Law Office of Joseph M. West, P.C. - Real Estate and Business Attorney
Joseph M. West is a highly regarded real estate and business attorney, representing clients in transactional and litigation matters from his Ann Arbor, Michigan office. Call today for an appointment - (734) 975-1300!

Areas of ExpertisE

Business Law & Commercial Disputes

I represent large companies, small companies, and individuals in business start-ups, transactions, and commercial dispute matters. The subject of these matters is as diverse of the affairs of my clients. Generally speaking, these matters can be broken down into two categories: Litigation Matters, or lawsuits, and Transactional Matters.

Litigation Matters

Types of commercial litigation matters

Contract and insurance disputes.  

Contract and insurance disputes often focus on the letter of the agreement and examine whether and to what extent the parties’ conduct was in compliance with the agreement. Cases I have handled have addressed issues relating to:

  • Contracts for the sale of goods and equipment
  • Supplier contracts
  • Service contracts
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Errors and omissions insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Warranties, express and implied

Tort matters.  

A “tort” is a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract, that results in injury to another for which they are entitled to compensation. The business and commercial cases I have litigated on behalf of clients have included the following types of tort claims:

  • Fraud / misrepresentation
  • Tortious interference with contracts and expectancies
  • Business defamation
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Negligence
  • Professional negligence
  • Civil conspiracy
  • Indemnification
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

Consumer and commercial collection matters. 

All businesses have times when customers do not pay debts. In Michigan courts, companies can only conduct court proceedings through attorneys, so your choice as a business owner is to write off the debt, negotiate for payment, or file a lawsuit. When writing off the debt is not an option, I can assist in negotiations for payment, filing lawsuits seeking judgments for outstanding amounts, and collecting on the resulting judgment.


Examples of actual commercial litigation matters

  • I defended a health care company in litigation brought by an insurance company relating to payment of workers compensation premiums.  
  • I represented a manufacturing company that was sued by a supplier over non-payment of questionable charges.
  • I represented a large corporation in a commercial arbitration matter brought pursuant to American Arbitration Association rules.
  • I defended a building contractor that was sued for alleged non-payment on a service contract.  
  • I represented a purchaser of defective construction product in a negotiation with the manufacturer to obtain payment for replacement product.
  • I represented an advertising company in a lawsuit brought by a motivational speaker alleging a breach of contract.
  • I have regularly represented an equipment leasing company in commercial collection litigation in Michigan courts.

Transactional Matters

Types of Transactional Business Matters

  • Creating and maintaining business entities. I can assist in the creation of Michigan corporations and limited liability companies, structuring the initial relationships among the various parties (owners, directors, shareholders, members, managers, investors, etc.), and in maintaining the creditor protection of business entities once created.
  • Handling company business transactions. Once my clients’ businesses are up and running, I can assist in business transactions by negotiating with the other parties, drafting the necessary transaction documents, and closing deals.
  • Early dispute consultation and resolution. I have seen many occasions where clients have missed opportunities to resolve matters quickly and efficiently because they waited too long to seek legal help. If a dispute arises in your business, my involvement at the first sign of a problem can help to steer the matter toward a better resolution and perhaps avoid litigation altogether.  


Examples of actual transactional business matters

  • I have set up and implemented several business entities on behalf of clients in varying lines of business.  
  • I represented a small business in negotiations to resolve a difficult relationship with an independent contractor.  
  • I assisted a manufacturing company in creating its business entity and structuring the relationships between its owners and management.
  • I researched and prepared liability waiver document for a small business concerned about exposure from injuries of customers.

If you have any questions about my work in the areas of business law and commercial disputes, please Contact Me.