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Making sure the commercial contract you get is the one you need involves careful attention to detail where an experienced South Florida commercial attorney can provide invaluable input. One of those things is helping you to understand what is – and what isn’t – required by your agreement, and making sure your final agreement is something that matches what you agreed to in your pre-execution negotiations.

That may all seem very easy, but, in reality, it’s often not. As an example, take a look at this case, litigated in Miami-Dade County, that involved two LLC principals. The two businessmen, J.G. and R.A., had been in business together but decided to go their separate ways professionally in March 2016. One of the key entities impacted by that decision was another LLC, “MM,” that the two principals’ respective LLCs owned equally.

To establish a written plan for this break-up, the principals created and executed a Reorganization Agreement. That contract bound the parties to pursue restructuring or liquidation of MM and to pay off an investor who MM owed $80,000. R.A. paid the full $80,000 to the investor with no input from J.G.

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Many divorces by middle-class or working-class couples without children, no matter how complex emotionally, may be relatively simple from a legal perspective. The spouses often need only to divide up a marital house, the vehicles, banking and financial accounts and basic personal property. A high-asset divorce, by contrast, is often much more complicated. The spouses may own businesses, commercial real estate, significant investments or other items with large values. If that’s you, then, as you enter this profound transition in your life, make sure you have a skilled South Florida divorce attorney by your side to protect you and ensure that you get everything you should in your divorce judgment.

When it comes to getting a divorce judgment that gives you everything that’s rightfully yours, one essential thing is to make sure your separate property is recognized as such. If, for example, you own properties that you bought before your marriage, you want to be sure that they remain 100% yours at the conclusion of your divorce process.

That was what one Tampa Bay area husband was fighting for in his recent divorce case. He had purchased several parcels of real estate prior to the marriage, and bought one more during the marriage. The husband purchased the final parcel by increasing the mortgage on the other parcels.

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When you’ve been wronged – and suffered harm – in a commercial activity, there is a great deal of decision-making in which you must engage as a result. One thing you should know, once you’ve decided to seek compensation in court, is what is – and what isn’t – a proper venue. To do that, rely on a knowledgeable South Florida commercial litigation attorney for the advice you need.

If you’ve suffered a breach of contract in Florida, any trial court in the state has jurisdiction, but not all of them are proper venues for your lawsuit. Determining which counties are proper venues is very important, especially in a state like Florida with its peculiar geography. If your business is based in Miami-Dade County, there is a massive difference in terms of the overall costs of litigating a case in the Seventeenth Circuit as opposed to the First Circuit. The Seventeenth Circuit is in Fort Lauderdale, only 30 miles away. The First Circuit, located in Pensacola, is more than 670 miles away. The latter, of course, will cost you much more in terms of both time and money.

A recent case offers insight into how this process of venue determination works under Florida law. The case involved a property restoration company, a Bay County-based subcontractor and their breach of contract dispute. The subcontractor sued in Bay County after the restoration company allegedly failed to pay sums that were due.

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The ability to keep certain proprietary information secret is essential to the well-being of many businesses. Much of those assets’ inherent economic value may derive from the fact that they are not readily known or available to the broader business community. When your business’s secret information gets stolen, co-opted or otherwise misappropriated, the economic loss for your business can be massive. Be sure to fight back promptly and aggressively. Start by retaining the services of an experienced South Florida commercial litigation attorney.

When someone misappropriates your trade secrets and you have to sue, there are several evidentiary hurdles you have to clear in Florida. A recent case from right here in South Florida offers a good illustration of that.

The plaintiff was a Coral Springs-based company that provided “cruise ship entertainment production solutions,” according to its website. Along the way, the entertainment company had created a “proprietary training system and a digital tracking system used in aerial acrobatics entertainment aboard cruise ships.”

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There are a wide variety of Floridians who have the potential to find themselves facing a high-asset divorce: professional athletes, actors or models, people who have inherited massive wealth, people who own businesses or people who have accumulated substantial wealth through passive investments. For any of these people, a divorce presents the possibility that a soon-to-be ex-spouse may attempt to obtain a share of assets that were not part of the marriage and should not be subject to equitable distribution. To prevent that, be sure you have the legal representation you need from an experienced South Florida family law attorney.

A husband from Naples found himself in that kind of situation in his divorce case recently. He married in 2006 and the wife filed for divorce in 2014. During those eight years, neither the husband nor the wife “was employed or earned a wage income.” The couple lived off loans from the husband’s father, along with passive income and funds from accounts that mostly were solely the husband’s.

During the divorce litigation, the wife asserted that eight of the husband’s investment and banking accounts, along with much of the husband’s stock, were actually marital assets. The trial judge ruled in favor of the wife on six of those eight banking/investment accounts, as well as the stock.

