Sometimes, achieving success can mean going to trial and winning; other times, it can mean a settlement. A commercial tenant and a client of Stok Folk + Kon recently succeeded in reaching a settlement of its lease dispute with its landlord, a major South Florida casino. The landlord, which had attempted to force out the small tenant despite a lease term that ran through 2020, agreed to settle just a week after the two sides engaged in mediation. As reported by the Sun-Sentinel, the terms of the settlement were not made public (due to a confidentiality provision in the settlement agreement).
The Sun-Sentinel first reported on this client’s case before the two sides went to mediation. The underlying dispute involved a commercial lease agreement between a small tenant and a very large landlord. The tenant was a business selling sunglasses, watches, and perfumes in the retail complex within the casino. The tenant had acquired its space by purchasing the final six years remaining on a lease that had originally been consummated by a company that later disbanded.
The landlord, however, planned to bulldoze the retail complex and replace it with a large indoor shopping mall. The construction led to diminished foot traffic, and diminished foot traffic led to business losses, which eventually climbed above $5,000 per month. The tenant persevered, however, since the landlord’s representative had promised that business would pick up after the redevelopment. Instead, the landlord tried to force the tenant out completely, even pursuing an eviction action against the now-defunct business that had signed the original lease.
The tenant took its own actions, including retaining this firm and launching a breach of contract action. The two sides eventually met in a mediation that took place in late March, as reported by the Daily Business Review. Within a week of the conclusion of that mediation, the landlord settled with our client.
Settlements typically involve each side getting something it considers to be “of value” from the resolution. For plaintiffs, that resolution can involve obtaining receipt of a monetary payment that compensates it for some or all of the financial losses it suffered, or it can mean receiving something else of value.
Often, defendants in these types of cases agree to a settlement because they do not desire to admit liability. The defendant may possibly choose to settle when it fears that the plaintiff has a strong enough case that a trial might result in a judgment of liability. The key, of course, is to amass enough proof and develop a strong enough case to motivate the other side to come to the table and mediate (and subsequently settle). That means proof of the defendant’s tortious conduct. That means proof that the defendant’s conduct inflicted economic harm upon the plaintiff. It also means proof of how much economic harm was inflicted.
Sometimes, achieving success in a commercial lease disagreement or another commercial dispute means going to trial and obtaining a verdict and judgment. Sometimes, it means using means of alternative dispute resolution (like mediation) and working out a settlement. Regardless of the direction your case takes, the skilled landlord-tenant attorneys at Stok Folk + Kon have what it takes to see your case through to a successful ending.
Contact us online or by calling (305) 935-4440 to schedule your consultation and find out how this firm can help you protect your interests.
More blog posts:
Stok Folk + Kon Secures Appellate Win for Client in Miami Beach Nightclub Dispute, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Sept. 16, 2016
Types of Recovery Available to a Florida Commercial Tenant When the Landlord Breaches the Lease, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2015