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If you are trying to resolve your commercial litigation action through settlement, and you and the other side agree to a settlement, you may have various tools to force the other side to honor the terms of that deal. One is to ask the court to issue an order to enforce the settlement agreement. When you ask the court to issue such an order, it is very important to have ample evidence to establish that you and the other side had an enforceable agreement. You need some sort of persuasive proof that establishes that there was a clear set of terms and that there was mutual assent to those terms. To help you accumulate and present the evidence you need in your case, be sure you have experienced South Florida commercial litigation counsel representing you.

As an example of the sort of proof that is sufficient, and what is insufficient, a recent case from here in South Florida is illustrative. A Florida real estate deal that failed was the basis for litigation. A Palm Beach County optometry office sued a real estate entity over the failed deal. The parties litigated for a period of years, then began to negotiate a settlement.

Disagreement erupted anew after the sides disputed whether or not they’d actually consummated a binding settlement agreement. The defendants, believing that they had a binding settlement in place, asked the judge to issue an order to enforce the agreement. In support of their motion, the defendants brought to the judge emails between their lawyers and the plaintiffs’ lawyers, as well as a deposition given by the representative of the defendants’ insurer.

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Many high-earning individuals may be subject to extreme fluctuations in income. A professional athlete’s playing career may be ended abruptly by injury. A corporate executive may be unexpectedly forced out of his/her position. A sudden shift in popular tastes may mean that a music or acting star loses his/her contract with his/her recording label or filmmaking studio. A high-earning real estate broker may suffer a severe reduction in income due to a recession that greatly reduces the number of people buying new houses.

In any of these cases, the financial setbacks may have many impacts, especially if that high-earner is also subject to a court-ordered child support obligation. When that happens to you, you need to know what you can do to obtain relief from the Florida courts. For that kind of legal help, look to an experienced South Florida family law attorney to advise you regarding your specific situation.

An example of this type of scenario was the child support case of J.V., who was a highly accomplished professional football player originally from Miami-Dade County. While playing professional football in New Orleans, the player had a child with B.B. In 2015, the parents entered into what’s called a “consent judgment” in Louisiana. A consent judgment is a judgment issued by a judge but whose terms are established as a result of an agreement between the parties. The Louisiana judgment established timesharing and child support, among other things.

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Back in 2015, the resolution of a British commercial litigation action provided a lesson in how small details can have big importance. The resolution of a $29 million (U.S.) contract dispute hinged upon the interpretation of one single word in the contract. Here in Florida, the difference between success and defeat in commercial litigation actions can similarly mean that millions of dollars may hinge upon just a few words. That’s why, whether you’re negotiating, executing or litigating a commercial contract, it pays to have South Florida commercial litigation counsel who knows how to deliver results.

Here is a case that is just another recent example. In 2016, the owner of several medical centers and health care entities agreed to sell an 80% ownership stake in the corporate entities that controlled those assets. A West Palm Beach-based private investment firm agreed to make the purchase, with the sides agreeing to a purchase price in excess of $100 million. The precise amount was to be calculated based upon a stated multiplier of the seller’s operating business earnings. The contract also laid out a non-judicial mechanism for resolving disputes if there was disagreement about the exact purchase amount.

A dispute did erupt and the seller sued in state court in Miami. The buyer then filed a motion asking the judge to issue an order compelling the two sides to use the non-judicial dispute resolution process stated in the contract. The mechanism in question involved the “designation of a neutral accountant” and the use of certain procedures outlined in the agreement.

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Earlier this year, a Michigan court made an interesting ruling in an unusual case involving a husband who won a lottery jackpot during his separation prior to divorce. Here in Florida, we have Powerball, Mega Millions, Jackpot Triple Play and a bunch of other lottery games, but you’re highly unlikely to win an eight-figure jackpot in the lottery, especially while you’re going through a divorce.

However, the Michigan lottery winner’s case does pose some worthwhile questions. What if the events had occurred in Florida instead of Michigan? What if the multi-million-dollar new asset wasn’t a stroke of luck like a lottery jackpot but was something related to your business? For business people, these scenarios are entirely plausible, and serve as a reminder that, if you’re in that position, you should be sure you have a skilled South Florida divorce attorney handling your legal needs and protecting your interests.

The Michigan couple, R.Z. and M.Z., married in 2004. By 2011, the marriage had broken down and each spouse had filed a divorce complaint. The divorce, however, did not resolve quickly. The arbitrator assigned to the case decided the issue of property division in November 2013. The “wrinkle,” so to speak, was that the husband had purchased a winning lottery ticket in July 2013. This was no ordinary lottery “score;” the man’s net winnings after taxes were $38 million.

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When you are suing a business entity in Florida, one of the things you must be able to demonstrate is that the entity you’ve sued has what the law calls sufficient “minimum contacts” with the jurisdiction where you’ve brought your case. If you don’t have this proof, then the defendant may well be able to file a successful motion to dismiss, with the judge ruling that the court lacks jurisdiction to enter a judgment against the defendant. To make sure that your breach of contract action doesn’t get scuttled by this or other procedural problems, be sure you have representation from a skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorney.

There are several ways that you can establish personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state entity under what’s nicknamed Florida’s “Long Arm” statute. If, for example, the defendant engages in business in this state, breached a contract here, owns real estate in the Sunshine State, or “was engaged in solicitation or service activities within this state,” then any of those activities can trigger jurisdiction and allow you to pursue that entity in the Florida courts. (There are other bases listed in the statute, as well.)

