Practice Updates

FLORIDA LAW ON NON-COMPETITION COVENANTS: REWRITING CONTRACTUAL TERMS

Florida statutes on non-competition covenants allow courts to modify overbroad non-competition covenants.  For example, a non-competition covenant restricting an employee from competing against the employer in every county in Florida is likely overbroad if the employer conducts business only in Broward County.  Florida statutes, however, allow the court to modify such overbroad non-competition covenants and  Continue Reading »

FLORIDA LAW ON NON-COMPETITION COVENANTS: THE REQUIREMENT THAT COVENANTS BE READ IN FAVOR OF REASONABLE PROTECTION

Florida law requires that courts read non-competition covenants in favor of providing reasonable protection to a company’s legitimate business interest and prohibits courts from reading the non-competition covenant narrowly against the restraint.  Anarkali Boutique, Inc. v. Ortiz, 104 So. 3d 1202 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) provides an example of just how broadly Florida courts could  Continue Reading »

DEPENDENT RELATIVE REVOCATION: THE DOCTRINE OF REVIVING REVOKED WILLS

What happens when a person writes a new will, revokes his or her previous valid will, and the probate court later determines that the new will is invalid?  Usually, the person will be considered to have died intestate, i.e., without a will, and his or her property will be distributed according to the Florida intestate  Continue Reading »

UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS CANNOT ENFORCE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS BUT COULD BE LIABLE UNDER THOSE CONTRACTS

When two parties commit the same wrongdoing and are equally at fault, the court generally will not get involved in their transaction.  That rule is known as the doctrine of “in pari delicto.”  The doctrine of in pari delicto generally will apply to various forms of unlawful contracts.  For example, if two parties enter into  Continue Reading »

FRANCHISOR’S LIABILITY FOR FRANCHISEE ACTIONS

Franchise agreements can serve to establish a mutually beneficial relationship for the franchisor and the franchisee.  Under a franchise agreement, the franchisor’s brand is allowed to grow through an independent business, i.e., the franchisee, and the franchisee is able to start a business without having to create a new product or brand.  Because franchisees are  Continue Reading »

USING A WILL TO FORGIVE DEBT

Florida law allows a decedent to forgive certain debt upon his or her death.  For example, a holder of a promissory note who wishes to forgive the outstanding debt that has not been paid upon his or her death may do so through his will.  Problems arise, however, when the estate is insolvent. In Lauritsen  Continue Reading »

SPENDTHRIFT TRUSTS AND DISCRETIONARY TRUSTS: PROTECTING TRUST ASSETS FROM CREDITORS

A spendthrift trust protects the trust assets against most creditors.  To be valid under Florida law, a spendthrift trust must restrain both voluntary and involuntary transfers of the beneficiary’s interest.  In other words, one cannot validly set up a trust to keep creditors out while simultaneously allowing the beneficiary to freely transfer his interest in  Continue Reading »

CONTRACT PROVISIONS FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES: FLORIDA’S RECIPROCITY LAW AND THE AMERICAN RULE

The “American rule” holds that each party to a lawsuit will pay for his or her own attorney’s fees regardless of who prevails in the case.  Unless a statute or contractual provision says otherwise, Florida courts will apply the American rule.  For that reason, contracts oftentimes contain provisions stating that if litigation arises under the  Continue Reading »