Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

Florida legislators seek to protect businesses from lawsuits

A slip-and-fall or some other kind of personal injury that takes place on the property of a business can be a nightmare for the business owner -- and the Florida House is hoping to change that.

House Bill 17 (HB17) would impose a strict $1 million cap on noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, the loss of capacity for enjoyment in life and other losses that aren't easily defined in dollar amounts. The bill is being sponsored by Representative Tom Leek, who is also the chief legal counsel of a Daytona Beach insurance brokerage firm called Foundation Risk Partners.

Why do employees steal from their employer?

Stealing from your employer is literally akin to biting the hand that feeds you -- hard. Yet, employees embezzle all the time -- and small businesses are particularly susceptible to fraud.

So, what exactly drives employees to steal? There's actually a well-known triad of factors behind most cases of fraud in the workplace:

  1. Opportunity. The thief has the ability and means to take the money -- usually because of a lack of internal controls.
  2. Pressure. Sometimes, there's financial pressure at home due to a sick spouse, a kid in college or a secret gambling addiction.
  3. Rationalization. The thief may try to justify stealing because he or she doesn't feel appreciated or paid enough -- or, maybe, the thief will convince himself or herself that the money can be put back later without anyone noticing.

Can an oral contract be enforced?

There's an old saying that goes something like, "An oral contract is worth the paper that it's written on," but is that the truth? Are handshake deals nothing more than promises in the air with no real substance behind them?

Yes -- and no, not exactly. It's a little more complicated than that.

5 reasons construction projects end up in litigation

Even well-planned construction projects can have issues -- and any kind of problem can cost both money and time. That's why it's important to be well-informed and proactive about preventing them.

The National Real Estate Investor has identified the five most common reasons that construction projects end up in litigation. They are:

When can a company's shareholders sue?

Shareholder fortunes can rise, and fall, based on their holdings in a corporation. As the corporation profits, they profit. When the corporation suffers a big loss -- so do the shareholders.

Except, these days, shareholders may decide to sue in order to recoup those losses. Experts say that more investors are responding to severe drops in a company's stocks by claiming that they should have been given more information in order to competently make decisions to sell their shares before a problem erupted.

How to hire a property manager that will keep you out of trouble

There are plenty of property managers for hire out there who can handle the day-to-day issues that come with owning rental property and dealing with tenants. However, finding a good one can take a little digging.

When you're on the search for a trustworthy, reliable and canny property manager, here are some tips you can use:

In a dispute with your contractor? Here are some options

No matter how hard you try to avoid them, disputes with your contractor can happen. Fortunately, there are always solutions. However, some are definitely easier than others.

If you've already tried to hash out the issue with your contractor in person, through email and on the phone to no avail, it's time to move on to other options. Here are some basics you need to keep in mind as you proceed:

The right of first offer and right of first refusal

Imagine this: You rent a sizable space for your restaurant in a nice commercial center. Business is so good that you'd eventually like to expand -- so you're thrilled to find out that the tenant next to you is moving out.

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that your landlord will let you have the newly available space unless you've negotiated for either the right of first offer or the right of first refusal.

Offer, acceptance and consideration in contract negotiations

Offer, acceptance and consideration are the main building blocks of any contract. Until all three of those things are present, there isn't a legally enforceable agreement.

This is an overview of the basics that everyone should understand when negotiating a contract in business or any other aspect of life.

Clients of Florida firm lose investments, owe money

Imagine waking up to find out that everything you had invested with a major brokerage firm was gone. On top of that, your investments failed so badly that you actually owe money.

That's the reality for about 300 clients of a large Florida brokerage. Many of those investors have initiated lawsuits -- and more are still to come -- over the way the firm handled (or mishandled) its clients' money.