Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Preventing the other side from harmful acts during litigation

Miami business owners are often used to living and working in a fast-paced environment. A business's situation can change dramatically in a short period of time, for the better or worse. Accordingly, business owners not only need to know how to plan properly for future contingencies, but to be able to react to sudden developments as well.

The legal system is frequently thought of as the opposite of a fast-paced environment, as a single case can take months or even years to complete. While developments happen along the way, it may be quite some time before final relief is entered in the case.

Fortunately, however, there are means in place to preserve and protect a party's rights when those rights are threatened during the course of a case. A party can move for a preliminary injunction to be entered in the case, which may prevent the other party from doing some act, or compel them to do so.

Typically, injunctions are not entered when a party has an adequate remedy at law, such as the ability to obtain compensation at the end of the case. Rather, the preliminary injunction is entered to prevent future harmful action or provide some relief that monetary damages alone cannot solve. It often must be shown that irreparable harm would result if the court does not enter the injunctive relief.

For instance, in a corporate dispute involving a company's trade secrets or intellectual property, the company may be able to obtain a preliminary injunction that prevents the misappropriation or further use of those trade secrets. The misappropriation of those trade secrets might not be adequately compensated by an award of monetary damages, as the company's ability to protect its trade secrets might cause harm that cannot be undone.

Ultimately, the availability of injunctive relief will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. When available, injunctions can be powerful tools aimed at protecting a party's rights as the case proceeds.

Source: Florida Bar, "Florida Rules of Civil Procedure," accessed on June 5, 2016

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