Antitrust and trade regulation laws are often extremely difficult to bring or defend, but carry sharp teeth. For instance, a business may be asked by a competitor to raise, lower, or stabilize prices for goods or services, or to serve or do business only with some customers but not others. A simple, verbal shake of the head can lead to criminal prosecutions and convictions or civil investigations and treble (triple) damages. Although the federal government has cut back the reach of federal antitrust laws, federal officials continue to charge business for price fixing, bid rigging, and dividing markets or customers. What’s more, practices allowed by federal law may be illegal in some states. This patchwork of conflicting federal and state laws may make it difficult for businesses to comply with their requirements. The laws are complicated, and ambiguous conduct may result in serious repercussions. Seemingly innocuous comments or a reply to an email can create significant liabilities.
Since the stakes are so high, seeking counsel from attorneys experienced in these matters is imperative.
Over the years, federal, state, and local governmental agencies have imposed and implemented regulatory and licensing requirements for the businesses and individuals that they regulate. These regulations often require a new or existing business to answer questions instigated by a disgruntled customer or a competitor.
Agencies may send out investigators, issue subpoenas, or commence proceedings. At times, those regulated by an agency believe the questions raised are political in nature or reflect little practical understanding or appreciation of the day-to-day business’s operations. Failure to respond satisfactorily to agency requests or demands can result in the agency withdrawing a license, disciplining or fining a business, imposing expensive requirements on the business, or refusing to act upon a necessary permit that the business needs to start or complete a project. A steady stream of new laws, new regulations, new directives, new interpretations of existing laws, or an agency’s new focus can make it difficult and costly for businesses and individuals to stay abreast of these developments, comply with these requirements, and respond and defend inquiries and charges.
The attorneys at Craft & Sheppard have responded to and appeared before numerous agencies defending businesses or individuals, been involved in numerous contested case hearings, and answered or responded to questions on complex matters. We stand ready to assist or represent your interest in these matters.
In this complex and technologically advanced business world, it has become easier for parties to accuse professionals of making a mistake or being negligent in business transactions. It is important that you contact your E&O carrier immediately so that you do not adversely affect your insurance coverage. Many policies require that you report the claim timely and in a certain format.
We will thoroughly investigate the merits of the case and work closely with you and/or your insurance company to develop a realistic and effective litigation strategy. Our E&O defense attorneys include a former insurance executive and a prominent trial attorney, both with over 30 years experience.