FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: The Difference Between Lawful and Unlawful Competition
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1d ago
Florida law protects employers and similarly situated persons from unlawful competition. But every competitive act does not qualify as an unlawful competitive act. White v. Mederi Caretenders Visiting Services of Se. Florida, LLC, 226 So. 3d 774 (Fla. 2017) (“Section 542.335 does not protect covenants ‘whose sole purpose is to prevent competition per se’ because those contracts are void against public policy.”). There “must be special facts present over and above ordinary competition” to be protected by Florida’s non-compete laws. Passalacqua v. Naviant, Inc., 844 So. 2d 792 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003 ..read more
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MIAMI BUSINESS LITIGATION: NON-COMPETE CONTRACTS BARRED BY PROPOSED WORKFORCE MOBILITY ACT
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
2w ago
We previously wrote about two potential laws that might limit enforceability of non-compete agreements. The first law is a proposed Florida statute that would constrain or prohibit restrictive covenants for certain medical professionals. The second law is a Federal Trade Commission rule that would ban most non-compete agreements as unfair competition. Congress is proposing a similar law that would ban most non-compete agreements, called the Workforce Mobility Act (the Act). The relevant wording of the Act, in its present form, is as follows: “…No person shall enter into, enforce, or attempt to ..read more
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MIAMI BUSINESS LITIGATION: CORPORATE OFFICERS AND THE BUSINESS JUDGMENT RULE
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
3w ago
The business judgment rule is a critical feature of the law governing corporations throughout the United States.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in In re Bal Harbour Club, Inc., 316 F.3d 1192 (11th Cir. 2003), explained that “[t]he business judgment rule is a judicial presumption that corporate officers and directors acted in good faith, even if their actions were ultimately detrimental to the corporation.”  Florida courts adhere to the business judgment rule.  The rule was solidified in English and American common laws over 200 years ago, and was c ..read more
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FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: SHAREHOLDER DERIVATIVE AND DIRECT LAWSUITS AGAINST CORPORATIONS
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
3w ago
In a corporate derivative lawsuit, the shareholder does not have a “direct” injury that is particular to the specific shareholder.  Therefore, a shareholder must turn to a derivative lawsuit. In these lawsuits, the shareholder sues to enforce rights belonging to the corporation for which the corporation itself could have sued for redress. Medkser v. Feingold, 307 Fed. Appx. 262 (11th Cir. 2008). The derivative lawsuit is an exception to the general rule requiring a company to sue on its own behalf. Daily Income Fund, Inc. v. Fox, 464 U.S. 523 (1984). Damages recovered in derivative lawsui ..read more
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FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: DISCOVERY IN PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT LITIGATION
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1M ago
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) requires plaintiffs to meet a heightened pleading standard before they can participate in discovery. Congress passed the PSLRA because many plaintiffs filed frivolous securities fraud lawsuits based on minimal facts, and then used the discovery process to manufacture evidence establishing their claims. See Novak v. Kasaks, 216 F.3d 300, 310 (2d Cir. 2000) (“Congress plainly sought to impose a stricter nationwide pleading standard and did so.”). Plaintiffs, in effect, weaponized securities laws. Winer Family Tr. v. Queen, 503 F.3d 319, 326 (3 ..read more
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MIAMI BUSINESS LITIGATION: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AND NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1M ago
Nationwide, the body of law regulating non-compete agreements (including non-solicitation covenants, non-circumvention covenants, covenants barring poaching of employees) has been mainly regulated by state statutes as well as court decisions in state and federal courts.  Federal law has generally stayed out of the regulation of restrictive covenants.  About a year ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal agency regulating commerce and competition law, issued a proposed rule that would ban most non-compete agreements as unfair competition.  If promulgated, such a rule w ..read more
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FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: EVIDENCE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1M ago
Plaintiffs often assert the common law cause of action of tortious interference in conjunction with other claims associated with unlawful competition. This is because the elements needed to prove the common law tort frequently use the same or substantially similar facts as those needed to establish breach of a restrictive covenant and other claims of unfair competition. For example, a plaintiff asserting a tortious interference claim must prove the existence of a business relationship between itself and a third person, the defendant’s knowledge about the relationship, the defendant’s intention ..read more
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FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: DAMAGES UNDER THE FLORIDA DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1M ago
Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) can be a powerful statute because plaintiffs can bring a wide variety of claims due to the expansive nature of what constitutes an unfair method of competition. FDUTPA prohibits “[u]nfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.” Fla. Stat. § 501.204. A plaintiff needs to allege only that a defendant committed a deceptive act or unfair practice, causation, and actual damages to state a FDUTPA claim. Baptist Hosp., Inc. v. Baker, 84 So ..read more
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FORT LAUDERDALE BUSINESS LITIGATION: DISCOVERY OF TRADE SECRETS IN LITIGATION
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
1M ago
A trade secret plaintiff may have to divulge its claimed trade secret with reasonable particularity to the defendant before engaging in discovery because a growing number of courts require trade secret plaintiffs to do so. This rule places the plaintiff in a “Catch-22.” See DeRubeis v. Witten Techs., Inc., 244 F.R.D. 676 (N.D. Ga. 2007) (acknowledging that the plaintiff may be placed in a “Catch-22”, but nonetheless requiring the plaintiff to disclose its trade secrets with reasonable particularity). If the plaintiff limits disclosure to the portion of the trade secret it believes the defendan ..read more
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MIAMI BUSINESS LITIGATION: VACATING AN ARBITRATION AWARD
Mavrick Law Firm Blog
by Mavrick Law Firm
2M ago
Arbitration is a voluntary process to resolve disputes and is favored by the courts.  The Federal Arbitration Act (commonly referred to as the “FAA”) sets forth the requirements for arbitration and rules for judicial review and confirmation of an arbitration decision.  Judicial review of commercial arbitration awards is narrowly limited under the FAA.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Davis v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 59 F.3d 1186 (11th Cir. 1995), explained that the FAA presumes the confirmation of arbitration awards.  Earlier precedent f ..read more
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