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ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Trial Perspectives (Page 4)

Limitation on Real Estate Broker’s Procuring Cause Doctrine

  Here is the scenario? A commercial owner enters into an exclusive listing agreement with a real estate broker that gives the broker the exclusive right to sell or lease property within 1 year in exchange for 6% commission.   The exclusive listing agreement provides that the broker is entitled to the commission “if the property was sold or leased within twelve months after termination of the agreement to any buyer to whom the property was submitted for sale during the continuance of the agreement.”  This is the broker's protection period. The broker introduces the commercial owner to a couple.  However, the couple does...

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The Declaration of Condominium “Says what It Says”

There are lawsuits that don’t make sense.  They just don’t.  Granted, we do not know all of the ins-and-outs of the lawsuit, but the facts described in the case give an aura of irrationalness by one of the parties.  Here is one – in what appears to be a condominium association taking an unreasonable position giving the unit owner no choice but to sue. In Cool Spaze, LLC v. Boca View Condominium Association, Inc., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D165a (Fla. 4th DCA 2020), a purchaser bought a unit in a condominium.  He transferred the unit to a limited liability company he...

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Employer cannot Retaliate against Employee for Workers’ Compensation Claim

In prior postings, I talked about Florida’s private Whistleblower Act and Florida’s Public Whistleblower Act dealing with retaliatory terminations.   Besides these whistleblower protections, there is also protection in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law that states: 440.205 Coercion of employees.—No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law. To support an employment retaliation claim: [A] plaintiff must prove the following three elements: 1) the plaintiff was engaged in protected activity; 2) the plaintiff was thereafter subjected by his employer to an adverse employment action; and...

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Enforcement of Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Provision

Non-compete provisions are not always fair.  The same can probably be said about non-solicitation provisions.  Typically, these provisions (referred to as restrictive covenants) are included in an employment agreement as a condition of employment.  But, if there is a legitimate business interest for these provisions, and they are limited in scope, they are enforceable and relief, including injunctive relief, can be sought.    Restrictive covenants in employment-related agreements, such as a non-compete and non-solicitation provision, are governed by Florida Statute s. 542.335.  A party (e.g., employer) seeking a temporary injunction against another (e.g., employee) must demonstrate four elements: “(1) the likelihood...

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Absolute Immunity Protects Public Officials from Defamation

Thinking about suing a public official for defamation?  Think twice (or three or four times) before doing so.  Public officials acting within the scope of their duties enjoy absolute immunity from statements they make.  Stated differently, they are absolutely immune from a defamation lawsuit.    In Quintero v. Diaz, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D51b (Fla. 3d DCA 2020), a former Director of Parks and Recreation for a city sued the Mayor of that City for defamation per se based on public defamatory statements contained in a termination letter.  The parties stipulated that the Mayor was acting within the scope of his...

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The Duty of Care Element in a Negligence Action is a Question of Law

There are four elements to proving a negligence (tort) claim: (1) a duty of care; (2) breach of that duty; (3) proximate causation; and (4) damages.  Stated differently, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty, and the defendant's breach proximately caused damages to the plaintiff. Whether a duty of care exists is a question of law, meaning it is a question for the court.  Cascante v. 50 State Security Service, Inc., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D8a (Fla. 3d DCA 2019).  If there is no duty, there is no...

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Giving Rise to the Exception to Sovereign Immunity Against a Public Officer, Employee, or Agent

In an important opinion stemming from the tragically horrific and deplorable mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018--an incident that eternally weighs heavily in hearts --the school resource officer assigned to the school was sued under negligence theories.  Peterson v. Pollack, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D2983b (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  The school resource officer moved to dismiss the lawsuit under sovereign immunity (i.e., that he was statutorily immune from such a lawsuit), and specifically, protection afforded to him under Florida Statute s. 768.28(9)(a).  This subsection provides in pertinent part: No officer, employee, or agent of the state or of...

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Fiduciary Duty Owed by Escrow Agent

When it comes to buying property, there's quite a lot of documentation involved. The use of escrow agreements and escrow agents is common when purchasing one of the san diego homes for sale, or well any kind of property, in fact. They are used in relationship to purchase-sale of real estate contracts. They are also used in relationship to certain settlement agreements. The escrow agent may be a third-party, such as a title company or financial institution, or it may be a law firm representing a party in the transaction or case. An escrow agent owes a fiduciary...

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How to Factor a Postoffer Settlement into a Proposal for Settlement Analysis

A plaintiff may serve a proposal for settlement (a/k/a offer of judgment) to create a mechanism to recover attorney's fees as the prevailing party.  When it comes to proposals for settlement served by the plaintiff on the defendant, Florida Statute s. 768.79 provides: (b) If a plaintiff serves an offer which is not accepted by the defendant, and if the judgment obtained by the plaintiff is at least 25 percent more than the amount of the offer, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable costs, including investigative expenses, and attorney's fees, calculated in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Supreme Court, incurred...

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