Monroe County, Florida Partnership & Contract Disputes
Forming a partnership for business purposes is an extremely complex and time-consuming endeavor, and it only works if you and your partner understand each other very well. It is very common for disputes to occur, and it does not necessarily mean that your partnership is doomed to fail if one does.
Common Causes of Dispute
There are countless causes for disputes between business partners or parties to a contract, and some have a way of appearing over time. Business torts, or wrongs done to each other in a business context, can poison a working relationship. One of the most insidious is the allegation of misappropriation, either of business opportunities rightfully belonging to the partnership, or of funds or assets. Another common business tort is the interference with a prospective advantage, or with contractual relations. In these instances, a possible (or already existing) business contract is interfered with deliberately, for malevolent reasons.
Contract disputes themselves can also be a basis for partners quarreling. Provisions in a partnership agreement may be parsed completely differently by different people, or one partner may simply commit a material breach of the contract by not delivering the promised goods or services. Either way, regardless of what the cause of the dispute may be, a delicate touch is often required to avoid a complete dissolution of the business.
Remedies to Partnership Disputes
The remedies for specific contractual breaches will often be found in the contract itself – they will be at law (bringing a suit), or in equity (arbitration, mediation or a damages clause). If no specific remedy is in the contract, you may attempt to be made whole by any method you choose; most parties bring a standard breach of contract lawsuit. Remedies at law usually are for money or other tangible redress, while equitable remedies focus on making the situation fair. If one party contributed more to the breach of contract than the other, they may be found more liable.
To end partnership disputes, however, there are statutory remedies. Florida law allows for a limited right to an accounting, which is the most common remedy for serious allegations of misconduct. An accounting is a Florida cause of action that “requests an equitable settlement” between partners, of both claims and liabilities. Equitable accounting is not available to every partnership, but almost all business partnerships will qualify under Florida law; to be eligible, a cause of action must be brought that touches on either a series of in-depth transactions, or a fiduciary relationship (a relationship involving trust). If both parties admit they were part of a partnership, the accounting may proceed.
With an accounting, every transaction possibly related to the partnership is investigated and checked out, to ensure that all is as it should be. The thorough nature of this proceeding tends to alleviate most disputes, and also the fact that it is conducted by an impartial party.
Helpful Legal Representation Makes A Difference
When you are trying to untangle the mess of confusion and betrayal that partnership disputes can breed, having an unbiased, experienced dispute resolution attorney on your side can help immeasurably. The professionals at the Silver Law Group have years of experience in partnership and contract dispute resolutions. Contact our Islamorada office today to discuss your options.