civil litigation

Areas of practice

 
 
 

BUSINESS LITIGATION

Business conflicts come in a variety of flavors.  The conflict may occur between a business and a client, vendor, or competitor.  Sometimes conflict occurs among a business’ owners or between the buyer and seller of a business.  Ideally, conflicts get resolved before they become legal disputes.  But when they don’t, Lance Cawthon helps individuals and organizations protect their business interests when legal action becomes necessary.

 
 
 

Contract Disputes

Business conflicts commonly involve contracts for goods or services, property, investment, or financing. It is not unusual for opposing parties in a contract dispute to assert competing claims for damages, so it is important to hire counsel with experience representing plaintiffs and defendants. Lance advises clients on the risks and rewards of litigation and tailors the legal strategy in each case to best serve the client’s objectives.

Commercial Debt Collection

Sometimes there may be no dispute about one party’s debt to another, but the debt still goes unpaid. Lance uses his expertise to help businesses recover what they are owed from commercial debtors. When necessary, that entails converting an unsatisfied debt into a legal judgment.

 

Business Fraud

Business fraud encompasses any transaction in which one party uses deception, misrepresentation, or concealment to gain an unfair advantage. Texas law provides a variety of remedies for victims of business fraud. Lance thrives on holding fraudsters accountable for their conduct and enforcing fair play in business practices.

Post-Judgment Enforcement and Collection

Obtaining a judgment for damages in court does not guarantee you will be paid. It is sometimes necessary to extract payment from a judgment debtor using an array of legal tools available under Texas law. Because Texas also affords generous protections to judgment debtors, hiring an attorney with experience enforcing judgments within the state is crucial. Lance can help you leverage your judgment into an actual recovery.

 

Foreign Judgment Domestication

In addition to enforcing judgments rendered by Texas courts, Lance helps out-of-state clients and their counsel domesticate judgments from outside the state and pursue collection against debtors who reside or hold assets in Texas.

Employment Litigation

Conflicts between businesses and employees over issues like non-compete agreements, compensation contracts, and termination of employment often end up in litigation. Lance has experience litigating on either side of employment disputes.

 

Construction Litigation

Lance represents property owners, general contractors, and subcontractors in construction project disputes over payments, liens, and workmanship.

 
 
 
 
 

Real estate litigation

Litigation over real estate may concern disputes over the sale of residential or commercial property, restrictive covenants, easements, earnest money, lease agreements, and landlord-tenant relations. Lance has helped clients protect their property interests in a variety of situations.

 

SALE/LEASE DISPUTES

Any number of things can go wrong during the sale of land. A dispute may arise over earnest money, a change of heart on the eve of closing, even a simple typo resulting in a misunderstanding over the terms of sale. Likewise, landlords and tenants may find themselves in conflict over any number of issues. Lance represents buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants in disputes over the sale or lease of real estate.

 

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

Restrictive covenants sometimes become a source of conflict. These kinds of disputes may break out among neighbors when a landowner is accused of violating a restriction. Years or even decades of change and development in an area can also lead to this type of conflict. Lance represents individual landowners in lawsuits to enforce or challenge restrictive covenants.

 

EASEMENTS

The existence of an easement or lack thereof can make a big difference to landowners on either side of the dispute. In these situations, the right of access to one’s property and the right to control one’s property are in direct conflict. Lance represents landowners when these types of conflicts lead to litigation.

 
 
 
 
 

CONSUMER PROTECTION LITIGATION

Major consumer purchases, when they go wrong, can cause significant disruption to a household.  When a family or individual spends thousands of dollars and ends up with a defective home or inoperable automobile, it has a major effect on daily life.  Lance welcomes opportunities to help victims of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices.  These kinds of cases are often as much about confronting disrespectful treatment of a consumer as they are about recovering an economic loss.

 
 
 

Residential Real Estate Fraud

A seller’s misrepresentation, concealment, or failure to disclose major defective conditions in a home can make life miserable for a misled buyer and result in significant economic loss. Lance provides experienced representation in real estate fraud cases.

 

Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Texas law offers special protection for consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business and insurance practices through the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This statute is broadly applicable to most consumer transactions and may be employed in a wide variety of circumstances to redress instances of unfair consumer exploitation. Lance has used this legal tool to secure favorable outcomes for clients against auto dealers, repair shops, health clubs, and landlords.

 
 
 
 

GOVERNMENTAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION

Lawsuits are sometimes brought for the purpose of controlling governmental action or holding a governmental actor liable for damages. No matter the merit of the case, such lawsuits are subject to a unique set of doctrines and principles that require representation by lawyers who can prepare a strategy with these unique concerns in mind.

 
 
 

Governmental Litigation

For most of his legal career, Lance has advised and represented state and local governmental entities and officials in matters ranging from federal civil rights lawsuits and employment litigation to disputes over territorial boundaries and operational issues. He has also represented private parties adverse to governmental actors in contract disputes and civil rights matters.

 

Whistleblower, Retaliation, and Free Speech Claims

Government employees are legally protected from termination, suspension, or other adverse personnel action in retaliation for reporting violations of law, in good faith, to law enforcement authorities. The same protection may exist, in some circumstances, for a government employee making statements as a private citizen on a matter of public concern. Of course, all citizens enjoy a right of free speech under the First Amendment. Lance’s skills and experience are well-suited to litigating these issues for clients on either side of the dispute.

 

The Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA)

It might look like a civil rights law, but beware – the TCPA may apply in lawsuits over business, real estate, or employment as well. Known as Texas’ “Anti-SLAPP Statute”, the TCPA was ostensibly passed as an extra measure of protection for individuals sued in retaliation for exercising the right of free speech, right to petition, or right to associate. In practice, because the TCPA defines these rights broadly, its application has been more pervasive than one might imagine. For example, litigants have invoked the TCPA in lawsuits related to private employment matters, Uniform Commercial Code financing statements, pre-suit demand letters, and statements about the value of land. Plaintiffs risk a fast and early loss in litigation plus an obligation to pay their opponent’s legal fees if they are unprepared to meet a challenge under the TCPA. Lance’s experience fighting on either side of the TCPA battle serves his clients well.

 
 
 
 

Contact Lance to learn more:

Name *
Name
Phone Number *
Phone Number