Certainly, it is preferable in any commercial setting to make sure that the terms of any contractual agreement are carefully negotiated and then put down in writing in a clear and accurate written document. Sometimes, though, the reality of business is different, and some commercial agreements are consummated through express oral contracts. Oral contracts are potentially valid and enforceable in the Sunshine State. When the party with whom you’ve contracted breaches your express oral contract, it is extremely important to understand what the law requires in order to achieve a successful result in your breach of contract action; or, more directly, it is important to make sure that you have experienced South Florida commercial litigation counsel to present the arguments you need and pursue the outcome you deserve.Florida courts have made it clear that, to advance a case of breach of an express oral contract, you need only to assert that a contract existed, that you performed, that the other side materially breached, and that the breach caused you to suffer damages. Florida law does not require you to allege, or provide evidence of, monetary consideration. Consideration doesn’t need to be anything of monetary value; it can anything that is a potential detriment to you or a benefit to the other party.
In one recent case from the Tampa Bay area, a commercial real estate company entered into an oral contract with a developer. The oral contract provided that, if the real estate company persuaded CVS pharmacy to lease a Pinellas County property that the developer owned, the developer would pay the real estate company a commission of $150,000. The real estate company allegedly was able to procure the pharmacy giant as a tenant for the property, but, after CVS inked the lease, the developer paid the real estate company nothing.
These allegations that the real estate company made were all it needed to have the necessary requirements to advance a claim of breach of oral contract. Florida requires that all valid and enforceable oral contracts demonstrate a mutual agreement to a definite proposition and avoid leaving any essential terms open. In this case, the real estate company’s allegations said that the two sides had a certain and definite contractual meeting of the minds (namely, a $150,000 commission in exchange for getting CVS to lease the developer’s property). The real estate company also had sufficient assertions to show performance (CVS leased the property) and breach (the real estate company got paid $0). Finally, the real estate company had allegations of financial damages that it incurred in the form of expenses incurred in getting CVS to lease the space, for which the plaintiff received nothing.
For the advice and counsel you need for your commercial contracts, whether they’re oral or written, contact the skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman. Our experienced team has been skillfully helping clients protect their business interests for many years.
Contact us online or by calling (954) 237-1777 to schedule your consultation and find out how this firm can help you.
More blog posts:
Contractual Limitations Period Stymies Swiss Trust’s Breach of Contract Lawsuit Against American Bank, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, May 7, 2018
The Proper Method for Determining Damages in a Breach of Contract Case in Florida, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Dec. 7, 2017