Commercial Disputes / Business Litigation
Commercial Disputes, Business Litigation Lawyer in Fort Pierce & Port St. Lucie (PSL) FL.
When a business is created, the founders usually do not include a section on expected litigation in their business plan. As a business grows, so do its revenues, accounts receivable, and payroll. Along with this increase in activity comes an increase in the possibility that your business may need the services of an attorney experienced in civil litigation. A business or individual can have issues with collection on accounts, issues with employers or employees, a dispute concerning a commercial lease, or others.
Sometimes no matter how many statements of account or reminders you send your counterparty just won’t pay what is owed. It is frustrating as a business owner to waste your time trying to collect money that is owed to you when you should be spending your time growing your business. Often an attorney can be more effective than a collection agency and in certain cases, a contingent fee agreement may be made where if there is no collection you would not owe any attorney fees. Florida law provides specific causes of action for “open accounts”, “accounts stated”, “goods sold and delivered”, “services rendered”, “breach of contract”, “guaranty” and others that may be applicable to a collection matter.
One area where businesses can get into trouble with how they treat their employees is the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime requirements. The FLSA requires that employers pay minimum wage and overtime to employees unless an employee qualifies for an exemption. “Covered employers” under the FLSA are those with at least two employees and whose annual sales total $500,000 or more or who are engaged in interstate commerce. Under this standard, the FLSA covers nearly every workplace.
There are exemptions for “executive,” “administrative,” and “professional” positions as well as exemptions for “highly compensated” employees as well as various other exemptions (seasonal amusement, newspaper delivery workers, and others), but the application of exemptions can be tricky.
The penalties for FLSA violations can include back-pay as well as civil penalties and attorney fees.
Other areas which can lead to employment disputes are violations of various whistleblower statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act, or violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Many businesses do not own the property on which they conduct their operations. In these cases, the business owner usually enters into a commercial lease with the property owner/landlord. Unlike residential leases, commercial leases in Florida are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 83, Part 1. Under F.S. 83.08 a landlord may have a lien for unpaid rent upon the property found upon or off the premises leased or rented, and in the possession of any person, as follows
- Upon agricultural products raised on the land leased or rented for the current year. This lien shall be superior to all other liens, though of older date.
- Upon all other property of the lessee or his or her sublessee or assigns, usually kept on the premises. This lien shall be superior to any lien acquired subsequent to the bringing of the property on the premises leased.
- Upon all other property of the defendant. This lien shall date from the levy of the distress warrant hereinafter provided.
The Florida Non-Residential tenancies law contains many other provisions as well including provisions regarding the withholding of rent when the lease is silent on the procedure to be followed to effect repair or maintenance, and many others (acceleration, eviction, etc.). If you are negotiating a commercial lease or are in a dispute regarding a commercial lease, it can be to your benefit to consult with a business dispute and litigation attorney.
Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles business disputes and litigation in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas. If you have an issue concerning collections, employment issues, issues surrounding a commercial lease or others, we may be able to help you.
Tell us about your problem. We can help.
While the other side may view your dispute as minor and not very important, we know how time-consuming these disputes can be. A business owner should be running the business and making money, not spending all their time worrying about legal disputes. We give our cases the undivided attention they deserve so that you can get back to what matters: running your business.
If you need a lawyer for business disputes and litigation, please contact Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806 or fill out the contact form on this page. Someone from our office will contact you right away.