These issues were at the center of one recent breach-of-contract lawsuit. The underlying disagreement was one over aircraft parts. One of the parties, a California-based company, held the parts in dispute at its facility in Los Angeles County. However, the other party, when deciding to pursue legal action, brought its case in state court in Miami-Dade County. This led the defendant company to ask the Florida judge to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit. The defendant’s argument was that the Florida courts lacked personal jurisdiction over it.

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When you are negotiating your commercial lease, you may be focused on things that feel the most immediate. Matters like the lease term, rental rate and CAM charges/fees all factor into your decision-making process. However, the spectrum of possible benefits or added responsibilities that your commercial lease can give you, or impose on you, can go much, much further. Even considerations like determining whether or not a tenant is liable to a landlord’s insurer for a fire in the tenant’s space may come down to exactly how the lease was written. In other words, every aspect and each detail potentially matters, so be sure your interests are protected by a knowledgeable South Florida commercial leasing attorney.

One recent example of this concept played out in state court in Miami. A restaurant chain signed a 190-month lease for a space in Miami Beach in 2010. Almost five years into the lease, a fire broke out in the restaurant’s kitchen. The insurance company that insured the property eventually paid the landlord more than $2.1 million. Subsequently, however, the insurance company took action against the tenant, filing a subrogation claim and seeking to recover damages from the tenant.

The tenant defended against the insurer’s subrogation action by asking the judge to dismiss the case. The tenant’s argument was that, based upon the language in the lease agreement it signed with the landlord, it was an implied co-insured with the landlord. (If the tenant was an implied co-insured, then the insurer couldn’t pursue subrogation; if it wasn’t, then the insurer could.)

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When you are involved in a commercial litigation case, there are several possible negative outcomes that can occur. Obviously, there is the possibility that the other side will win. Sometimes, though, even in a case that eventually ends with a successful final result for your side, the mere process of going through litigation against a particular opponent has the potential to be injurious to your business interests. For example, the pre-trial process can possibly leave you vulnerable to invasive discovery requests. When it comes to not only getting the final outcome you deserve, but also getting protection from improper disclosure demands, you need a skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorney on your side.

A Plantation-based software development company found itself in exactly that kind of potential predicament recently. It had sued an Arizona gaming company in Broward County for breach of contract after, allegedly, it had rendered its services and the gaming company had failed to pay for those services.

In reaction to the filing, the gaming company sought quite a bit of the software company’s financial information through discovery. The types of information the gaming company sought included the software company’s “profit margin, estimates, projections, cost analysis or formula to determine profit for agreement.” The gaming company also asked the software company to hand over all documents related to those financial topics. The gaming company claimed that the disclosures were necessary as part of its pursuit of a counterclaim against the software company, alleging that the software company understaffed the gaming company’s project.

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Any divorce case is a complex proceeding. Divorce becomes even more complicated when it’s intertwined with a personal injury settlement. When a personal injury settlement coincides with a divorce, the parties understandably want to know what happens to the personal injury settlement. Here’s what you need to know about how personal injury settlements are handled in a divorce. We talk to personal injury attorney and expert Jack Bernstein about this complex legal proceeding.

Is a Personal Injury Settlement Part of a Divorce Proceeding?

Yes, a personal injury settlement is part of the conversation in a divorce proceeding. Whether the settlement is subject to distribution in the divorce proceeding is a complex question.

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Protecting your business interests can take many forms. It may involve carefully negotiating a contract, or ensuring that the agreement that is drafted matches the results of the contract negotiations. Ideally, the contract you end up with will be flawless. Even if it isn’t, though, the flaws that may exist will not necessarily result in the invalidation of sweeping portions of the contract. As always, a knowledgeable South Florida commercial litigation attorney can give you the advice you need about your specific circumstances.

A case from the “Space Coast” provides an example. The underlying construction job was a residential condominium project in Brevard County that involved several buildings. After the construction was completed, the condo association sued the general contractor for alleged construction defects. The general contractor, asserting that the defects were really the fault of several subcontractors, filed a series of lawsuits against those subcontractors for contractual and common law indemnification.

Each of the agreements between the general contractor and the subcontractors contained the same indemnification provision. That indemnification provision was the key to the subcontractors’ defenses, as they argued that it was legally void and unenforceable. Specifically, the subcontractors argued that the provision didn’t comply with Section 725.06 of the Florida Statutes, which requires that all indemnification provisions in contracts for the “construction, alteration, repair, or demolition” of buildings must contain ‘a monetary limitation on the extent of the indemnification that bears a reasonable commercial relationship to the contract.’”

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In an important new ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that a debtor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy was entitled to court approval of its proposed going-concern sale, even though the terms of that sale meant extinguishing the debtor’s obligation to honor previously made promises to pay health care benefits for its retired employees for life. The ruling demonstrates that, even in the face of significant hurdles (including federal statutory ones), there may be a path forward for failing businesses through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If your business is considering its options in bankruptcy, be sure you have a knowledgeable South Florida bankruptcy attorney on your side.

The debtor was a company that produced and exported coal from mines in Alabama, West Virginia, Canada and the United Kingdom. A downturn in the coal industry led prices to plummet in 2011. After the price fell, the debtor could not generate enough revenue to meet its obligations. Running out of cash, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Alabama.

Through the bankruptcy process, the company attempted to sell nearly all of its assets as part of a going-concern sale. The sale price was $1.15 billion, and the buyer agreed to take on $115 million in the company’s liabilities. The buyer conditioned its purchase, however, on it not being obligated to meet the coal company’s collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and not being required to pay health care benefits for the company’s retirees. (Previously, the coal company and the union had bargained for the company to continue paying health care benefits for workers even after they retired.)