There are several alternatives to going to court. The most common sense way is to either directly try to resolve it with the other party, or have the party’s attorneys discuss it with each other. Other means of resolution are mediation, that’s a very common method, and also, arbitration. Both are alternatives that have some favorable aspects, as opposed to going to court. Mediation involves voluntarily discussing the dispute with a neutral third party, and whatever they agree upon is mutually agreeable. Arbitration is the party’s hire a third party, another lawyer, and the lawyer will decide the case in sitting as a private judge. The parties will split the expense of this private judge deciding the case. …
An oral agreement is usually binding but not always. Florida has a statute of frauds so certain types of contracts are not binding unless they’re in writing and signed by the party against whom it’s charged. For example, selling a house or a piece of real property requires a written agreement. It has to be signed by the other party. Commercial leases exceeding a year’s length will need to be in writing. There’s a witness requirement of 2 witnesses to the execution of the lease. Many other contracts can be enforced simply because they’re oral contracts where one part has agreed and as somebody has often said, its simply a handshake where they’ve mutually agreed orally as to what the contract is.
Business disputes are handled as any other kind of lawsuit. It’s either going to be handled through negotiation, through a court process and litigation or through arbitration. Typically, business disputes should always have efforts to try to settle the cases and reach some kind of common ground. Sometimes a lawsuit will need to be filed or defended, but then it will lead to a negotiated resolution. The earlier that you can have some discussion to determine what the other side wants and what you want the better it is. Some cases have to go farther, and the court will have to decide it.
Due diligence is checking up on the details of a transaction. Typically, due diligence occurs when there’s a purchase of a business. The buyer of the business is, of course, wanting to find out are the representations of the seller accurate? They’re going to want to go look through the papers. They want to make sure the financials are accurate, that they’re not being lied to or misled. They’re going to want to go and check with customers to determine if these really were the sales of the business. The due diligence period is to determine if you’re really buying what the seller is representing and whether the value the seller puts on it is really a fair value.
A trade secret is a form of intellectual property that is something that is of independent value because it is not generally known. The trade secret must be kept secret and the way it’s protected is in 2 ways: 1) It’s secrecy has to be maintained. For example, the Coca-Cola formula is something that is a trade secret. That it’s a beverage that’s generally liked but the formula and how do you make that beverage is not generally known. To retain it’s secrecy you have to maintain and take measures to make sure it’s secret. Such as: Keeping it locked, ensuring that there’s limited access to it, ensuring that it’s protected in a manner where it’s not generally accessible to other people that might have an interest in obtaining that information.
There are many different types of contracts, but the most common component of a contract is offer, acceptance, and consideration, meaning that one party offers something, the other party supplies something else, and there’s mutual promises exchanged. There are other types of contracts also, such as unilateral contracts, where one party has offered to have a person provide a service, and the other party says nothing and simply provides a service in exchange for what was offered. For example, somebody offers in writing to pay $50 if you mow their lawn, the other person simply mows the lawn, says nothing. A contract’s been formed and the money is owed once the project is completed.
Liquidated damages are an agreed fixed amount of money that parties enter into in a contract where they said if another party breaches it, this is going to be the amount they agree upon in damages. Liquidated damages frequently exceed what the law permits and there are legal limitations as to what a liquidated damage provision will allow.
It has to have a nexus or a relationship to what the real damages would be and it’s not supposed to be a penalty. Frequently you’ll have liquidated damage provisions that are not enforceable and they’re really designed to be a penalty and they will not be enforceable in court.