In your commercial litigation case, you need several things for success. One of the essential things is to make sure that the place where you bring your action is a place that has jurisdiction over all of the people or entities from which you seek damages. In a recent South Florida case litigating a joint venture agreement, that proved to be a critical problem. The courts dismissed a key defendant because the Florida statutes did not give the Florida courts jurisdiction, due to a lack of sufficient contact with the state.
Within any contract, there are probably several clauses that are carefully analyzed and extensively negotiated. Regardless of the amount of time negotiating any given paragraph, all of the provisions in your contract are important, since any one could be the key to your being able to protect your interests (or not). In the case of one LLC’s breach of contract and fraudulent inducement case, it was the agreement’s “choice of law” provision that provided the key to the LLC’s success in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A Palm Beach County real estate agent got a renewed opportunity to go after the large commission she alleged she was owed after working for nearly a year to sell a $4.7 million property on Palm Beach Island. As is true in many contract dispute cases, the details were key to the agent’s success. The broker whom the agent sued did not have enough of the proper type of evidence to establish that it was entitled to keep or split the commission, so it wasn’t entitled to summary judgment in the agent’s case.
With anything that contains considerable minutiae, it is said that the “devil is in the details.” This can definitely be true of contractual agreements. In the case of one broker’s dispute with a developer, the courts allowed the broker to proceed with its claim for unpaid commissions precisely because of the details in the listing agreement the broker and a developer signed. That agreement’s details were enough to establish that the broker was more than just a general unsecured creditor of the developer, according to a Third District Court of Appeal decision published recently.
Whether you are pursuing or defending against a legal action asserting misconduct in the management of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, one of the keys to your case may be whether or not the person suing has the legal right to bring the action he seeks to advance. In a recent Miami case, that issue was the undoing of a minority shareholder’s breach of fiduciary duty action against the majority shareholders, who were also his brothers. The minority shareholder failed because he tried to bring derivative claims in a direct action, which led the trial court to throw out the case and the Third District Court of Appeal to uphold that decision.
A South Beach sports medicine clinic got another chance to “step up to the plate” in its breach of contract lawsuit against a condominium association over the assignment of parking spaces in the condo’s garage. Since the tenant’s lawsuit could be amended to state potentially viable claims for breach of contract and tortuous interference, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that it was improper for the trial court to dismiss the case without giving the tenant the opportunity to amend and re-file its complaint.
A recent decision from the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed a very relevant question for any entity considering entering into a contract that contains a provision for the compulsion of arbitration: which legal actions do or do not trigger a waiver of that right to compel arbitration. In this case, a property seller’s lawsuit over certain deed restrictions did not constitute a waiver because that was a separate agreement and was outside the contract that contained the arbitration clause.
The collapse of the housing bubble back in the ‘00s caused a lot of substantial financial losses for many people, including investors. Even the suffering of major losses does not allow a party to a contract to get out of its obligations under that agreement, though. That was the takeaway of an $8 million plaintiff’s judgment awarded to our client in his breach of contract lawsuit against his investment partners in a condominium project. The other investors must still pay the millions of dollars they owed, even though the condo project failed and they sustained roughly $1 million in losses, the Daily Business Review reported.
When you’re going through a commercial dispute, there are many things about which you have to concern yourself. You have to balance the pursuit of victory in litigation with the continued operation of your business. One aspect of litigation that plays into both of these components is which of your officers or employees must testify in depositions related to your case. A case recently decided by the Second District Court of Appeal provides some important information in this area.
Miami and South Florida are commercially vibrant areas. In addition to having many businesses whose activities are strictly contained in the United States, the Miami area has many businesses whose contacts and interactions spread outside the United States, due in part to its unique diversity, geography and culture. This can sometimes lead to special challenges when contract disputes and commercial litigation issues arise with partners based outside the United States. In one recent tortious interference case involving a Miami LLC and a Brazilian entity, the Third District Court of Appeal concluded that the rules of jurisdiction did not prevent the litigation from going forward in Florida.