Category Archives: Civil Litigation

What is the difference between negligence and gross negligence?

When determining if someone has been negligent, it is important to distinguish between negligence and gross negligence. Certainly, they are similar, but are different in the degree of carelessness. A Florida Business Law attorney can help you spot the difference in your particular case.

What Happens to a Civil Lawsuit if a Party Dies?

If a party to a civil lawsuit passes away, the court will typically put the lawsuit on hold, instead of terminating it. This is done temporarily and with the purpose of giving the probate court time to appoint a personal representative for the estate of the deceased party. Through the personal representative, the heir or heirs of the deceased can continue the lawsuit.

Unilateral Attorney’s Fees in Florida

In most contracts, there is a provision for attorney’s fees, sometimes called a prevailing party clause. This provision states that if legal action must be taken to enforce the contract, the prevailing party will get its attorney’s fees and costs paid by the losing party. Under Florida law, attorney’s fees are contractual or statutory, meaning that this provision must be included in contracts or statutes to be enforced. Because of this, it is important to include an attorney’s fees clause in any contract in Florida.

Increased Jurisdictional Amounts in Florida

On May 24, 2019, House Bill 337 was approved by Governor Ron DeSantis which would effectively amend Section 34.01 of the Florida Statutes, by increasing the jurisdictional amounts of our court actions.

Can I Get Attorney’s Fees in a Defamation Case in Florida?

Courts can award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party if both parties have agreed to such a condition in a contract, or if there is a specific statute that grants attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in a certain case. If both parties prevail in different legal arguments, the court will conduct a balancing test and distribute attorney fees using its own discretion. 

What is Private Adjudication in Florida?

Private adjudication provides the parties in a civil lawsuit two alternatives to court: (1) voluntary trial resolution (VTR) or (2) voluntary binding arbitration. These alternatives grant the parties of a lawsuit a path that avoids the traditional court litigation route.

COVID-19: How to Conduct Remote Depositions

Covid-19 has forced many industries to adjust their business operations so that they can comply with the distancing needed. The legal industry is not unlike others, as they have put efforts to make all court hearings virtual or over the phone. One of the many procedures that have made this change is the taking of a witness’ depositions. It is important that even attorneys with years of experience take the following factors into consideration when conducting a virtual deposition.

Does Motion for Extension of Time Waive Rights in Arbitration?

Revised Florida Arbitration Code The Revised Florida Arbitration Code was initially signed into law in 1957, with the revision of the Code being adopted in 2013. As the Florida Bar Association states, the Revised Florida Arbitration Code is composed of three distinct sections: Pre-arbitration matters, such as scope of law that will govern the proceeding….   + Read More…

Are Electronic Signatures Valid for Binding a Contract?

The use of electronic signatures for a wide variety of legal documents has been a key component of the internet age, providing corporations and clients alike with a streamlined process for signing documents. However, while electronic signatures have become the predominant choice for most, there are still many questions that surround them. Namely among these concerns is whether or not they are legal in binding contracts.

What to Do If My Client Owes Me Money?

If your client fails to make a payment, often times, you as a business owner are consequently left with an unpaid balance. This can result in repetitive and tedious attempts to collect the unpaid invoices and may impose a strain on your client relationship.

Financing a Vehicle – Liens & Auto Equity Loans

When a vehicle is financed through a bank, the bank becomes a “secured party” in relations to the vehicle. This means that the bank now owns a financial interest in the vehicle, secured by the vehicle itself. Therefore, the information about the bank’s interest in the vehicle has to be put on the certificate of title, along with the borrower’s information.

Does a Motion to Dismiss stay Discovery in Florida Civil Litigation?

Discovery is the process that opposing parties use to build evidence against another and is an instrumental part of the adversarial system. The Florida Rules of civil procedure provides when discovery can be limited by the trial court.

Are ADA Compliant Website Lawsuits a Scam?

There are no clear regulations defining website accessibility. Typically, courts conduct a flexible, case-by-case analysis, to ensure that the Act requirements are not unduly burdensome to businesses.

How can I Report an Amazon Vendor if I am a Seller or Buyer?

Recently, stories have surfaced about consumers purchasing expired goods, broken products, and even counterfeit items. Additionally, some sellers are losing business to other sellers who market these fraudulent or defective items. Whether you are an Amazon buyer or seller, here’s how you can protect yourself.

What Happens when you get Served?

Currently, there are two worlds operating at the same time and for some people they never overlap. I am talking about the legal world and the non-legal/real world. In the legal world courts are operating every day and most people are blissfully unaware of it. However, the legal world and the real-world intersect at the moment that individual walks up to you and says, “you’ve been served!”

