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

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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. 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 (9544400901 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.


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