Commercial Litigation in Fort Lauderdale
Commercial litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is an extremely important component of ensuring business operations run smoothly. If your organization has experienced any of the following issues during normal operations, you might be entitled to state or federal protection under a variety of commercial laws designed to protect businesses, employees, and employers:
• Supplier disagreements
• Accounting or tax agency indiscretions
• Breach of contract
• And more…
In many cases, especially when dealing with larger claims, it may be worth it to bring the specific business matter to court.
What is Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation refers to any type of business dispute or lawsuit that occurs between two businesses, a business and a government entity, or an employee and his or her employer. The laws governing these individuals and organizations are known as commercial or business law. These items are often grouped with civil law and can deal with both public and private legal issues.
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Litigation surrounding issues of banking, business, anti-trust laws, cybercrime, franchise law and corporations fall under the umbrella term of commercial litigation. Fraud is a frequent issue that comes up in cases of commercial litigation.
Types and Examples of Commercial Litigation
Within the aforementioned areas of law, there are multiple specific types of disputes that are heard in Florida’s business courts. Examples of these dispute types are:
• Contract interference cases
• Non-compete agreements
• Debt collection agencies
• Breaches of fiduciary duty
• Disputes between employers and their employees
• Uniform Commercial Code violations and disputes
• Contract misinterpretation
• Breaches of contract
• Consumer fraud and protection from consumer fraud
• Franchise disputes and franchise creation
• Disputes involving corporate management
• Civil actions regarding RICO (Racketeer-Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act)
All types of companies, commercial entities, and business organizations can become involved in various forms of commercial litigation actions. Understanding your role and your business’s role in a dispute is critical to successfully defending and ultimately winning your case.
Commercial Litigation Laws
Commercial law precedents are often established to determine standards of conduct which protect consumers, businesses, or contractual parties in various forms of agreements. Additionally, many federal and state laws and statutes govern these entities and are established to levy punishments for fraud, misrepresentation, and other forms of misconduct in business transactions and operations.
At the federal level, several long-standing laws, precedents, and acts dictate operational procedures for government agencies and commercial entities in the United States. Some of these include RICO, also known as the Racketeer-Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The United States Congress is tasked with enforcing these federal commerce laws at the highest level.
At the state level, the Uniform Commercial Code and the Florida Business Corporations Act work to protect businesses and their consumers from unfair and illegal practices. Florida’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code has been modified to our state’s unique business climate.
At the heart of every business is human beings. We are all unique in our desires, motivations, and skills.
Sometimes the disputes we see at our law firm are personal in nature, and other times, they are the result of a serious breach of fiduciary responsibility.
It can be helpful to first understand what can go wrong in a business relationship to anticipate the problems and have solutions in place. If those solutions fail, Conrad & Scherer is here to help settle partnership disputes.
Common Partnership Disputes
1. One or more partners becomes less engaged in the business or encounters shifting priorities.
2. A partner makes unilateral decisions without consulting the other party.
The distribution of the work or profits seems unbalanced.
3. One of the partners begins working for a competitor or starts a new competitive venture.
4. Resentment builds if one partner feels like he is responsible for the bulk of the profits.
5. One partner advocates adding another partner to the venture, but the other partner(s) is not keen on the idea.
6. A partner is caught embezzling, misappropriating funds, or sharing trade secrets.
7. One of the partners becomes deceased or incapacitated.
8. One of the partners gets married or divorced, and it affects the business in some way.
9. One partner wants out of the business.
10. There are creative or strategic differences about the future direction of the business.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive, but it does cover an array of routine disputes that you may encounter over the life of your partnership.
How to Handle a Partnership Dispute
It’s not uncommon for partners to wish to avoid legal battles. For instance, if you file a lawsuit against your partner, then the dispute becomes a matter of public record, and it’s available for anyone to see, including employees and competitors. A court battle can also be prohibitively expensive and unnecessary. There are other options to resolve a partnership dispute, including mediation and arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution allows both partners to manage their conflict discreetly. Even if the outcome is a dissolution of the partnership, it can be done quietly and privately.
As the term suggests, contract disputes involve a disagreement over the terms of a contract.
Though there are infinite ways that two parties in a contract may disagree, the most common types of contract disputes tend to fall within one of three categories:
1. A party does not pay for the goods or services specified in the contract;
2. The goods or services received were not up to expected quality standards; or
3. One party asserted something that isn’t factual or omitted a contract term either purposely or unintentionally.
When one of these situations occurs, it’s said that the party who violated the terms of the agreement is in breach of contract. Conrad & Scherer can handle complex cases like these.
Tips to Avoid Contract Disputes
Though it’s practically impossible to avoid all contract disputes, there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of a disagreement.
Make Sure You Understand the Contract and Agree to Terms Before Signing
Contracts can be riddled with legal terms and jargon that can be tough for the average person to navigate. Ask for clarification about anything that isn’t understood, or contact a lawyer at Conrad and Scherer to assist you in a contract review.
Hire an Attorney to Draft Your Contract
By working with an attorney to draft your contract, you’ll have an experienced professional who understands how to structure a contract to ensure enforceability.
Further, if you have a dispute in the future, an attorney will be able to help you navigate your next steps.
At Conrad & Scherer, we have the expertise to handle contract disputes. We encourage you to get in touch to discuss any questions.