mr. Betts has substantial experience with various forms of litigation related to insurance policies, including insurance coverage litigation, claims for bad faith, and claims alleging fraudulent and deceptive practices in connection with the sale of life insurance policies, annuities and other insurance products.
Restrictive Covenant / Non-Compete Claims. There has been considerable litigation in recent years filed for the purpose of enforcing (or sometimes avoiding) restrictive covenants (“non-compete” provisions) found in employment contracts. Mr. Betts and Betts Law Office have substantial experience in analyzing the enforceability of these provisions under Pennsylvania case law and in handling litigation brought to enforce restrictive covenants, or in the defense of such claims.
Shareholder and Partnership Disputes. Mr. Betts is experienced in handling litigation arising under shareholder and partnership agreements. In these cases, the rights of the parties and the obligations they owe each other (and to the business entity) are defined by contract, as well as by statutes including the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law, 15 Pa.C.S. §§ 1101, et seq., the Pennsylvania Uniform Partnership Act, 15 Pa.C.S. §§ 8301, et seq., and other statutes governing Pennsylvania business associations.
Trade Secret Litigation / Restrictive Covenant and Non-Compete Claims. Michael J. Betts and Betts Law Office have substantial experience in the handling of cases involving claims alleging the misappropriation of trade secrets. In Pennsylvania, these claims generally arise under the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secret Act (“PUTSA”), 12 Pa.C.S. §§ 5301, et seq., but also require analysis under the extensive body of Pennsylvania case law that has developed in this area. These cases also frequently involve claims alleging breaches of restrictive covenants and non-competition provisions found in employment agreements.
Unfair Competition. We are experienced in handling commercial litigation matters that include claims for “unfair competition.” Such claims can take a variety of forms. As observed by a federal district court applying Pennsylvania law, “Pennsylvania courts have recognized a cause of action for the common law tort of unfair competition where there is evidence of, among other things, trademark, trade name, and patent rights infringement, misrepresentation, tortious interference with contract, improper inducement of another's employees, and unlawful use of confidential information.”
Michael J. Betts LLC provides its clients with sophisticated and thorough representation, and strives to do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In addition to the personal, hands-on approach that can be provided by small “boutique” litigation firms, our many years of experience in handling commercial litigation matters enables us to handle matters in a practical way, sensitive to the real-world needs and concerns of our clients. While we pursue the zealous representation of our clients in litigation matters, we also recognize the needs of our clients to manage the risk and uncertainty of litigation and throughout any litigation matter attempt to identify opportunities for resolving business disputes in a manner that will best serve the interests of our clients.
Although our normal engagement in commercial litigation matters is as lead trial counsel for our clients, we have extensive experience working with other law firms and lawyers in the role of co-counsel or “local counsel.” With our knowledge of the members of the local judiciary and the rules and practices prevailing in our local courts – the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County – as well as our commitment to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, we are an ideal fit for businesses, law firms and lawyers who are in need of Pittsburgh-based counsel to support the handling of commercial litigation matters and business disputes pending, or anticipated to be filed, in the federal or state courts in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.