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monopoly manA recent decision issued by the Fourth District Court of Appeal regarding the proper amount of child support to be paid by a father who made roughly $2 million annually addressed a sometimes challenging issue for the courts:  how to calculate the proper amount of child support for the children of an extremely high-income parent. In this case, the appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision to follow the child support guidelines, leaving in place an order that demanded a monthly child support payment of nearly $9,000.

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university sealThe breakup of a for-profit medical school founder’s 50-plus-year marriage helped fuel a multitude of legal actions, with the founder’s wife seeking to freeze the assets of the university through the equitable distribution process, while the husband accused the wife of abusing the legal process to tie up money that belonged to the school and other companies. A Florida court recently ruled against the wife, ordering her to pay roughly $6.8 million in damages for wrongfully seeking and obtaining an injunction that froze nearly $100 million in assets, as dailybusinessreview.com reported.

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clapper boardAn alleged part-owner of a feature film lost his right to bring a lawsuit against a movie studio for the studio’s alleged tortious interference with a business relationship because he waited too long to sue, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled. The case is an informative one for businesses and others involved in commercial disputes, since it highlights the limited bases under which a business can use the legal concept of a “continuing tort” to extend the limitations period for bringing a lawsuit.

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deadline dayWhen you make the decision to take your commercial dispute to trial on a breach of contract claim, you obviously hope to obtain a judgment in your favor at the end of the trial. It is important to understand, though, that a successful judgment at the end of the trial may not be the final endpoint in obtaining recovery. There are many other hurdles that can intervene in your case and may require additional action in order to get the compensation you were awarded at trial, as one recent Fourth District Court of Appeal case demonstrated.

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Brick buildingWhether you are a seller or a buyer of commercial property in Florida, it is very important to understand every aspect of your sales contract, including any damages term. In a recent South Florida case in which this provision was at issue, a seller was able to keep a buyer’s deposit money after the buyer breached the agreement. The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the contract’s liquidated damages clause was flawed but that, by doing everything in its power to consummate the sale, the seller “cured” this defect and was entitled to receive the benefit of liquidated damages in this case.

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slot machinesA recent case decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal offers useful insight on a somewhat unusual, but nevertheless important, scenario. What happens when your commercial lease narrowly restricts the kind of business you can run, and the state government changes the laws later to make that business illegal? That is what happened to a computerized slot-machine arcade in South Florida, and, in this case, the appeals court concluded that the lease at the center of the dispute was so restrictive that it prevented the tenant from living up to its contractual obligations while at the same time remaining legal.

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Nursing home corridorIn the latest chapter of a long-running dispute between the federal government and a Tampa Bay-area nursing home, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a district court, which concluded that the protections afforded debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases do not allow the nursing home to escape the consequences of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision to terminate its Medicare provider agreement with the facility. The result offers an illustration that Chapter 11 protections can be very valuable benefits, but bankruptcy protection only goes so far.

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calculatorWhen you’re involved in commercial litigation, there may be several elements to your case. In a breach of contract case, you must not only show that the other side breached your agreement but also prove that you suffered damages (and the amount of those damages). Each piece is critical to your case. In one recent case decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, a radiosurgery center lost its case, even though it proved that the hospital with which it had contracted had breached the agreement. The center lost because its evidence of damages brought forward at trial demonstrated how much revenue it lost, but the correct measure of its damages was its lost profits, rather than lost revenue.

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money USEarly in May 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published an official notice of its intent to modify the federal regulation that covers the fees that the government charges for various immigration application forms. Two of the applications that would be most profoundly affected by this proposed change are two prominently involved in the EB-5 visa process:  the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and the Application for Regional Center Designation. If the proposed rule takes effect as currently written, the cost of the application process for EB-5 visa seekers, as well as the cost for those seeking regional center status, would go up by several thousand dollars.

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Daddy YankeeA legal showdown between a concert producer and a popular Latin performer, arising after the producer didn’t make required payments on time, and the singer subsequently canceled five concerts, displays the potential peril of requiring trial courts to draw inferences. Although the court judgment found the singer liable for breaching the contract and awarded the producer certain damages, it did not allow the producer to collect reimbursement for some of the partial payments it made to the singer for the shows that never took place. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this decision, determining that the producer’s actions in the case did not make it clear that it sought reimbursement damages for the payments, and, although the producer raised an inference that it intended to pursue those damages, the trial court was not “compelled … to draw that inference.”

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