Commercial & Corporate Disputes

Collaboration that yields unexpectedly positive results.

Experienced commercial litigation attorneys partner with business clients and DRM's business, intellectual property, real estate, employment law and government affairs teams to define and pursue strategies that lead to successful outcomes.

Although litigation is occasionally used to achieve strategic objectives, it is rarely good news for most businesses. Costs can be burdensome, outcomes can be uncertain and key personnel can be distracted from profit making activities. Downs Rachlin has always been known as a business-oriented firm, committed to understanding the business concerns and objectives underlying every dispute and working closely with the client to structure an approach to disputes that meets those needs. Although the course of litigation cannot be predicted with certainty, we understand the need to plan and therefore provide at the outset of the dispute an assessment of risks and possible courses or action and promptly update our assessment as the case unfolds. We also provide detailed budgets and are open to structuring fees to provide as much predictability as possible. We understand that success is defined by our clients.

Results driven, efficiency oriented.

We pride ourselves on finding creative cost-effective solutions, often in collaboration with Downs Rachlin's business or government affairs attorneys.

With the deepest bench of any firm in Vermont, it may not be surprising that Downs Rachlin has had success litigating against larger name-brand firms in jurisdictions throughout the country. The key to that success has been the value the firm places on collaboration, which enable us to assemble the best possible team for each engagement.

Downs Rachlin’s commercial litigators represent business clients in industries including manufacturing, energy, transportation, financial services and real estate, in all manner of actions, including:

  • Contract disputes
  • Fraud and other tort suits
  • Actions relating to franchises, dealerships, and distributorships
  • Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA) and motor vehicle franchise law claims
  • Antitrust claims
  • Shareholder disputes, including shareholder derivative actions
  • Enforcement of judgments
  • Tax litigation
  • Consumer class actions
  • Product liability and employment claims

When appropriate, our attorneys pursue resolution of commercial disputes through alternative means such as arbitration and mediation.

Recent Accomplishments

In litigation, especially commercial and corporate disputes, the biggest wins are never talked about once they are achieved. Many of our representative matters fall in that category, but of the ones we can talk about, here are a few of our most recent:

  • Represented SoPakCo and its parent corporation Unaka Inc. in an alleged breach of a co-packing agreement.
  • Established for railroad client that federal law preempted application of Act 250, Vermont's zoning law, to railroads
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