Federal and State Court Injunctions

Our law firm handles high-stakes litigation for our clients in federal and state courts. We have substantial experience handling injunctive relief business cases.

TRO, Preliminary Injunctions, Permanent Injunction Counsel

In some cases, the financial stakes in play are high because of the need to prevent (or require) an act, rather than allegations seeking a financial recovery. “Equitable relief” cases (i.e., claims for nonmonetary relief) can be, and often are, on a highly accelerated track toward a litigated outcome. The reason for this dynamic, typically, is that, assuming a request for injunctive relief is meritorious, often the need for injunctive relief is time sensitive because of a continuous risk of harm to ensue if the act is not enjoined. For this reason, it is common in well pled injunctive relief cases for the plaintiff to file contemporaneously with the lawsuit a motion for a temporary restraining order (or “TRO”) and/or for preliminary injunctive relief, seeking to obtain an order that will maintain the status quo or some form of Court-ordered protection as the case is litigated fully in anticipation of a trial.

Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia Business Litigation Attorneys

Our law firm has handled, as lead counsel, numerous injunctive relief cases in both federal and state court, including the following types of matters: intellectual property disputes (e.g., software proprietary rights; trade name infringement), unlawful competition, alleged contract violations, ownership agreement and corporate disputes, and non-compete and other restrictive covenants. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to properly advise and effectively represent our clients who need to file or defend a case seeking injunctive relief.

The Elements for Temporary and/or Preliminary Injunctive Relief

Although the details and nomenclature may vary somewhat from one jurisdiction to another, generally speaking, the process involving injunctive relief cases will in most federal and state courts contemplate three types, or stages, of injunctive relief. First, a “temporary restraining order” typically describes a court-ordered injunction (most often, at this stage, to refrain from an act, rather than a mandatory injunction) that will expire by its terms within a relatively short period of time (e.g. 14 days). Sometimes, the issuance of a TRO will be based upon a showing that there is not a way, nor time, to inform the defendant of the request for the TRO (known as an ex parte request for a TRO) and that, but for a TRO, the plaintiff will suffer “irreparable harm.” In such cases, the Court may enter a TRO and require proper notice and a quick hearing (i.e., before the TRO expires) to evaluate whether to extend the injunction as a “preliminary injunction.”

Hence the second stage of injunction is the “preliminary injunction,” which, generally speaking, contemplates an order that requires the defendant to refrain from (and, less often, to do) an act while the lawsuit is pending, in order to preserve the status quo while the parties litigate the case. The essential premise of any TRO or preliminary injunction is that, but for the Court’s intervention, some thing will happen that cannot be fixed by monetary damages (sometimes called “legal relief”). So, if the plaintiff can convince the Court that the plaintiff is likely to win on the merits at trial, that there is no adequate legal remedy and but for an injunction the plaintiff will suffer “irreparable harm,” and that the “balancing of the equities” of the situation (i.e., the judge’s sense of what is, on balance, the fair thing under the circumstances to do) is in the plaintiff’s favor, and that the injunction would not violate public policy, then the Court should grant a preliminary injunction as needed to maintain the status quo and protect both parties’ interests, pending a trial. In many cases where such relief is afforded, the plaintiff may be required to post security or a bond to protect the interests of the defendant if the defendant wins at trial and was harmed by the injunction.

The third form or stage of injunctive relief is a permanent injunction. A permanent injunction is appropriate where, at trial, the plaintiff proves entitlement to the injunctive relief sought.

In practical effect, most cases for injunctive relief are won or lost at the TRO or preliminary injunction stage. If the Court finds that the plaintiff is likely to win at trial, of course that is a pretty strong indication of future outcome. The converse is often true as well.

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If you need experienced litigation counsel to advise and represent you or your business, contact us today at our Atlanta or Augusta office or by emailing us at info@hamillittle.com.