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Statute of Limitations Accrual for Breach of Contract

A claim must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations.  A person or entity that believes they have a claim needs to consult with counsel regarding the statute of limitations associated with their claim. A claim filed outside of the statute of limitations is time-barred.  This should be avoided in all circumstances.  A key is always when does the statute of limitations accrue with respect to a claim.  Accrual is tied to when the last element of a cause of action occurs.  See Fla. Stat. s. 95.031.  The time starts to tick when a claim accrues. When it comes to a...

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Enforce Settlement Agreement OR Breach of Settlement Agreement

 When you enter into a settlement agreement, the intent is for the parties to comply with their settlement obligations.  Why enter into a settlement agreement that you know you are not going to comply with?  That would not make sense, right? Unfortunately, it occurs.  A party may not comply with a continuing obligation.  And, it is always frustrating when this happens for the other party expecting that obligation to be performed. When a settlement agreement is entered, particularly if it requires obligations that will not occur immediately, a party will want to dismiss the case requesting the trial court enter an order...

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Objecting and/or Refusing to Participate in Employer’s Activity in Violation of a Law, Rule, or Regulation under Florida’s Whistleblower Act

Previously, I discussed damages recoverable under Florida’s Whistleblower Act (“FWA”).  What is the FWA?  The FWA prohibits an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee because the employee has “[o]bjected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the employer which is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation.” § 448.102(3), Fla. Stat. (2005). “ ‘Law, rule, or regulation' includes any statute or ordinance or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to any federal, state, or local statute or ordinance applicable to the employer and pertaining to the business.” § 448.101(4), Fla. Stat. (2005). To establish...

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Quick Note: Obtaining a Default Final Judgment

When a defendant does not timely respond to the lawsuit, a plaintiff will move for a default against the defendant.  Sometimes a plaintiff will ask the clerk to issue a default and other times the plaintiff will ask the court to issue a default.  A default serves as an admission of liability by the defendant with the issue then being whether the plaintiff’s damages are liquidated or unliquidated as it pertains to obtaining a default final judgment: Damages are liquidated when the amount to be awarded can be determined with exactness from a pleaded agreement between the parties, by an arithmetical calculation,...

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Appealing a Protective Order that Precludes You from Deposing Material Witness

In a recent article, I discussed that if you are appealing a discovery order, you are doing so through a petition for a writ of certiorari.  I further discussed that this was not an easy appeal, and typically, it is not an easy appeal.   But, what about the scenario where the trial court precludes you from taking a deposition of a material witness?  For instance, say you want to take a witness’ deposition and the opposing side moves for a protective order to prevent that deposition from going forward.  Say the trial court agrees with the opposing party and grants...

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Tortious Interference with Business Relationship and Two Defense Privileges

A cause of action for tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship requires proof of four elements: (1) the existence of a business relationship under which the plaintiff has legal rights; (2) the defendant's knowledge of the relationship; (3) the defendant's intentional and unjustified interference with the relationship; and (4) damages resulting from the breach of the relationship. Weisman v. Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D1140a (Fla. 4th DCA 2020). This tortious interference claim “teeters between two competing values—the desire to protect the reasonable expectations of the parties to a business relationship on the one hand, and the need to...

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Appeal of Discovery Order — Not so Easy!

In litigation, there will be disputes as to the scope and perceived relevance of discovery (e.g., scope of document production, depositions, and interrogatory answers).  It may not occur in every case, but it will occur.  There is no such thing as discovery orders always going in your favor.  Not possible.  Some discovery orders entered against you are understandable.  Others lead to a certain amount of frustration.  And, others leave you with consternation such that you feel that you need to appeal based on the perceived prejudice.   The appeal of a discovery order, however, is through a petition for writ of...

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Possible or Speculative Events do Not Give Rise to Fraudulent Nondisclosure

To prove fraud, a plaintiff MUST prove: 1) a false statement of a material fact by the defendant; 2) the defendant had knowledge that the statement was false; 3) the defendant intended that the statement induce the plaintiff to act on it; and 4) damages by the plaintiff in relying on the defendant's statement.  Pritchard v. Levin, 2020 WL 2050691, *2 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020).      When a fraud claim concerns nondisclosure--a failure to disclose material information--such claim “exists only when there is a duty to make such disclosure.” Id. (citation omitted).  The court determines, as a matter of law, whether a...

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Prevailing Party in Civil Action Entitled to Recover Costs

A party prevailing in a civil action is entitled to recover their costs. Fla. Stat. s. 57.041(1) (“The party recovering judgment shall recover all his or her legal costs and charges which shall be included in the judgment….”).    Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.525 provides that a “party seeking a judgment taxing costs…shall serve a motion no later than 30 days after filing of the judgment….”).   Check out this article to understand the type of taxable costs a prevailing party in a civil action is entitled.  A prevailing party’s counsel moving to recover legal costs does not need to verify the...

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Properly Exercising the Right of First Refusal

It is common for commercial leases or certain real estate transactions to include a right of first refusal.   The right of first refusal can be a valuable option for a party to hold and a worthy option for a party to bargain for and ultimately exercise.  But, if a party exercises the right of first refusal, it does not mean that the third party that lost the transaction will be happy about it.  Many times, they are not happy because it is perceived as a lost deal. When it comes to a right of first refusal: It is true that “[a] right...

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