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Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

Does your emotional response during contract disputes matter?

Contract negotiations and disputes can take up a great deal of energy and time when you run a business, but you ultimately hope that everyone will eventually come to an agreement that they can live with (if they can't find one they actually like).

However, your relative ability to keep your emotions under control (or not) when you're at the negotiating table can make a significant difference in not only how long negotiations will take but how well you will ultimately fare.

Treehouse dispute keeps on going and going in Florida

How bad can it be if you don't get a permit for a building on your own property before you start construction?

You might not want to ask that question around the city of Holmes Beach. A dispute over the construction of a treehouse has spawned a series of lawsuits over the last decade that has yet to be settled and has cost its owners thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses.

Nuk sued over its 'orthodontic' pacifiers

Where pacifiers are concerned, every parent seems to have a strong opinion. Some parents consider pacifiers to be a godsend when a cranky baby needs soothing and think they're fine to use for a while when babies are small. Other parents hate them with a passion and blame them for all manner of ills, especially dental defects. In some families, the divide in opinion can lead to a lot of tension around the issue.

That's why an "orthodontic" pacifier by Nuk seems like the answer to a prayer. That single word conveys reassurance that a baby's favorite "binky" won't lead to problems with the gums or tooth development and eases fears that using a pacifier will ultimately lead to buck teeth or something similar. In fact, the word actually implies that the Nuk pacifiers are somehow beneficial to the development of a baby's teeth when used between the recommended ages of 18 to 36 months.

What problems are you looking for in a contract?

Contracts are the lifeblood of the business world, but you don't ever want to sign an important contract without reviewing it closely.

But do you know what you should be trying to spot? There a lot of potential contract problems, from ambiguous wording to contradictory clauses, but here are some of the top unpleasant surprises we often see:

Frequently asked questions about commercial real estate

Investing in commercial real estate can help you diversify your holdings and build your fortune. However, you need to understand the basics in order to get started. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about where to start.

What is commercial real estate?

Pick the right attorney for your antitrust case

Competition laws, or antitrust regulations, are designed to protect consumers against predatory business habits. They're intended to help make sure that the open market remains competitive and help prevent monopolies. In turn, that helps protect consumers against artificially inflated prices and overly limited supplies.

Some of the things that can spark an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) include the following:

  • You and a competitor are suspected of coordinating your business activities in a scheme to divide the market. A market allocation scheme creates regional monopolies without giving the appearance of a monopoly.
  • There are allegations that you and another party are engaging in "bid-rigging" in order to dole out important contracts as you like. This creates a system where the competitors essentially agree to take turns, depriving customers of a fair bid for their services.
  • There are allegations that your company is participating in price-fixing. When that happens, competitors with a substantially similar product simply agree to sell both products at the same price. The companies both profit by making it impossible for the normal mechanisms of supply and demand to work.
  • Your company intends to merge with another leading company in your market. Before that happens, the FTC has to examine the situation to determine if the merger would create the possibility of a monopoly or set up a situation that would lead to antitrust issues or deprive the market of beneficial competition and a need for innovation.

Obese man sues trio of Florida businesses for discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a considerable benefit to many people who would otherwise be denied access to many places due to mobility issues and other disabilities. Unfortunately, the ADA has also created a lucrative cottage industry of lawsuits that target small businesses -- with plaintiffs pressing claims against businesses that they rarely (if ever) patronize.

Recent lawsuits against three Florida restaurants may be symptomatic of that problem.

Florida joins massive antitrust probe into Google, Facebook

With the addition of Florida, at least 48 states have joined together to investigate allegations of possible antitrust violations by Google. The tech industry giant has come under congressional scrutiny lately for the way that its platform manages public and private data.

Essentially, the question is whether or not there's really an actual market for advertisers -- or whether the process of advertising online is pretty much owned and operated by Google. Does Google so completely control online ads to the point that there is a de facto monopoly on the market? Those suspicious of the industry leader point out that:

  • Google dominates the search engine market so completely that its name is synonymous with "looking something up online."
  • Google owns Adsense, which is the primary service many companies use to place their online ads.
  • Google distributes ads in videos through YouTube, which is also owned by Google.

Unexpected ways you can protect intellectual property

These days, intellectual property can be an entrepreneur's most valuable asset, so most business owners think a lot about how they can keep their company secrets safe.

You've probably already learned some of the most common ways to go about protecting intellectual property, but have you considered these:

4 contracts every business should use

It's sometimes said that "the biggest mistake you can make with a contract is not having one at all." Contracts offer you significant protection over verbal agreements or "handshake deals."

If you're fairly new as an entrepreneur, here are four types of contracts you need to know about right away: