Payton & Associates, LLC

Miami Business Litigation Lawyers

2 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2300
Miami, FL 33131

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Payton & Associates, LLC

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  • The Florida Bar Board Certified Business Litigation
  • The Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial

Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

Crossing the line: corporate disputes and tortious interference

Competition -- friendly or otherwise -- is a normal part of doing business. It drives value, innovation, and market growth. Sometimes, however, competition can go too far and give rise to a legitimate business dispute. Tortious interference is one place where competition crosses the line of legality.

Tortious interference occurs when a third party prevents someone from receiving the benefits of a contract they have with another. To illustrate, let's say that Company A contracts with Carrier B to deliver a truckload of perishable goods by a certain date. Company C, however, offers Carrier B more money to deliver its own cargo rather than that of Company A. Company A's cargo spoils.

What is commercial disparagement?

A business owner's livelihood, as well as the livelihood of their employees, is tied up in the entity that they create and run to offer goods or services to others. All across Miami, men and women get up each day and put their hearts and souls into making their businesses run effectively and efficiently.

Some businesses operate without ever confronting serious legal problems, while others may seem plagued by them. When a party attempts to cause a business to fail through reckless or damaging actions, they may commit business torts against the affected entity. And, the victim business may have rights to compensation under business tort theories of law.

We help businesses avoid contract-based challenges

As the year winds down businesses across Miami may begin renegotiating agreements with venders, partners and third parties that help keep their doors open. From the rental agreements that dictate the terms of the leases they hold for their business operations to the contracts that supply them with the goods, they need to produce their own products businesses in Florida succeed through the strength of their contracts.

But, not every contract that is proposed to a business is one that will ultimately benefit the receiving entity. Whether through poorly worded terms, conditions that place undue burdens on the agreeing party, or other deficiencies that may ultimately hurt one of the parties to the agreement, a contract can become a liability for a business, if its terms do not reflect the needs and expectations of the signatories.

Subcontractors claim they are owed millions for ballpark work

Florida construction projects are often the work of delegation and cooperation. For example, an entity may wish to build a facility and need the help of construction experts. Those experts may take on the great task of managing the project but along the way may hire additional entities to perform work on the project. A project developer may therefore retain a general contractor to manage the project and that general contractor may retain an array of sub-contractors to help them get the work done.

Just such an arrangement of delegation occurred when two professional baseball teams, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, decided to construct a new training facility in southern Florida. The costly project was managed by Hunt Construction Group and three other entities that formed a joint venture for the project. After securing management of the project, Hunt and the other contractors acquired contracts with sub-contractors to build the more than $150 million facility.

Protections are available when a contract has been breached

Contract disputes can be bad for business. Fortunately, the legal process provides help when parties are engaged in a contract dispute or a breach of contract has been alleged by one of the parties. A variety of situations, including delays, financial problems and unexpected events, can lead to contract disputes. A

breach of contract can be incredibly disruptive and costly which is why parties involved in a contract dispute should understand the legal resources available to protect them.

How do I negotiate a commercial lease?

Commercial leasing is an important concern for many businesses and companies. As a result, it can be helpful to understand the different aspect of a commercial lease and how to negotiate a commercial lease to help avoid commercial lease litigation. Commercial leases are commonly negotiated and most all of the terms of the lease may be negotiated but tenants negotiating a commercial lease may wonder what terms they should consider.

To begin with, when negotiating a commercial lease, the cost of rent should be considered. The owner of the property will usually calculate rent according to square footage multiplied by the cost per square foot. The tenant may be able to negotiate the rent with the property owner so they should be familiar with how it is calculated. There are different methods for determining how taxes and insurance will be paid for so it is also helpful to be aware of them when negotiating that aspect of a commercial lease.

How to handle a partnership dispute

Partnership disputes can oftentimes result in litigation which can be partnership ending. Partnership disputes most often arise from a real or perceived breach of trust between the partners. The most common breaches of trust usually involve money, self-dealing by one of the partners, failing to account for money or assets, profiting individually from a partnership opportunity or theft. These disputes may also arise in the context of limited liability companies and closely held corporations.

Because of the disruptive nature of partnership disputes, it can be helpful to carefully draft a partnership agreement, stockholder agreement related to a corporation or operating agreement for a limited liability company. Having a well drafted partnership agreement, or other governing document, can help resolve disputes more swiftly and favorably. A partnership dispute may require an accounting of a partner's activities or a forensic accountant to resolve.

Legal protections against business torts

Competition in the business world is a good thing but, at times, it can cross the line into tortious conduct. There are legal resources available to help parties impacted by interference with contractual relations or a business expectancy. Tortious interference occurs when one party, with the intent to cause economic harm, interferes with the contract or business relationships of another party.

The most common type of tortious interference is when one party induces another party to break a contract they have with a third party. The party that induces the conduct must intentionally do so and must be aware of the business relationship they are interfering with. When tortious interference has occurred, the party interfered with may be able to recover compensation for the damages suffered.

What are construction defects and what can I do about them?

Construction defects can impact the value and function of a construction project so it is important to be familiar with the legal resources available to help. If you have had problems and concerns with your construction project, you may have wondered what construction defects are and what you can do about them. In general, construction defects refer to a condition of a construction project, either commercial or residential projects, that lowers the value of the structure.

Construction defects refer to a variety of problems you may encounter with the structure and may be somewhat immediately obvious, such as certain water issues, but others may not be apparent until years later. Construction defects can arise from poor workmanship or inferior materials or a combination of the two. Construction defects can result from improper site selection and planning; improper soil analysis and preparation; civil and structural engineering problems; negligent construction; or defective building materials.

Office building in Miami area purchase for $96 million

Commercial real estate offers many exciting opportunities for many business and companies to grow and expand which is why it is helpful for them to understand the legal process surrounding commercial real estate transactions. A company recently purchase a class A office building in the Miami area for $96 million. It is the most expensive recorded office sale in the community just about a half an hour from Miami.

The 282,000 square foot office building was the second purchase for the company in the area and no financing was recorded for the purchase. The 11-story building was completed in 2010 and includes 50,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, a fitness center, a conference center and parking. The building is 91 percent leased. Commercial real estate transactions have many complexities associated with them.