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ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Trial Perspectives (Page 21)

Florida’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act cannot be used to Restrict Competition

Florida's Uniform Trade Secrets Act is contained in Florida Statutes Chapter 688.  This Act authorizes  courts to take reasonable steps to preserve the confidentiality of trade secrets including ordering injunctive relief to prevent a party (such as a former employee) from misappropriating trade secrets.  Norton v. American LED Technology, Inc., 43 Fla.L.Weekly D951a (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).   However, as confirmed by the First District in Norton, Florida's Uniform Trade Secrets Act cannot be used as a sword to restrict or stifle direct competition.  In other words, it is improper for a trial court to issue a temporary injunction restricting direct...

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Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of Defendant on Equitable Subrogation Claim

I recently wrote an article how there are times when a party is seeking reimbursement for solely economic losses, their best recourse is an equitable subrogation claim.   The article also discusses the application of equitable subrogation dealing with an actual fact pattern. Equitable subrogation, you say?  In an equitable subrogation claim, a party pays for damages (or a debt) it believes were caused by another party.  The party then pursues reimbursement against the party it believes primarily responsible for the damages or debt.  No one wants to pay for damages or a debt it believes were caused by a third...

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Attorney’s Fee Arrangements can be Creative or Innovative

Generally, people do not like to spend money on lawyers.  There are certainly exceptions where clients value the relationship with a lawyer knowing that the services provided and advice given is worth the fees.  Ideally, this should be the sentiment from anyone that feels they need a lawyer, even if the advice paid for is to steer you in a more focused direction based on the pros/cons of the claims and issues you are dealing with.  But, money is important and decisions cannot be made in a vacuum without understanding associated costs.   I get that not everyone wants to have to...

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Forum Selection / Venue Provisions in Contracts are Enforceable

If you have a dispute, one of the first considerations should be “where do I sue?” If the dispute may arise out of or relate to a contract, you want to look at your contract.  Many contracts contain forum selection or venue provisions identifying the exclusive venue governing your dispute.  For instance, the provision may say something to the effect, “The exclusive venue for any dispute arising out of or relating to this contract shall be in Miami-Dade County Florida.”   This means that if you plan to sue you need to do so in a court located in Miami-Dade County,...

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Set-Off when Entering into Settlements in Multi-Party Disputes

Lawsuits oftentimes involve multiple parties.  This could include multiple defendants or third-party defendants, whatever the case may be.  During the course of the dispute, there are avenues for settlement.  With a multi-party dispute, sometimes the stars are aligned where a favorable global settlement works out.  Sometimes, a party needs to settle with some, but not all, of the defendants.  This means the plaintiff will need to try the case against the remaining defendants (or parties).  The remaining defendants, obviously, want the settlements with the settling defendants to be used to set-off any damages or judgment entered against them.  For example,...

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The Not Widely Known Harris Act: Protection of Private Property Rights

There is a Florida statute not universally known called the “Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act” and oftentimes called the "Harris Act" for ease of reference.   The Harris Act is embodied in Florida Statute s. 70.001 (found here) and it deals with the protection of private property rights.  More specifically, it provides a private cause of action when the existing use (or vested rights) of property is inordinately burdened by the Florida government (including agencies thereof).  The Harris Act has some teeth in certain situations, as demonstrated below in a case example, and is a good...

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Yes, There is Such a Thing Called Apparent Authority

“But he did NOT have the authority….”   This is the beginning of a sentence that does not start well.   Agents have the authority to bind their principal.  “Even where there is no express agent/principal relationship, a principal may be bound by the acts of an agent acting with apparent authority.”  Clayton v. Poggendorf, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D436a (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Apparent authority sometimes gets lost in the shuffle and the reason why the sentence, “But he did not have the authority…,” does not start well.  If the person is deemed to have apparent authority then he did have the authority to bind...

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Defamation Per Se Opens Door for Punitive Damages

A defamation per se action opens the door for punitive damages even if actual damages cannot be shown or proven.  Lawnwood Medical Center, Inc. v. Sadow, 43 So.3d 710, 729 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).   This is because malice is presumed and, thus, the statements are presumed harmful as a matter of law.  Id.  However, “proof of liability for defamation per se requires a showing that the declarant knew or should have known the defamatory statement was not true.”  Tilton v. Wrobel, 198 So.3d 909 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Hence, while a claimant may not be able to prove actual damages...

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Homestead Protection does Not Attach to Corporation (as Judgment Debtor Found Out!)

There are times where (potential) judgment debtors try to be way to crafty.  And, guess what, it doesn’t always work!  A recent case exemplifies this point. In DeJesus v. A.M.J.R.K. Corp., 43 Fla. L. Weekly D331a (Fla. 2d DCA 2017), a plaintiff sued a defendant corporation in a personal injury action.  During the litigation, the defendant corporation transferred residential property it owned to its sole shareholder.  This was done through a quitclaim deed and was obviously done as a down and dirty asset protection technique.  Of course, the quitclaim deed lacked consideration and was defective – the transfer was invalid. The plaintiff...

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Requests for Admissions as a Discovery Tool

Requests for Admissions are one of my favorite discovery tools in litigation. Requests for Admissions are designed to narrow the disputed facts by requiring the recipient of the request to admit or deny the requested fact. These should be served with the objective of having the recipient admit the requested fact.   If the recipient does admit the fact, then the fact is a stipulated fact – it does not need to be proved at trial because it is stipulated to.   Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.380(c) provides: (c) Expenses on Failure to Admit. If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any...

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