Practice Areas

Business and Banking Litigation

In the United States, banks must be organized under strict requirements by either the federal or a state government.   Banks receive funds for loans from the Federal Reserve System provided they meet safe standards of operation and have sufficient financial reserves.  Bank accounts are insured up to certain limits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Litigation frequently arises from allegations that a bank has not complied with these requirements, standards and limits.

Many lawsuits arise out of commercial lending, financing and leasing transactions.  Others arise out of consumer lending and mortgage practices.   Sometimes, duties are imposed on lenders.  Whether you are a banker or a lender, Smith Larsen & Wixom is proficient in handling all such lawsuits and defending against claims of lender liability.

Commercial, Business, and Lending Transactions

Business begins with contracts.  When your business enters into a relationship with a supplier or a customer, or when you are making, securing or guaranteeing a loan, you need to understand the full scope of your duties and obligations, as well as your rights and remedies.  Contracts spell out those rights and duties.  Some of the terms of your contracts may be written.  Others may be verbal.  Still others may be implied by law.  Negotiating a commercial or business transaction, investment, or loan, has been described as a battle of the forms.  You may feel comfortable using forms that you have used before, but the other parties may have their own forms.  Often, the parties modify forms or combine parts of each party’s forms.  You also need to consider government regulations that may apply to the transaction and conduct your due diligence before making a purchase, investment or loan.  Smith Larsen & Wixom has helped many negotiate the pitfalls and minefields of complex commercial transactions.  Whether you are a seller, buyer, investor or lender, we can advise you and help draft contracts that will accomplish your goals.

Real Estate Transactions

The biggest transactions that most businesses undertake involve the purchase or sale of real estate, or the construction of a building on the business’ real estate.  Such transactions involve complex financing decisions and documentation.  Smith Larsen & Wixom has represented many clients in some of the largest real estate and construction projects in Nevada.  We can help you avoid pitfalls and achieve your goals in your next project.

Commercial Loan Workout

Smith Larsen & Wixom has had long and varied experience in representing creditors in loan workouts. Such experience includes the restructuring of complex real property secured loans and asset based credits, negotiating loan modifications, foreclosures resolving title issues, collection actions, real property deficiency actions, and bankruptcy. The loan amounts in such workouts have ranged from the relatively small to the very large, involving many millions of dollars. Our guiding principles in representing creditors are twofold; to provide cost effective and timely representation, and to provide sound and ethical legal counsel that leads to positive outcomes for our clients.

Commercial Law and Contract Litigation

A good attorney will help you understand your rights and duties so that you do not end up in a lawsuit later on.  But sometimes you have no choice and litigation is thrust upon you.  When that happens, your attorney must be ready and able to enforce your rights or defend you.  Whether you are a buyer, seller, or lender, Smith Larsen & Wixom has represented many others in your situation and can help you resolve your business dispute fairly and efficiently.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

When disputes arise in business or family life, it is frequently desirable to resolve the issues more quickly and confidentially than can be achieved in court.  Arbitration and mediation can provide a forum to resolve your dispute in a fair and private setting.  Smith Larsen & Wixom attorneys are familiar with such proceedings not only when representing litigants.   Our attorneys have also served as arbitrators and mediators, so we know the ins and outs of such alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.  Let us guide you through the proceedings effectively and efficiently.

Appellate Practice

The law is not perfect.  Neither are judges.  When a judge makes a mistake, or when the law needs to be clarified or changed, an appeal may be necessary.  When our clients prevail in the trial courts, the opposing party may appeal.  The attorneys at Smith Larsen & Wixom have prosecuted appeals for our clients and defended against appeals by opposing parties.  Some of our cases have resulted in precedent-setting published decisions in state and federal courts.

Personal Injury

Anyone who runs a business or owns commercial property is at risk of being sued by someone injured on the business premises.  However, just because someone is injured on your property does not mean that you are automatically liable.  Many people view property owners as “deep pockets” with insurance who the injured party sues, hoping to exact an unjustified settlement.  The attorneys at Smith Larsen & Wixom have represented many property owners and can help you identify potential liability situations and defenses to personal injury claims.

Product Liability Defense

Businesses are  at risk for injuries caused by dangerous or defective products that they manufacture or sell. Sometimes, your commercial general liability insurance policy will cover your defense costs and liability.  Many businesses are increasing their deductibles and retaining some risk in order to minimize insurance premium costs.  When an injury occurs that is not covered by your insurance, you still need to either pay valid claims or defend against baseless claims.

Asset Based Lending

We have extensive and experience in representing lenders who make asset-based loans, or extend other lines of credit, which may be secured by inventory, accounts receivable, equipment, or other property owned by the borrower. Our experience allows us to both understand the business of asset-based financing and commercial finance and to also provide lenders with necessary and appropriate advice and representation.

Creditor Rights

Creditors’ rights deal not only with the rights of creditors against the debtor, but also with the rights of creditors against one another. Where multiple creditors claim a right to levy against a particular piece of property, or against the debtor’s accounts in general, the rules governing creditor’s rights determine which creditor has the strongest right to any particular relief. Our creditor clients include both creditors who have “perfected” their collateral security interests by establishing an appropriate public record of the debt and any property claimed as collateral for it, and those who have not done so. Our efforts on their behalf include actions to take control of collateral (by means of replevin or otherwise), collection of accounts receivable, general debt collection actions, foreclosure and trustee’s sales, fraudulent conveyance actions, and representing creditor clients in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.