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How the Optimal Use of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Can Benefit You in Your Commercial Litigation Case

Many times, winning your commercial litigation action may come down to the factual evidence you have. In other situations, achieving a fully successful result also requires a detailed knowledge of the rules of court procedure, as one case originally from Palm Beach County recently demonstrated. The rule that the plaintiff cited in its court papers made all of the difference in allowing that party to sue all of the defendants it desired to include in its contract dispute case. This example demonstrates how the knowledge and skill of experienced Florida contract litigation counsel can help you achieve favorable results.

The origins of the case began with a commercial contract between a precious metals and rare coins company and a marketing entity. The marketing entity agreed to promote the coin company’s publications for 15 years. In exchange, the coin company agreed to pay the marketing firm a percentage of net revenues.

Eventually, the relationship soured. The coin company sued the marketing firm in federal court, alleging violations of federal intellectual property law, as well as asserting state law claims. The federal court decided to dismiss the state law claims from the federal action, and those went forward in a separate state law case.

In the latter case, the coin company asserted counterclaims against both the marketing firm and the man whom it claimed was the marketing firm’s agent. In any commercial litigation case, there are various important procedural and strategic decisions that must be made. For example, if a contract partner that has harmed your business decides to sue, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a counterclaim in that lawsuit. Whether you are filing a claim or a counterclaim, it is important to make sure that you include everyone properly available as co-defendants in your claim. Naming all of the proper opponents enhances your chance of a complete recovery.

Furthermore, citing one rule of civil procedure as opposed to a different rule can make all of the difference in the success of your claim. In the coin company’s case, the agent tried to get out of the case by arguing that he was not an appropriate counterclaim defendant. The Court of Appeal stated that the agent would have been correct if the coin company had added the agent to the case under Rule 1.180(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. But the coin company in this instance used Rule 1.170(h). Under Rule 1.170(h), the addition of the agent was permissible and proper, so the coin company was allowed to go forward against both opponents.

To ensure that you have a strong chance of success, you need strong factual proof, but your case also needs a detailed knowledge of the law and the rules of court procedure. The experienced South Florida commercial litigation attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman have been effectively representing parties for many years and are here to put our knowledge to work for you.

Contact us online or by calling (954) 237-1777 to schedule your consultation and find out how this firm can help you protect your interests.

More blog posts:

How the Lack of a Skilled Florida Business Attorney Derailed One Plaintiff’s Breach of Contract Lawsuit, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Feb. 14, 2018

Your Commercial Contract’s Damages Clause and Your Florida Breach of Contract Case, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, April 11, 2017


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