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Business owner prevails in lawsuit filed by city

Many Louisiana businesses engage in commercial litigation when legal disputes arise. In some cases, the issues involve zoning and permitting problems. Recently, a swamp tour business in St. Martin won a ruling in its favor regarding a lawsuit that was filed by the St. Martin Parish Council.

According to media reports, the council filed a lawsuit against the Wharf on Lake Martin and Champagne's Cajun Swamp Tours, both of which are run by the same owner. The council was seeking to revoke the owner's permit that he obtained to locate his business on the shore of Lake Martin in 2011. The city said that the approval was made in error due to a clerical mistake because the area was not zoned for commercial purposes.

Other swamp tour businesses also operate on Lake Martin. However, they do not have permanent facilities built on the lakeshore and must remove their boats at the end of each day. The judge ruled in favor of the owner, allowing him to continue operating his business on the shore even though it is not zoned for permanent commercial businesses. The council stated that it is deciding whether to appeal the decision.

Commercial litigation may be required to resolve complex legal issues for businesses. While it is possible to negotiate remedies in some cases, other cases will require litigation. Businesses that are embroiled in legal disputes may benefit from retaining experienced commercial law attorneys who have a litigation practice. The lawyers may advocate for the interests of their clients through arbitration hearings or trials in court. Getting help from experienced commercial litigation lawyers might allow businesses to protect their interests and potentially obtain more favorable outcomes.

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