In 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. A second, important contract provision in a typical Florida business contract is a forum-selection clause (also known as a venue-selection clause), which (generally) conclusively decides where a lawsuit over a contract will be litigated. For instance, will it be litigated in Broward County, Florida, by a Fort Lauderdale commercial litigation attorney, or somewhere else? As one might imagine, the actual location to which the parties agree to litigate a future dispute can have significant practical implications. What U.S.-born citizen in Florida would be excited about the prospect of litigating a business dispute in China? Not many, I would surmise, but if the parties agree to litigate in China, then that’s where they will (under Florida law) be obligated to litigate.
Indeed, virtually the only situation in which a forum-selection clause will not be enforced by a Florida court is when the forum is “inadequate.” What constitutes “inadequate” for such a purpose is beyond the scope of this blog post, but suffice is to say that a forum-selection clause required to be brought in North Korea (or some other country whose laws generally contradict ours) would be unenforceable. In the United States, neither a state or federal court will uphold a contract that violates the law or public policy of the jurisdiction in which that court sits.
If you are involved in a business dispute in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere else in Florida, please call a Fort Lauderdale business lawyer at (954) 440–0901 to schedule a consultation. The Carlin Law Firm, PLLC regularly provides legal advice to all kinds of business entities and regularly assist clients with litigating business disputes in Florida state and federal courts.