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If you are someone to whom a business owes money and that business files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you may begin to hold grave concerns about whether or not you’ll get paid in full… or maybe whether you’ll get paid at all. Creditors do not lose all their rights to collect just because a debtor files for bankruptcy, though. If you find yourself in that position, be sure you act without delay to retain the services of a skilled South Florida commercial bankruptcy attorney to preserve your right to collect, or at least minimize your losses.

Recently, a Tampa builder was in exactly that sort of position. The builder had inked a deal with a local veterinarian’s LLC to do approximately a half-million dollars of interior finish work on the veterinarian’s new clinic in Tampa. However, in the middle of the project, the LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The builder wisely took the step of retaining counsel and filing a claim in the bankruptcy case. In most bankruptcy cases, a creditor has only a limited period of time in which to file a proof of claim. In a Chapter 11 case, the bankruptcy judge will enter an order that sets the deadline date for that case. Soon after the court enters that order, the debtor is required to send notice to all known creditors telling them when that deadline date is.

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There are many reasons why the pursuit of your commercial litigation might proceed slowly at times. Perhaps you need to amass more evidence to make your case. Maybe there were other reasons that slowed the process. It is important to be careful in permitting too much time to elapse, though, as a prolonged delay may result in a fatal outcome for your case known as a dismissal for “failure to prosecute.” To make certain that your case is proceeding as it should, it helps to have a diligent and reliable South Florida commercial litigation attorney on your side from the start.

While the risk of a dismissal for failure to prosecute is very real, it’s worth noting that Florida erects some very substantial limits on when your case can be thrown out due to inactivity… and when it can’t.

As an example, we can look at this recent case from Miami-Dade County. The plaintiff was a lighting company that retrofits buildings with LED lighting systems. In 2012, the company sued a condo association for breach of contract. Seven years and two months after the filing of that complaint, the trial court sent the company a “Notice of Lack of Prosecution.”

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When you hear the phrase “intellectual property litigation,” the first thing that probably leaps to mind is taking action to protect your intellectual property rights. Of course, there’s actually another side to that coin, which is taking action to defend against a claim of intellectual property infringement. When someone has wrongfully accused your business of encroaching on their intellectual property rights, you need the help of a skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorney experienced in intellectual property cases to get you the outcome your business deserves.

One way this kind of lawsuit can happen is if the business suing you had a valid copyright and/or trademark, but your conduct didn’t actually encroach on their intellectual property. In a recent case from federal court, the plaintiff was a dealer of used cars with locations in Central and South Florida. The dealership owned the copyright and trademarks on a stylized version of the phrase “DON’T PAY MORE” in white all caps, enclosed in alternating red and black boxes.

The defendant was a Lakeland auto dealer who had billboards on Interstate 4. The Lakeland dealership’s billboards said, “NEED A USED CAR?” on the top, “Don’t Pay More” on the bottom and the dealership’s name in the middle. The Lakeland dealership’s billboards used a different font, and contained no black or white, instead using only blue and a different shade of red.

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In most breach of contract cases, the correct remedy for any wrongdoing by the defendant is an award of money damages reflecting the extent of the economic losses that the plaintiff proved. In some circumstances, though, when a case revolves around a parcel of property, it may be true that the only way for that victim of breach to be what the law calls “made whole” (meaning fully compensated) is by an order of specific performance, which means forcing the owner to transfer the property to the plaintiff who was harmed by the breach. Whether the recovery you need is an award of money damages or an award of specific performance, make sure you have the adept legal representation your case needs by retaining a skilled South Florida real estate attorney.

So, what does it take to get specific performance – or to keep your opponent from getting specific performance – in Florida? A recent contract dispute case from Miami offers a good illustration.

In 2008, a developer group purchased a property in the financial district. Within that 2008 sales contract, the buyer and the seller included a provision creating an option for the seller to repurchase the property. In 2015, after the seller unsuccessfully sought to exercise that option, it sued for breach of contract.

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Getting the right legal representation when you’re preparing to enter a commercial lease is important in many ways. Your knowledgeable South Florida landlord-tenant attorney can, of course, help you negotiate your lease. In addition, however, your attorney can help you obtain a clear understanding of what rights and responsibilities you do – and don’t – have under your lease, and provide effective advocacy to ensure that you are not held to a higher standard (or more obligations) than what the lease agreement actually prescribes.

A federal case that originated here in South Florida is a good example. The lessee was a major “big box” home improvement store. The lease agreement, signed in 2006, established an initial 20-year term. The lease gave the lessee the option to “construct and operate a retail building.” If the lessee didn’t exercise that option, then that failure to exercise the option gave the landlord the right to increase rent or terminate the lease.

Two years into the lease, the tenant had constructed and opened one of its stores on the property. Five years after that, misfortune struck. A suspected arson fire did significant damage to the building. The local government inspected and determined that the building needed to be repaired or demolished. The tenant opted to do the latter, and also decided not to rebuild.

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