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What is an Order to Show Cause in Business Litigation?

The term "order to show cause" is a legal term utilized in lawsuits in both New York and New Jersey state courts and is utilized in connection with an emergency hearing whereby an attorney (on behalf of his or her client) is seeking an immediate appearance before a court and, in most instances, is seeking emergency relief, typically, in the form of an injunction.  In business litigation, the filing of an "order to show cause" typically occurs when business interests are jeopardized and require immediate action to prevent permanent damage.  Lawsuits involving trademark infringement, unfair competition, breach of partnership agreements and misappropriation of corporate assets and business opportunities involve claims that may require the filing of an order to show cause seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

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