In the course of your commercial litigation action, you may reach a point at which your interests dictate getting a court order that prevents your opponent from taking certain actions. If you decide to seek an order of injunctive relief, there are certain specific things that you’ll have to demonstrate to the court in order to succeed. Whether you are seeking to use an injunction or some other legal tool to advance your interests in your commercial dispute, it pays to make sure that you have a skilled Florida commercial litigation attorney on your side.
One recent commercial contract case from Miami provided an example of what it takes to get a valid injunction. The basis for the underlying case was a commercial services agreement that called for one entity to provide services and to advance funds to the other entity. In exchange for the provision of services and advance of funds, the service provider was to receive a 20% interest in the profits of the other entity, an investment company.
There are certain circumstances under which a business agreement and compensation provision like the one outlined above might be easily workable. There are other situations, though, in which it can become complicated. A circumstance in which the business arrangement sours and in which the recipient of services owns exactly one asset, which it is poised to sell, is an example of the latter. That was the situation facing this service provider. It had not received the compensation to which it thought it was entitled, and the entity that owed payment to it was allegedly on the verge of selling its only asset and distributing those proceeds.
Facing this set of facts, the service provider went to court and asked the judge to issue an injunction. That injunction would prevent the investment company from distributing the proceeds of the sale. The judge issued the injunction, preventing the distribution of the sale proceeds and giving the service provider the temporary relief it desired.
The appeals court, however, reversed that decision and threw out the injunction. The reason the investment company won on appeal came down to the law’s rules on the issuance of injunctions. The law says that a judge may issue an injunction only if the party who sought it demonstrated four essential things. They are a likelihood of irreparable harm, a substantial likelihood that the party seeking the injunction will win the ultimate litigation on the merits, the possible harm to the injunction-seeker outweighing the potential negative impact on the opposing party, and granting the injunction not going against public policy.
The service provider’s case failed to satisfy the very first of these four requirements. The service provider’s lawsuit was a claim for breach of contract, for which it sought money damages as compensation for that breach. Even if the service provider won its case completely, it would only be entitled to money damages. If the service provider won a judgment, and the investment company failed to pay, the service provider would possibly have additional remedies, but they would also be money damages. Whenever your potential remedy is money damages, the law says that you have an adequate “remedy at law.” When you have a sufficient remedy at law, you cannot have irreparable harm and cannot be entitled to injunctive relief.
For wise and skillful representation to meet all of your commercial litigation needs, talk to the experienced South Florida commercial litigation attorneys at Stok Folk + Kon. Our commercial litigation attorneys have been providing creative litigation strategies to protect our clients for many years.
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:
Florida Appeals Court Decides TV Network Entitled to Injunction to Stop Loss of Executive to Rival, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Sept. 22, 2016
Courts OKs Minimal Bond For Injunction Freezing Millions in Bank Funds, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Jan. 8, 2015