My Contractor Stole My Money! What is the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund?

If you have ever found yourself asking this question when working with a contractor or construction company, and the project seems to always be going over budget, then you may be entitled to recover from the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund.

Are There Advertising Restrictions for Dental Practices?

The American Dental Association and Florida Statute § 466.019 mandate laws for advertising by dentists.

Don’t be Fooled by “Attorneys…”

Many states have tried providing education to the public to be careful in who they hire to help with their legal problems.  Additionally, many states, such as Florida, have established programs to protect the public against harm caused by individuals pretending to be attorneys.

Higher Stakes in County Court for Florida Civil Lawsuits: What are the Minimum Amounts of Money you can sue for in Circuit Court in Florida?

The Florida court system has two tiers of trial courts; the circuit courts and county courts. Circuit courts have jurisdiction over trials not assigned by statute to the county courts and hear appeals from county courts. Thus, circuit courts in Florida are both the highest trial courts and the lowest appellate courts. Traditionally, the circuit…   + Read More…

How do you Serve Process on Corporations?

Service of process in Florida can be made in person as well as by mail. To serve a corporation in person, the plaintiff should coordinate with the sheriff of the county in which the person to be served on behalf of the corporation is located.

Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act

Courts have given some guidance on what constitutes deceptive and unfair trade practices by companies in Florida. A business engages in deceptive practices if the action is likely to mislead the consumer. On the other hand, a business participates in unfair practices if it acts contrary to public policy by behaving unethically or oppressively towards consumers or other businesses.

What is a Florida Construction Lien? What are the Preliminary Concerns?

Most contractors, subcontractors, laborers, material-men, or professionals hired to improve, or make improvements to, a property which cost more than $2,500 can file a construction lien.

Who Can Report You to the Credit Bureaus?

Credit report files contain information about a person’s financial debt, including account numbers for current and past debts, loan types and terms and payment history.  When a person defaults on loan payments, the creditor may decide to send a report of the late payment(s) to the credit bureaus so that it will be reflected in the customer’s credit file.

What is Defamation?

Defamation is a false statement about a person, portrayed as a fact, that is intended to harm the person’s reputation. All the elements of defamation must be present, meaning that mere gossip may not always be considered defamation.

Severing Joint Tenancies Between Non-Married Partners in Washington D.C.

A joint tenancy cannot exist unless there is a present unity of interest, title, time and possession; that is to say, the interests must be identical, they must accrue by the same conveyance, they must commence at the same time and the estate must be held by the same undivided possession.

What are the Penalties for Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor?

Sometimes people opt into hiring unlicensed contractors, which is a very bad idea.  Unlicensed contractors may lead a person to pay penalties and possibly even jail time.

What Happens if you Hire an Unlicensed Contractor?

Conducting business as an unlicensed contractor is a crime in Florida. Therefore, as a homeowner you have special civil remedies in regard to the harm that you have endured by hiring an unlicensed contractor.

When is there Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice can happen in all types of medicine and at any moment during treatment.  Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor’s or other health care provider’s actions or negligence.

What is the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund?

Where has all my money gone? If you have ever found yourself asking this question when working with a contractor or construction company, and the project seems to always be going over budget, then you may be entitled to recover from the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund. However, there are a few qualifications you must meet before recovering.

Does my website need to be ADA compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Specifically, Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in a place of public accommodation, including movie theaters, schools, restaurants, and office buildings. All public places and privately-owned commercial facilities must comply with ADA standards….   + Read More…

Can Facebook Live videos be considered as evidence?

In an age where social media laws are changing as fast as the platforms themselves, always use caution and consideration when uploading videos. The internet is forever.

How do I Write off “Bad Debt”?

There are two types of bad-debts: business and non-business. A business bad debt expense arises from operating your trade or business, so it is pretty simple to spot. These deductions are deducted on Schedule C of an individual income tax return or on the applicable business income tax return.

An Introduction to Small Claims Court

Litigation is not always complex issues with big payouts for the winning party. There are civil actions where the issue does not exceed $5,000 (exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney’s fees), known as Small Claims Court. The most common types of cases in small claims courts are: Personal Injury Cases Breach of Contract Cases Open…   + Read More…

What are the civil and criminal penalties for violating Florida Notary Law?

