As a enterprise particular person, you’re actually acquainted with some authorized ideas. Chances are you’ll, for instance, very possible have a robust consciousness of what a statute of limitations is and the way it works. However, a authorized phrase like “statute of frauds” could also be one thing with which you’re much less acquainted. Even should you’re not acquainted with that phrase, remember that it may be crucial to your corporation, particularly your corporation’s business litigation circumstances. Relaxation assured that your educated South Florida enterprise legal professional is keenly acquainted with that phrase and the way it might help you in courtroom.

Regardless of what you would possibly suppose based mostly on the wording, the “statute of frauds” is just not one thing that solely applies in circumstances involving fraud claims (though it could contain such a declare). A recent case between a South Florida actual property company and a Central Florida actual property dealer was an instance of how the statute of frauds will be the important thing to a hit. The 2 sides reportedly inked a deal in 2004 for the dealer to function one of many company’s franchises, which was situated in Maitland, Florida. 10 years later, they executed second franchise settlement, this time in regard to a franchise in Orlando.

The franchisor approached the franchisee about renewing the Maitland franchise settlement for a further time period. Allegedly, the franchisee expressed curiosity in doing so whereas secretly negotiating with a competing actual property agency. The franchisee allegedly dragged out the negotiation course of till he had time to finish negotiations and signal an settlement with the competing agency, which he did in December 2014.

The franchisor then sued the franchisee for breach of the settlement, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment. The jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded it practically $750,000.

The franchisee appealed and gained. The important thing to their success on attraction was the statute of frauds. The Florida statute of frauds says that you just can’t convey a lawsuit based mostly “on any settlement or promise that can not be carried out inside one yr until the settlement or promise is in writing and signed by the celebration.”

On this case, the idea for the franchisor’s fraudulent misrepresentation and promissory estoppels claims was an oral settlement between the 2 sides. As a result of the phrases of that oral settlement “weren’t meant to be carried out inside one yr,” then the statute of frauds utilized to this case. That meant {that a} written settlement was required with the intention to sue and win damages. As a result of the plaintiff didn’t have one on this case, it was statutorily barred from gathering a judgment on its fraudulent misrepresentation and promissory estoppel claims.

The franchisor tried to argue that the settlement was merely one to resume the franchise in Maitland, however the proof in help of that assertion wasn’t persuasive. Even when the courtroom accepted that the oral settlement was an settlement merely to “renew the Maitland settlement for a further 5 years,” that truth didn’t “take away the settlement from the scope of the statute of frauds.”

On this case, the franchisee was ready to make use of the statute of frauds successfully to keep away from an in any other case very expensive judgment. Successful your case will usually depend on having somebody in your facet who is aware of each the info of your state of affairs and is aware of the regulation in and out, too. Defend your corporation pursuits by calling upon the expert South Florida commercial litigation attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman, who’ve been representing shoppers in a variety of business litigation circumstances, together with franchise settlement disputes, right here in Florida for a few years.

Contact us on-line or by calling (954) 237-1777 to schedule your session and learn how this agency might help you.


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