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Four Litigation Laws Every Florida Business Owner Needs to Know

Written on April 14, 2021

In an ideal world, you would never be in the position where your Florida business would be involved in litigation. You comply with your legal obligations, protect your financial interests, and conduct other aspects of business without the need to initiate or defend a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the ideal is a rarity. At some point or another, it may be necessary to file a case to enforce your company’s rights; alternatively, you could be defending the organization’s interests from someone else’s legal claims.

Regardless of which side you occupy in a lawsuit, you know the importance of retaining an experienced Clearwater business litigation lawyer to represent your company. There are legal details regarding the case law, statutes, and court procedural rules that require in-depth knowledge and attention to detail. However, it is important to have a general understanding about some basic Florida litigation laws.

Basic Florida Litigation Laws

  1. Deadlines for Florida Business Litigation: One of the most important laws governing lawsuits is the time restrictions on filing a case. Under Florida’s statute of limitations, you have five years to bring an action based upon a breach of contract – a common subject for many business-related cases. However, there are many other statutes of limitations depending upon the legal issues involved. Because you lose your right to sue if you let the deadline expire, it is essential to keep this law in mind.
  1. What Contracts Must Be in Writing: Much of your company’s routine operations can be conducted on the basis of a verbal agreement, though many owners opt to put certain agreements into written form as added protection. Under Florida law, there are certain contracts that MUST be in writing to be enforced in court. Examples include:
  • Transactions and dealings falling under Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • Certain transfers of ownership in real estate
  • Restrictive covenants, including confidentiality agreements, noncompete clauses, and nondisclosure contracts
  1. Statutes Governing Restrictive Covenants: Aside from the requirement that they be in writing, there are additional statutory provisions governing restrictive covenants. To be enforceable, they must be reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate business interest, such as trade secrets, customer lists, confidential information, or specialized training. In addition, a restrictive covenant must be reasonable in:
  • Duration of the restrictions
  • Geographic area covered by the provision
  • The line of business to which it applies
  1. The Threshold Amount for Small Claims: Your company may need to file or defend a suit for an amount that qualifies for the small claims process in Florida, which is simplified and can be less costly than other litigation. If the amount in dispute is under $8,000, the parties may be eligible to resolve the case in small claims court.

Set Up a Consultation with a Clearwater, FL Business Litigation Attorney

While it is helpful to know some background on the laws that affect business litigation in Florida, you can trust our team at Clearwater Business Law to tackle the legal details. For more information on our litigation services to companies throughout Pinellas County, please call (727) 785-5100 to set up a consultation.

TESTIMONIALS

I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

- John Sams

As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis

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