Category: Commercial Litigation & Business Disputes

Articles and information on commercial litigation, business disputes, real estate litigation. Call (954) 440-0901 or email info@carlinfirm.com

Infographic: Reasons to Hire a Ft. Lauderdale Business Dispute Attorney

October 7, 2017

The infographic titled “Why Hire a Ft. Lauderdale Business Dispute Attorney?” explains some important reasons to hire a business dispute attorney or business litigation attorney. A business litigation attorney is an attorney who primarily advises business clients in a wide array of non-criminal litigation, including issues involving contracts, liabilities, disputes, or partnerships. READ MORE

Misleading Advertising: An Under-Utilized Business Litigation Claim That Provides for Potentially Significant Damages Awards

September 26, 2017

In our capitalistic society, consumers are frequently exposed to advertisements for products and services. Unfortunately, advertisers sometimes make false claims or promises in their advertisements to mislead consumers into purchasing their products or services. For example, these advertisements may falsely tout amazing, “wholesale prices,” or extraordinary health benefits to be gained from the use of a product, thereby luring the consumer into purchasing the product or service on false pretenses. If you, as a consumer, have been misled by a business advertisement, then you may have a legal claim for money damages against the advertiser for misleading advertising. See generally § 817.41, Fla. Stat. (2017). READ MORE

Member-Initiated Florida LLC Litigation: Direct Actions Versus Derivative Actions

June 7, 2017

Florida LLC Litigation: Theft or Other Misconduct by a Managing Member of an LLC

In the context of Fort Lauderdale business litigation, some members of Florida limited liability companies, also known as “LLCs,” learn that the managers or other members of the LLC have wrongfully taken funds from the company, or have otherwise harmed the company by breaching their fiduciary duties to the company.  When this happens, the members’ ownership interests in the company—which entitles them to distributions of the company’s profit—are usually dramatically reduced or completely eliminated.  Understandably, these members may wish to sue the managers and members whose conduct caused their losses. READ MORE

Florida Business Litigation Appellate Update: Forum-Selection Clauses

March 16, 2017

Florida Business Litigation Appellate UpdateI recently wrote about the enforceability of forum-selection clauses in Florida business contracts.  The Florida Third District Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion enforcing a forum-selection clause.  A full copy of the opinion can be found here.

The case, Quick Cash, LLC v. Tradenet Enterprise, Inc., involved a business contract between two corporations, one of which filed suit in Florida.  The defending corporation moved to dismiss the lawsuit, because the contract in question provided that jurisdiction and venue would be in another State.  READ MORE

Preparing for Fort Lauderdale Business Litigation (or Elsewhere): Forum-Selection Clauses

March 6, 2017

Preparing for Fort Lauderdale Business LitigationIn my last blog post, I wrote about the importance of including in a Florida business contract an “attorney’s fees” provision that permits a party to a contract to recover its attorney’s fees from the other party to the contract if it sues over the contract and “wins.”  Moreover, I alluded to the existence of other important provisions in Florida business contracts, but did not specify those provisions. READ MORE

An Essential Provision in Every Florida Business Contract: An “Attorney’s Fees” Provision

March 2, 2017

An Essential Provision in Every Florida Business ContractAs a Fort Lauderdale commercial litigation attorney, my Florida business clients frequently request that I review and draft their contracts.  In addition to capturing the parties’ intentions regarding the key aspects of the transaction for which their contract is drafted—and avoiding ambiguities and inconsistent provisions that might fuel a potential business dispute—most business contracts contain certain boilerplate terms that will be “virtually the same” in every contract.  These provisions are included for good reason (they’re important!), even though lawyers may differ as to what they should say.  READ MORE

Chapter 727 ABC Proceeding — Lawyer Justin Carlin Prevails on Behalf of Creditor in Case of First Impression

August 31, 2016

Earlier this month, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Pro Finish, Inc. v. Estate of All American Trailer Manufacturers, Inc., — So. 3d —-,2016 WL 4132721 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016). Fort Lauderdale business lawyer Justin Carlin represented the appellant after handling the case at the trial level. The decision is important, because there is little case law on Chapter 727 assignment-for-the-benefit of creditors proceedings (so-called “ABCs”), and the proceedings have been widely used by debtors who don’t qualify for bankruptcy but who seek to evade creditors’ claims.

The opinion issued in the case can be found here.
Here’s a portion of the Court’s ruling, which, for the first time in Florida, makes clear that the provisions of Chapter 727 are to be strictly construed and that the failure to adhere to those provisions renders the assignment void:

Chapter 727 “provide[s] a uniform procedure for the administration of insolvent estates, and . . . ensure[s] full reporting to creditors and equal distribution of assets according to priorities as established under [chapter 727].” § 727.101, Fla. Stat. (2013). Section 727.104(1), Florida Statutes, provides the form of the assignment and requires compliance with it. § 727.104(1), Fla. Stat. (2013); see Smith v. Effective Teleservices, Inc., 133 So. 3d 1048, 1050–51 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014). The June 11, 2013 Assignment did substantially follow the required form. “Section 727.104 . . . [also] requires the assignee to record the assignment in the public records as well as to file a petition and bond in the circuit court.” Moecker v. Antoine, 845 So. 2d 904, 910–11 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003). Subsection (2) requires that this be done within ten days after delivery of the assignment to the assignee. § 727.104(2), Fla. Stat.

Here, the record lacks evidence as to when the June 11, 2013 Assignment was recorded. The only record evidence of the June 11, 2013 Assignment is a copy attached to the ABC Proceeding petition. It does not indicate whether or when it was recorded. But, the creditor also argues the assignee failed to file the ABC Proceeding petition within the section 727.104(2) time limits. The creditor suggests the failure to timely petition the trial court for the ABC Proceeding “is in direct contravention of Chapter 727 and violates public policy, which favors the expedient payment of just debts to creditors and prompt notice to creditors of an assignment of the debtor’s assets.” We agree and reverse.

“There is little case law addressing chapter 727, and none addresses the issues presented here.” Lanier, 898 So. 2d at 144. However, “the provisions of an assignment which are inconsistent with the applicable statute are void, and the assignment as a whole is void where it fails to comply with such a statute, or is against public policy.” 21 C.J.S. Creditor and Debtor § 9 (footnotes omitted). Here, the assignee failed to file the petition in the circuit court within ten days of delivery of the assignment. The assignee petitioned for the ABC Proceeding on November 26, 2013, and signed the acceptance of the June 11, 2013 Assignment on July 15, 2013. Although the June 11, 2013 Assignment met the section 727.104(1) form requirements, the untimely filing invalidated the ABC Proceeding under section 727.104(2).

If you’re in need of a Fort Lauderdale business lawyer to assist you with a complex business litigation matter or appeal, call (954) 440-0901 or e-mail info@carlinfirm.com.