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Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

What does it take to make a contract legal?

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about what it takes to make a contract legal.

The Stormy Daniels affair, for example, revolves around a contract that was only signed by one party. Daniels claims that since the other party never signed, she isn't bound by its terms.

Know your property rights after an eviction

There's nothing like an eviction to put a landlord and a commercial tenant at odds and civility out the window. The reality is that anyone running a business can face financial problems that can end up in an eviction. It's just one of the hazards of life for landlords.

Unfortunately, not all landlords are that philosophic about the issue. Some take it very personally when a commercial tenant falls behind on the rent -- as if the tenant wants to withhold payment. That causes them to cross the line and do things that violate their tenant's rights.

InfoWars sued for defamation over conspiracy allegations

Shootings in high schools and other places have been the focus of a lot of controversy -- which means that everyone in the news industry is looking for a spin that will attract interest. One high-profile site, the InfoWars blog run by controversial conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones, may have gone a little too far, however, and defamed an innocent man.

This isn't the first time that the InfoWars blog has caused problems for innocent people by implicating them in real crimes and alleged cover-ups. The people named in their blogs often end up being the targets of hate mail, threats and other harassment by others who believe what they read without question.

Enforcing a restraint clause in a former employee's contract

Restraint clauses are a necessary item in most contracts with highly-placed employees and contractors. They set boundaries and protect the legitimate interests of a business.

However, before you rush to enforce a restraint clause in a contract when one of your former employees leaves and goes into business for him- or herself, pause and ask yourself a few questions first:

Handle construction change orders in advance to avoid disputes

Things seldom go entirely as planned in any construction project, which is why change orders were invented. However, there are limits to what's reasonable and expected.

Too many change orders end up complicating a project, lead to financial difficulties for everyone involved, make for unhappy contractors and customers and even spell the end of a project altogether. They can also lead to legal disputes with the developer.

Watch for these danger signs before you make a business deal

Every business owner wants to avoid entanglements with unscrupulous partners, employees or associates. If you make a mistake, your misplaced trust can end up destroying everything you've worked so hard to build.

What are the signs, though, of business professionals who may have ethical issues? Experts say to watch for these cues:

Ambiguous contract clauses

If a contract clause can reasonably be interpreted in more than one way, that's an ambiguous clause -- and a potential problem for your business.

For example, what happens if a contract reads "Employees will be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses during their training period, including hotel costs and per diem." Does that mean employees will be reimbursed for all their out-of-pocket expenses, including the cost of evening entertainment or is reimbursement limited just to hotel costs and per diem? The potential for confusion is there -- no matter what was meant by the contract originally.

How do you spot disgruntled employees?

If you run a business, it's probably no surprise that happy employees make for a better business. The power of happiness can manifest itself in productivity increases up to 12 percent.

The power of unhappiness, however, may be even more profound. One disgruntled employee can act like a cancer within the company, gradually changing the attitudes of everyone that he or she comes into contact with on a regular basis and sowing discontent all around.

Fox News targeted in lawsuit by outed Florida businessman

Did the Fox Network purposefully expose the private sexual orientation of a Florida businessman, destroying his career, in order to get out of a deal to produce a reality-based television show?

A lawsuit filed in federal court says that's exactly what happened.

Understanding breach of contract and specific performance

If you have a contract with someone, you expect them to fulfill it.

If they don't, you have several different options. You can choose to let the other party out of the contract, renegotiate for a new contract that you can both live with or demand a legal solution. One of those potential solutions is called specific performance -- and it's what you generally seek if you want the court to enforce the terms of the contract.