What does it mean to be a Notary Public in the United States? A Notary Public (“notary”) is a state government official of integrity appointed by a top official of their state, to serve the public as a witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. Notaries…   + Read More…

Financial Fad: Cryptocurrency; Issues with ICO’s and FL Causes of Action

In the wake of the 2017 cryptocurrency “fever,” the wall street journal shines light on the potential problems to come with cryptocurrency and fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs). An ICO is a platform for investors to buy and sell digital assets, such as tokens or coins. During an ICO companies use coin offerings to raise…   + Read More…

An insight on Jeremy Alters’ Bar Suspension

The Florida Supreme Court issues a SUA Sponte suspension of Jeremy Alters. A sua sponte suspension means the judges ordered the indefinite suspension on their own will. Neither of the parties or the lower court requested a bar suspension. Jeremy Alters went from a prominent attorney who won the largest attorney fee award in South…   + Read More…

Does My Company Need a Document Retention Policy? What is a Document Retention Policy Anyways?

What Is a Document Retention Policy? A document retention policy is a company policy, which establishes the customary practice and guidelines regarding the retention and maintenance of company records, and sets forth a schedule for the destruction of certain documents received or created during the course of business. Both state and federal laws require each…   + Read More…

How to : Authentication of Evidence and Social Media

Social media has a big influence in our lives in today’s age. Social Media is defined by Merriam-Webster as forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. There are various social media platforms such as Facebook,…   + Read More…

Non-Compete Agreements and Independent Contractors

According to FL Statute 542.335(1)(d)(1), non-compete agreements are enforceable against an independent contractor just like an employee. However, the agreement signed may not be legally enforceable for other reasons. Non compete agreements must serve to protect an employer’s “legitimate business interest.”Florida law sets out a non-exclusive list which includes: trade secrets, confidential business or professional…   + Read More…

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! #CivilTheftRelief

If someone has had money or property taken from them by means of theft, fraud or exploitation, Florida’s Civil Theft Statute may offer them relief, and harsh punishment for the perpetrator. Under Florida Statute 772.11, plaintiffs who assert successful civil theft claims are entitled to recovery of treble (triple) damages and attorney’s fees. Civil theft…   + Read More…

"Drive By" Lawsuits…. what?

You might think we’re listening to too much Gangsta’s Paradise when in reality, we’re talking about a current legal trend – ADA “Drive By” Lawsuits. To know what we’re talking about, you must first understand a little bit about ADA. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in…   + Read More…

How to Collect after a Favorable Judgement

A common issue persons may face in lawsuits is not so much the difficulty in obtaining judgment for remedies, but actually collecting on the judgment once obtained. There are different ways in which judgment debtors try to defeat collection on judgments, which pose problems for those holding outstanding executions.

How to: Evict A Person in Florida

Although we hope for the best, it may not work out that way. That’s why, EPGD has decided to provide a few steps on how to evict a person in Florida. Step 1 – Determine whether there are grounds for evicting that person. Step 2 – Send the person you want to evict a letter…   + Read More…

Robo Civil de la Corporación en la Florida

El robo civil es una conversión de derecho común con la intención criminal de robar. Véase 1-27 Florida Torts n.o 27.07. El Estatuto de Florida 812.014 (2014) establece los elementos para el robo civil como:
(1) a sabiendas, (2) obtenido o utilizado, o se esforzó por obtener o utilizar, la propiedad del demandante, (3) con intención criminal, (4) ya sea temporal o permanentemente para (a) privar al demandante de su derecho o beneficio de la propiedad o (b) apropiarse de la propiedad para el uso propio del demandado o para el uso de una persona que no da derecho a la propiedad.

Civil Theft of a Corporation in Florida

Civil theft is a common law conversion with the criminal intent to steal. See 1-27 Florida Torts § 27.07. Florida Statute 812.014 (2014) states the elements for civil theft as:
(1) knowingly, (2) obtained or used, or endeavored to obtain or use, the plaintiff’s property, (3) with felonious intent, (4) either temporarily or permanently to (a) deprive plaintiff of its right to or a benefit from the property or (b) appropriate the property to the defendant’s own use or to the use of a person not entitle to the property.

Are You the Victim of Identity Theft?

If you have been a victim of identity theft and your Social Security is being used to make fraudulent transactions on your behalf, you may have no other recourse than to request a new Social Security number (SSN). The problem is that applying for a new SSN is not as easy as it sounds. Social…   + Read More…

Legal Approaches to Substance Abuse

There are few challenges greater than watching a loved one descend into the depths of drug and alcohol abuse. Lives can be shattered, fortunes squandered, aptitude and potential wasted, and relationships often strained to the breaking point. The damage is two-fold: the abuser’s self-destructive behavior not only hurts his or her own life, but unintentionally inflicts harm on friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors